Locals, we meet again. I hope you are all enjoying this warm weather and getting excited for summer! There are a few shows in our backyard that I cannot wait for, including Toothgrinder with Whitechapel at Asbury Lanes in mid-May and two nights of The Gaslight Anthem at The Stone Pony Memorial Day weekend! The Shore will be bumping! The past few weeks we have been getting a ton of feedback on the Local Radar, including bands like Kid Felix and Empire Escorts. This week I am going to do something I have only done a few times: dedicate my article to a solo artist. Now, I can only imagine how tough it must be at times to be up on that stage as a one-man band, for I even get somewhat apprehensive when I have to introduce bands (I don’t like when the spotlight is on me). That said, there is a complete flip side in that flying solo gives you the chance to unwind. You don’t have a whole band playing alongside, so if you want to try something unusual, play something denser, be impulsive throughout your performance, you don’t have a bassist and drummer gawking at you, white in the face, vomit in the stomach, trying to figure out what the hell you are doing up there. However, I have found someone that has all of this come naturally to him. As a solo artist, one may find themselves asking the age-old question, “Who am I?” Many can answer that question, and those are the ones on the paved road to a very firm, eventful, interesting musical career. I indeed have found an artist that exemplifies that statement in every shape and form in Monroe Township’s Lance Green.
I first met Lance back at The Break Contest for Bamboozle a few months ago, and I instantly fell in love with his sound. This year it took place in a very large room at the Encore Events Center in Freehold. I must say, having judged and coached a bunch of these contests, I always find tons of local talent being showcased that I never heard of before, leaving me with a healthy knowledge of how much young talent there actually is out there. Plus, I always have a newfound respect for people who compete, for they are earning their success, sometimes learning the hard way, getting knocked down before they will eventually get back up again in their music careers. Anyway, he owned that stage, as if a full orchestra was behind him, and even taking on a cover beyond his time. He took advantage of playing down a bit, focusing on a large area of space with a sincere melody and tone. I found that out of all of the acts, this bit really made people stop and listen, as well as truly appreciate his music and performance. What makes him really stand out is, behind the cute-boy looks, lies something much more substantial. His voice and the way he plays the guitar are so great. His light wispiness and frequent head voice prove his reasons for becoming a star. In addition, Lance has incredible talent as a songwriter, incorporating a new, mature depth and substance to his songs. The lyrics are a reflection of what, I believe, a lot of us are feeling. It seems as if, out of the three original songs I heard him play, they are portrayed about situations in his life. Lance’s lyrics are so enthralling and when he sings them, his sincerity is honest. His voice is truly enchanting, which can give me the chills.
Lance’s track “Seamless” is the work of an artist approaching the peak of his powers, and rates as a release in the league of his older peers. He creates a snappish, clear sound with every note he plays, regardless of how fast it may be. The other two tracks available on his Facebook page are just as compelling as well, so be sure to check them all out when you get a chance. There aren’t a lot of artists out there today doing what Lance is doing, mainly because many of them don’t have the talent and performance ability to hold their own on a stage. I honestly mean this when I say he has so much talent, and I feel he will be around the music business for many years to come if he chooses to pursue this career. He took the time to talk to the judges, shake hands, talk to fans, and even stuck around for the rest of the event, as he was playing early on in the day. You may not think that kids with serious Mohawks and pierced lips would be into this kind of thing, no stereotyping by any means, but it was cool to see fans of all genres rocking out to Lance. He seemed very humbled by the whole experience, and if I could give any advice to musicians, in bands or solo acts, it’s to always be grounded, and you can’t go wrong.
I cannot wait to see Lance perform again, hopefully in a lounge or small setting so that I can truly enjoy his work. Playing the lesser capacity venues will give you a better chance of playing in front of people that actually listen, making it a lot easier to engage the audience. If you are unfamiliar with Lance, be sure to check out his music on his Facebook page and try to find a show that he is playing near you. The future is bright for this young star, and I hope one day I can look back and say I helped support his big break. Let us just say the future is “green.” Maybe Lance will inspire you to open your eyes and ears to some young solo acts and artists who truly are compacted with undeniable talent. I will be back next week with some more New Jersey talent, and in the meantime, if you know of any bands or acts that you would like to see me spotlight here, be sure to send some love my way! After all, our voices combined will be heard when supporting the scene; we cannot do it alone! Enjoy the rest of your week, my friends, and get out to some shows, for the seats aren’t going to fill themselves! Rock and roll!