Subcommittee @ Stanhope House

STANHOPE, NJ—The legendary Stanhope House’s explosive reopening party was fueled by the highly anticipated reunion show of area and club favorite Subcommittee. The band took the stage after an 1892 American flag was hung as the permanent backdrop for the newly renovated stage. The sold-out performance shook everything from the floor to the rafters for almost four hours.

Three years ago the band took a self-imposed hiatus due to growing families, kids and other projects. Although the band stopped playing, the friendship between Bo Bailey (guitar/keys), Doug Pearsall (bass), John Scherer (drums), Shannon Woods (guitar) and Alex Zox (saxophone) continued. Not long ago the guys started thinking about how many unrecorded songs they have, so they decided to do some recording. Things felt good and soon thoughts turned to playing live again. The reopening of The Stanhope House, the band’s home base, seemed to be the perfect time for the re-launch of Subcommittee.

Three-hundred or so long-time fans and supporters were treated to an especially energetic three set show that began with “Singing Blake Through Chinatown.” Singer Bo Bailey’s dynamic performance started at level 10 and only increased from there. Bailey and the rest of the band showed no signs of a split. The first set included “To the Bottom,” new song “Move On” and “Sound Check.” “Turner” had the crowd dancing and the floor bouncing. Shannon Wood’s vocals on “My Confession” offered a fitting contrast to Bailey’s amped singing. Where “Turner” had the crowd dancing, the electrifying “Big Bang” had them jumping with everyone singing along. The set ended with “Mango.”

The second set began with the sly and smoky “Walking Down a City Street” and continued with the rarely played “Factotum,” “New Bounce” and the new was the fun “Cesar Was A Monkey” sung by Alex Zox. The instrumental “Haitian Lady” was followed by “Missing One” and “Junco” which elevated the dance level yet again. Woods’ guitar skills were showcased in “What Goes Wrong” and the set ended with The Rolling Stones’ “Miss You.” Set three started with new song “Inside” and was followed by “Warrior Up Above” and “Machito.” Also included were rarities and fan-favorites “Phur-Phur” and “Midgets.”

Subcommittee played as if that hadn’t lost any time on the stage. The band is known for their electric performances and party atmosphere but this show was particularly full of what Bailey termed as “concentrated energy.” Front row ladies danced with each other and showed off moves honed at countless shows past while the guys moved with their own version of what they saw. With crutches leaning behind him against the wall, drummer John Scherer played with intensity and a broken big toe. A cinder block fell on his foot three days prior to the show but the injury seemed to have no effect on the power of his drumming. There was no doubt about the fun Subcommittee had on the stage that night and no doubt that it will go on.