HOBOKEN, NJ—March 5 was more than the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hoboken, it was also a day of great local music at Maxwell’s. As I walked down Washington Street past hordes of drunk people, I couldn’t help but notice all the fliers for the show. The doors were supposed to open at 8 p.m. but were pushed back to 8:30 p.m., delaying the start of the show. The lineup that night was full of talented bands: Cicada Radio opened, followed by Hands On The Stereo, Those Mockingbirds and, finally, The Nico Blues.
I didn’t check out Cicada Radio prior to the show because I wanted to see in person how they sounded. I immediately fell in love with the Jersey City post-rock band. Their set incorporated some instrumentals as well songs with lyrics. In between tunes, vocalist Pat Keefe told the crowd that bassist Chris D’Ambrosio would teach the dougie to those who didn’t know how to do it after the band’s set. This sparked the mostly drunk audience’s interest, as many of them shouted for D’Ambrosio to dougie on stage. Unfortunately, those requests were not fulfilled.
Once Cicada Radio was done, Hands On The Stereo began to set up. The band incorporated their older songs as well as some new ones, and a cover of Brand New’s “Seventy Times 7.” During their set they received a great response from their fans, especially vocalist Chris Cunha’s friends yelling his nickname over and over again. One thing I can say for certain about Hands On The Stereo, they never seem to disappoint with their performance and their energy.
Those Mockingbirds, the five piece, who aren’t unfamiliar to Maxwell’s, broke out some newer songs as well as crowd favorites such as “Honest, Honest,” “The Deer and the Derrick” and “The Chain.” Even after dealing with an unruly audience member, the band continued to put on one hell of a set. If you’ve never heard Those Mockingbirds before seeing them live, with their catchy lyrics, you’ll still end up singing along; even if it takes you until the next chorus or so.
And finally, The Nico Blues. The bluesy alternative band spent some time during the day promoting throughout Hoboken in a very interesting and unique way. Evan Campbell, who plays guitar and sings, was dressed up as Greenman, the faceless, full-body green suit-wearing ‘character’ from TV show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and walked around the streets of Hoboken carrying a sign that had information for the show on it.
That night was special for the band; they were starting to film a music video for their song, “Folk Song #2” and they also played some fresh songs. Some songs from their set included: “Three’s a Crowd,” “Unprofessional,” “Sinking Or Standing,” “Adjust Accordingly” and “Living Proof,” which the band has already released a music video for. They showed the versatility of the members when guitarist Reed Adler switched instruments with bassist Eric Goldberg. The Nico Blues’ album Blame The Boredom, Blame The Basements is available for free download on their website, thenicoblues.com.