Maria’s Local Radar: A Day With Jack Antonoff

Some work days are better than others, in every field, and I recently got to experience a great day on the job. April 19, the subject of the day was two words: Jack Antonoff. I am sure many of you know him from his various projects including fun., Bleachers, Steel Train, and of course his Grammy Award-winning efforts on Taylor Swift’s most recent album, 1989. Wearing many hats, he recently added another one to the pile with his very own music and arts festival: Shadow Of The City.

Taking place at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, this year he is taking on the Jersey Shore (no pun intended) down in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, on Saturday, June 18. With the excitement all around the state and community becoming contagious, Jack—a born and raised New Jersey native—wanted to come down and scope out some of the participating local businesses and festival site grounds. Jack’s “big day off,” as I like to call it, turned into a complete success, beyond expectations. To say he is a cool dude is an understatement, so let me get into detail.

Jack started off his day at Broad Street Dough Company in Oakhurst, New Jersey. First off, if you haven’t been to this place, you are really missing out. They have some of the best treats in New Jersey, even catered to people like myself who have many food allergies. Jack got behind the counter and helped make some treats, including his very own “ShaDOUGH Of The City” doughnut for everyone to try. He really enjoyed his day there, giving them a shout-out on Twitter. Next, he went down to the festival grounds to check out the site, do some interviews with press and radio, and really just hang out in the place he most loves, New Jersey.

One of the highlights of the day was Jack coming to Monmouth University in West Long Branch to hang with the students. He started off with a radio interview on WMCX, with three amazing chicks that call themselves “Babez In Boyland,” even making him an honorary member for the day with his very own T-shirt.

After doing a few more interviews with local press outlets, he took the time to teach a Mass Communications class, filled with students on the edges of their seats. I was so impressed with how he handled the room; having each student tell him what they wanted to do once they graduated, and taking the time to give them legitimate, well-informed advice. After all, Jack has done so much in the music industry, he has a lot of knowledge to share. Many people could have just showed up and said hi, but he sat in front of the classroom and really created a wonderful environment and experience for the students trying to get their foot in the door of a sometimes defeating industry. I left with a smile on my face, and so did 40 other kids.

I cannot wait for Shadow Of The City Festival in Seaside Heights on Saturday, June 18, featuring The 1975, Carly Rae Jepsen, Frnkiero AndThe Cellabration, Borns, Steel Train, and many more. Come hang with Jack and the gang, I promise it will be a great experience for the state of New Jersey!