Shoreworld: Status Green – The Party Is Officially Over; Farewell Show At Asbury Lanes Aug. 10

I went to the Status Green website to read some information needed for this article, and on their page was the upcoming show schedule. It simply said, “Friday, August 10, 2012—Final Farewell Show.” That’s all there was. After a whirlwind career that started in 2005, Status Green were calling it a day.

Take it from one who knows. Being in a band is a glorious and frustrating conundrum. It’s a constant mix of elation, satisfaction, frustration, depression, exasperation, humiliation and quality of life contemplation. It’s the bleeding of passion, the pouring out of emotion, and the super human act of injecting a crowd with excitement and sensation.

Never mind the constant years of equipment purchases and exasperated parents who yell, “You should have something to fall back on moron!” Even after all this, fledgling rockers still manage to fly out of the garage and onto stages that are vast and historically important. Who remembers that very first time stepping on stages at clubs such as The Stone Pony, CBGB’s, The Bitter End, The Mercury Lounge, and so many other famous rooms? I do, and so does every other musician that’s part of the American music scene, past and present.

It’s like you’ve finally been initiated into the most exclusive society in the world. And in many ways, you are. And while the romantic illusion will eventually shatter, at that very moment, you’re part of something grand. You stand exactly where John Lennon or Neil Young has stood, where Sid Vicious may have smashed a bottle over his head, and where once upon a time, Kurt Cobain may have contemplated future scenarios of happy, musical experimentation.

That’s what makes all the rough times temporarily inconsequential. The good, while short-lived, still outweighs all when you’re in the musical moment. And as it is with most bands that become popular, that journey can seem like it’s never going to end.

But eventually, no matter what the case may be, if you don’t get over that “next level” hurdle, there’s nowhere to go. It’s a dead end without a warning. The roadblocks of everyday life (house, job, marriage, babies, and new mini-vans) compound with the poison-laced politics of an industry as faithful and reliable as Judas Iscariot. The never-ending carrot on a stick dangles from the moment you wake till you pass out in your shitty apartment, where visions of record contracts dance in your head. But usually, somewhere deep inside, you know the odds are against you.

Status Green are a Monmouth County band that is well-versed in my above descriptions of the musical life. One of the most popular units in the Tri-State Area, Status Green burst onto the scene back in the heady scene days, and were immediately popular with their Isley Brothers meets Rick Springfield pop sound. Songwriter Lou Montesano’s compositional style paid more attention to the immediate jocularity of everyday life than to what might be considered cool or hip. He never thought about what others might think, and that’s actually what made it cool.

The band released three CDs, including their 2006 debut, Greatest Hits. Even though that title was an inside joke, it was also a fitting title for a band that was packing 800 kids into local venues as well as gaining enough notoriety to get an opening slot for Bon Jovi at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

But aside from all of that, Status Green are a band that made the music scene take stock of its motives. Their carefree attitude helped dilute the serious “too cool for school” mentality, and put the self-expressive action of being part of something great back into the scene. Sure, the parties lasted till six in the morning, but so did the core feeling of a community united. If just for a second, there was a feeling of winning for the folks that play the music that bring the people to the clubs.

They helped keep all of that moving in a town that had largely forgotten that the bands were the core reason that kept people coming around during troubling economic times. A time before New Jersey’s “music city” elite turned their back on locals that didn’t serve their message of “Jersey Shore sound” commerce or match the new image of swanky, overblown eateries, Rockefeller-priced condos and parking meter treachery that would make even the most abrasive Benny scratch his head in confusion.

Eventually you figure out that no matter what impact you may have, you can’t do it alone. The band played their last show on Aug. 10 at the Asbury Lanes. It was a fitting venture as the Lanes seems to stand far apart from the goings on in the rest of the town, as does Status Green. The Lanes usually ultra-hip gaggle was replaced by the Status Green faithful, who came from as far as New York to help sell out the room.

The band charges non-stop through everything from their three distinct discs including memorable solid gold such as “Firebomb,” Diana,” “C’mon, C’mon,” “Heaven I think,” and “Juggling Knives.” They also previewed a comical half time video about the band and their cumulative escapades. It’s a crime to sum up the many great songs this band has in this short paragraph, but it would take several pages to go into the specifics of all of their infectious music and explain how this band came up with the chemistry that made them an anomaly in New Jersey. Maybe there was no chemistry, maybe it was just as it should be. Perhaps it was just about being there at the right place at the right time.

The word through the grapevine is that the individual members will go on, forming new bonds and reinventing individual styles as they push forward into unfamiliar territory. As I was watching my friends on stage, I couldn’t help but think what a waste it was to break up a band of this caliber, but I also understand that when it’s you up there and you wrote those songs that you play night after night with hard earned and minimalistic success, that when it’s over, it’s just over. Eventually, every band that’s had enough of oppositional forces dogging them faces this kind of choice.

I spoke to Montesano over the phone and he just really wanted to show appreciation when he said, “We really just want to thank everyone who’s supported Status Green over the years. Our fans have been unbelievable. Most importantly, we thank our families who put up with our dreams. It’s been a pretty wild ride. The consistent ups and downs of the music business, the lifelong friendships we’ve made and the many interesting journeys we’ve experienced will remain with us forever. Most of all we’re happy that the music has had a positive impact on us and the people who enjoyed it. It’s all we could have asked for. Each one of us hopes to see everyone again somewhere down the road.”

Status Green are one of those naturally superb bands that will be sorely missed. Moreover, judging by the sold out crowd that came to see them, I think everyone would agree with me that it would be great if they said this was just a late April fool’s joke.

The Shoreworld offers Status Green tidings of good luck, and we hope to see them back in some evolutionary form real soon. I mean, seriously, I would love to know that a Greatest Hits Volume II might be out there somewhere, floating in a tequila and kung fu haze of firebombs and juggling knives. In the meantime, reach out to the boys on Facebook or grab their discs over at