ASBURY PARK, NJ—As the clouds began to clear out on Sunday, May 18, the second day of this year’s Skate And Surf Festival perfectly closed out the weekend’s celebration in style. There was a sense of optimism that graced the Asbury Park oceanfront as bright skies shined over the festival grounds throughout the day.
Early on, there were many standalone bands that rocked the smaller stages including United Nations, who were one of the opening acts on the Aquarian North Stage. Fronted by former Thursday vocalist Geoff Rickly, United Nations were an intriguing band to follow over the years. From the mystery behind the origins of the group, along with the fact they’ve stirred up some controversy with the actual international United Nations organization, many fans flocked over immediately to check out their set. Overall, their performance was nothing short of amazing.
Seeing Rickly passionately give 110 percent on stage truly reflects the raw emotion that a band like United Nations brings to the table. Not only did Rickly announce that the group will be putting out a new record this summer, David Haik and Zac Sewell of Pianos Become The Teeth—who played on the Game Loud Stage later in the day—were also playing with this supergroup roster, which was also a treat.
By the time everyone started levitating closer toward the World Stage for Hidden In Plain View, Midtown were finally ready to play their second show of the weekend. Nostalgic fans raised their fists in the air and belted out every single word to beloved songs including “Like A Movie,” “Get It Together,” “Empty Like An Ocean” and ultimate send-off, “Just Rock And Roll.” For those who have been attending Skate And Surf since the very beginning, Midtown’s reunion was worth the 10-year wait.
Later on, Alkaline Trio pleased their Jersey faithful by playing through classic hits that definitely got the crowd warmed up. And as the sun finally went down, New Found Glory were ready to close out the night. Once they opened their set with “All Down From Here” and “Understatement,” the concrete-paved dance floor erupted in a matter of seconds.
While they played through a frenzied set with a variety of songs off their entire musical catalog, New Found Glory also played a good amount of singles from their album Catalyst, which was coincidentally released 10 years ago to the day. Audience members were even surprised with a hysterically unannounced on stage appearance by one random couple who were celebrating their marriage at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel. At that moment, you could tell that they were looking to have just as much fun as the crowd.
Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better way for Skate And Surf to end on an amazing note. The fact that the festivities took place this year at their old stomping grounds made everyone there feel like they were at home. After experiencing my first ever Skate And Surf this past month, I am looking forward to seeing what next year has in store.