Out and About - June 2019
Sum! Sum! Summertime!! It’s finally here, and music is everywhere!! Please get out there and enjoy it! Also, don’t forget to still get out and support the bands in the venues. Check out all the schedules in this issue, I’m sure you’ll find something like you like.
The first big show I made it to last month was Warrant at XL Live. XL snagged Warrant on their way to M3 so all of us could see a super cool show up close and personal. XL Live is a great venue for National bands to stop and make a pit stop between shows. Time Bomb was the first opener of the night, and they put on one heck of a show. It’s sad to say it was my first time seeing them with their newest line-up with Dave Grim on vocals and Randy Groff on drums. They’ve both actually been part of the band for a while. Dave really rocks the 80’s metal hits. He also seems to be always singing with a smile on his face. All of the guys in Time Bomb have amazing stage presence and they rock the stage from the 1st note to the very last.
The next opener was Every Mother’s Nightmare, from Nashville, TN. They have also been playing music since the 80s even when it wasn’t “normal” they didn’t give up, they just kept rockin’! Their songs definitely confirm that they are definitely a bunch of rebels, rockin’ the world, one stage at a time. It was cool to talk to some of their fans and see some even brought old albums for them to sign. It was nice to see an opening band all head to the merch table after their set and meet their fans. So many bands just scatter and you never have an opportunity to say hi or personally get to meet them. Even local bands should head to their merch table during breaks. If fans really want to see you and talk to you, they know where to find you, and that way no one can get upset if you don’t make it to them to say Hi, they can just come say hi to you instead. Just my opinion.
The long anticipated Warrant took the stage next. I watched them rock the stage for a few songs, but since Michele and Chris were also there I decided to spread the love and head down to Chick’s for Calling Off Doug. You can read all about Warrant’s show in Michele Kelley’s article in this issue and I’m sure Chris posted plenty of amazing Warrant pics on his Chris Rider Photography page, and maybe some even made this issue. People don’t understand why I don’t spend more time covering the “National” acts.. and taking advantage of big concerts, but I just always say if you supported music the way I do, you would completely understand. I’m not one to just sit in a seat, or squeeze myself in amongst a zillion sweaty grumpy people, I like to dance, party and have a good time. Trust me, I know my dancing sucks, but as long as I’m having fun I’ve learned to not care what other people think.
When I got to Chick’s Calling Off Doug was in full rock mode, entertaining the masses. I ran into a few of my old SOS dancing partners and got them out dancing and I also ran into Jenifer Rose, who is usually standing behind the mic with her band The AfterParty or the Uptown Band. It was awesome to let loose and just have a good time. Calling Off Doug is a rare party band out in this scene. There aren’t many bands still playing all of your modern dance party favorites. These guys and gal are always keeping up with the times, learning new songs, and keeping people on the dance floor. Don’t get me wrong, they still play a lot of your 80s favorites, but they mix it in with enough modern songs to prove that they are continually learning new songs and adding to their show. If you want a great night of dancing and having a good time, check out Calling Off Doug’s schedule in this issue.
Next up was a trip to Blarney’s to LeadFoot. Once again we were enjoying M3 style music without having to fight thru the crowd. LeadFoot rocks the stage with all of your favorite 80s Metal. Russ has crazy amazing vocals mixed in with just as crazy stage presence to always make sure every LadFoot show is a great one. Usually Kip backs him up on vocals, but he unfortunately lost his voice before the show, but the good news, he could still play that bass! They also had a blast from the past with Terry White filling in on guitar for the night. It’s awesome that Terry was able to step up and help them out. LeadFoot will be opening for the Complete Black Sabbath Experience on Saturday, June 1st at XL Live. Get all the details in XL Live’s schedule in this issue.
