ASBURY PARK—Happy Birthday Scott! The stars aligned such that Scott Stamper, co-owner of The Saint celebrated in style: with a sold-out audience assembled to eat cake, sing “Happy Birthday”, and see one of the hottest acts touring, The Airborne Toxic Event.
TATE formed in 2006 and have been radio faves at alternative stations everywhere but it wasn’t until late last year that they released their eponymous major label debut.
At the Saint there was little mulling outside for a smoke, people weren’t drinking that much—the night had the feeling of being privy to a special club date by a band that could fill much larger venues. People had come from all over to see this, and didn’t want to miss a moment, or leave the floor space they had claimed.
This especially since band illness had caused the cancellation of some previous gigs. Nobody was sure what shape the band would be in.
Excellent, glad to report. The audience ate it up from the moment TATE the stage. The band was clearly loving the night, frontman Mikel Jollett working the crowd, Keyboardist/violist Anna Bulbrook went into the audience several times to play. Mikel mentioned this was about the coolest show he was gonna play on the tour, easily the smallest. They seemed to thrive off of the audience proximity, where other bands might be intimidated. TATE and the audience were equally a part of the music.
Dancing and singing on the bar? Why not? Mikel and Anna stepped from stage to bar for the last song and had the place going batshit.
A night Scott Stamper deserved. Fifteen years ago this month Jeff Buckley and Ween were playing the Saint. Stamper and co-owner Adam Weisberg have built and maintained The Saint, and quality clubs before that for longer them some patrons have been alive. A Happy Birthday for sure.