Southside Johnny’s Annual Extravaganza—The Stone Pony Summer Stage
Never ones to disappoint, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes returned to his Stone Pony stomping grounds on Thursday, July 2 to lay out one hell of a big show. And I do mean big. The Jukes were the first to break in the brand new Stone Pony outdoor Summerstage and do it justice Jersey style. According to promoter Kyle Brendle, the new stage boast measurements of 40-feet long by 32 feet wide, with a 60 by 40-foot covering that can go over 100 feet up to accommodate any lighting needs. At night it’s nothing short of outdoor arena stature.
Southside commenced to give the crowd the150 percent that he always gives, blowing out two and a half hours of oldies and new tunes from a substantial repertoire. Classics like “Better Days” and “Broke Down Piece Of Man,” as well as new Jukes tune, “One More Night To Rock” met with raucous audience approval. An unusual version of “I Don’t Want To Go Home” done up reggae (the old hardcore fans didn’t seem to dig it) was surpassed only by “Hearts Of Stone” and of course last encore, “We’re Having A Party” performed with the guys from Outside The Box. Bobby Bandiera jumped into the fray, singing not one but two standards including, “Boom Boom Boom” and “Come On Caroline” and ripping it up on guitar.
Afterwards local boys Outside The Box took the stage and kept a sizeable crowd entertained till closing with multiple sets of sound. Outside The Box is a talented young band that has cut their teeth on everything from Motown and Stax, to the Jersey Sounds and beyond. They do their funky R&B thing well and are creating a pretty big buzz. I look forward to more original compositions from this latest Stone Pony “House Band” and hope they keep coming back with that style that’s made so many other rockers in New Jersey so relevant.
The Stone Pony and Live Nation are hitting home runs all summer long with big names like Snoop Dog and his crew on August 6 as well as upcoming shows by The Pretenders, Peter Frampton and The Black Crowes. Tune in for great Summerstage fun over at stoneponyonline.com.
The Dissimilar World Of Eclectica—SICA-LIVE! Long Branch—July 10
SICA is that cool little Long Branch organization that keeps bringing painters, poets, musicians, writers and sculptures together with their cross-pollination of action and freethinking. The vibe is cool and the friendly regulars welcome you like family. This particular Friday night was also interesting as it was hosted by our own Mike Black, photographer, musician and writer extraordinaire as he laid out a little bit of everything tonight with his show entitled “Eclectica.”
I like the smorgasbord approach as “Eclectica” intro’d a video by Erzebet Baerveldt entitled The Pietà (Italian for pity), a 14 minute film that portrays the artist struggle to rescue a body made of moist clay that is lying on a table and falling apart. Making reference to the Virgin Mary grieving over her son, Baerveldt labors over the inanimate figure, fighting against death. The 29-year-old New Yorker continues to draw media attention with her European vintage style.
After the film “Eclectica” shifted gears and brought up Neptune New Jersey’s Jesslyn Blue, a 20-year-old poetry pistol that tells it like it is with her honest style. Not being a huge spoken word guy, she had me taking notice right away with her jagged breathless rhythms, emotional delivery and disarming persona. Jesslyn laid out poems as honest as you could ever get, personal at times, the room was pin-drop-quiet as she poured her heart out from bits of paper notes. She finished up with the help of a friend in a kind of poetry duet if you will.
John Padovano was up next with his bluesy acoustic sound, blending harmonica melodies and sevenths, ninths and other blues-based shades to produce satisfying sounds and audience applause. Singer songwriter Tim Sussman from the band Someone Say Something finished up the eclectic night. artwork displayed from Jane Craven was also peppered throughout the rooms.
Black is a consummate host, mixing it up with his TheProfessor-meets-Andy Kaufman vibe, keeping people in their seats, in the building and entertained throughout the night. I have to admit, compared to the usual clubs I’m usually in, this was a welcome and refreshing change that I’ll come back to again.
The Shore Institute of the Contemporary Arts (SICA) is a non-profit corporation whose purpose is to establish a uniquely stimulating and creative environment in which to experience the contemporary arts. The primary goal of the center is to increase the general public’s accessibility, awareness and appreciation of the contemporary arts in central New Jersey. Go say hello at sica.org.