(Photo by Jeff Crespi: jeffcrespirocks.com)

June 18, at The Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park, was the scene for Shadow Of The City Festival. If you recall a few weeks back I had written about the curator, Jack Antonoff (fun., Bleachers), and how he paid a visit to the area. This festival is very important to Jack, and it showed the day of show. There were many activities to showcase down in Asbury, including a dunk tank for charity, awesome merchandise, and a killer lineup. Many acts performed that day including BORNS, SHAMIR, the reunion of Steel Train, Carly Rae Jepsen, and The 1975. To say it was a fun day would be an understatement.

With perfect weather, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the night than outside. Although I got there later than desired, I was there in time to catch the later acts. I must admit, Carly Rae Jepsen really blew me away. I know many of you may just know her for “Call Me Maybe,” which of course is cool, too, however, there is so much more that she has to offer. She somewhat reminds me of a modern day Olivia Newton John with her new music. The crowd blared at the top of their lungs to her smash “I Really Like You,” and it left a huge smile on my face. She really knows how to work a crowd, and proved it that night. It was my first time seeing her live, and it will definitely not be my last.

Of course, the crowd was eager and ready to see The 1975 headline on the Summer Stage. It had been a minute since I had last seen them a few years back at Starland Ballroom, and they impressed me once again. I am just starting to get into their new album, and it definitely was a crowd pleaser. Their stage setup with lights and backdrop really had me engaged, as it kept me captivated throughout their performance. The fans also wanted the hits, and they naturally delivered.

I love Shadow Of The City Festival and everything it stands for. I had the pleasure to chat with Jack backstage, and I said, “Hey Jack, are you happy?” He replied, “I am happier than ever.” I can’t forget to shout out Frank Iero as well, who performed on the day. He promised me he will be back in the area VERY soon, and I know that will make myself and many others happy. If you’ve never met Frank, his musical abilities are insane, but he is equally as polite and kind. Each and every time I see him, he is more excited than he was the last. Talk about a man who appreciates his career!

Overall, Shadow Of The City Festival was a great day, and I can’t wait for the next one. I also enjoyed running into a lot of old friends, coworkers, and seeing many familiar music lovers in the crowd. Big congrats to Jack and the team for pulling off another successful and meaningful day down in Asbury Park. Cheers!

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