This was a busy month of adventure. I spent Mother’s Day weekend with my mom and sister, and Josh spoiled us with a guided canoe/kayak ride down Sherman’s creek. I love spending time with family, but that also means I miss out on all of my band fun. My next adventure made up for missing band fun because I went to Seaside Heights on the Jersey Shore for the 2019 Jersey Shore Music Festival. The festival was celebrating it’s 13th year! I can’t believe I haven’t checked this amazing event before. It was the beach, bands, and friends! Anyone that knows me, knows I was in heaven.
My adventure started a night early because I headed down to Philly to pick up my MMC friend CK who flew down from Boston. We met at a hotel and had a night of adventure on the streets of Philly. Even though I delivered the streets of Philly for years, I never really took the time to stick around for the tourism/nightlife. CK and I enlisted the help of our Philly native friend Brian Cronin to show us around town. Thanks to the suggestion of our Nationals writer Eric Hoffman we headed over to Milkboy for the Blac Rabbits. The main guys were originally buskers that made it on to the Ellen show, and they’ve been rockin’ the US ever since. It was an awesome little show, they are known for their Beatles covers, and even their original music had a Beatles feel to them. After listening to their set we adventured out on the streets, thanks to our hand drawn map from Brian and listened for music. I was thrilled to see how many places had karaoke, open mics, etc. It seemed like music was everywhere. After our long day of work and travel we stopped to relax at Time an awesome little bar/restaurant that had some smooth jazz music coming from inside. We met the keyboard player Anam who was fabulous, but I unfortunately didn’t meet the other amazing musicians, sax, drums, guitar, etc.. people were switching out and just having an awesome night of jazz. After some chill time we headed back to our hotel which was AMAZING, it was the Marriott Downtown, directly across the street from Congress Hall. Before we hit the road, we stopped in to peak at the Liberty Bell, which was a first for me. I couldn’t believe the line of people to actually go inside and see it, so I just looked in the window and then we zoomed to Jersey!
They started the festival off with a Roundtable event where everyone had 60 seconds to introduce themselves. I thought it was a cool way to start off a festival. I went there flying blind, I didn’t really know who I was going to see so it was a cool way to get to know some of the people at the festival. The Roudtable was at our motel, the Hersey Motel. It was a great little motel, I can’t believe I haven’t noticed it sooner. It has an amazing pool and a lounge and we had 4 ladies in our room and we had plenty of space to sleep and hang out. Yeah, there was only a common balcony, but when you are at a festival like this it was nice, especially when everyone was out partying together til the wee hours of the morning anyway.
Our first band of the festival was Nearly York out of Lancaster. They were playing at the Bamboo Bar. I missed them when they played at the Annville Theatre and I heard they were good, so I thought I’d check them out. Crazy that I had to go the whole way to Jersey to see them, but I’m glad I did. They were a great band and they had me excited from the beginning. All festivals I’ve been to have such top notch musicians, I knew I was in for a treat all weekend long. I found out that Nearly York has a gig coming up at the Union House and other venues in the area, and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for them, and you should too!
Next we headed to Aztec for The Kid & The Curse from Seaside Heights. I met their drummer Carlito at the Roudtable event, and how could I resist. He is definitely a DIY musician. He was even handing out and hanging up flyers that he drew by hand, each one was different, he didn’t just draw one and copy it, talk about dedication to your craft! The music was as good as the flyers. For only having a drummer and guitar player they definitely rocked. I’ve been to the Aztec on beach trips before but that was my first time seeing a live band on their stage. It’s a great bar and they have $2 Miller Lites all day everyday! Plus they are right on the boardwalk! After their show we decided to jump in the Sky Ride that goes along the boardwalk and the ocean and make a pit stop at our room. We unfortunately lost one party animal to an early bedtime, but the rest of crazy girls kept going…
On our way out of our room we heard some cool sounds coming from Hooks across the street and we wound up catching the Josh Christina Band from Baltimore, MD. Josh played some crazy amazing keys that of course drew my ear right in! They were a cool and upbeat band that kept us entertained. Josh just released an original called “Lets Get Woke” and that’s exactly what we needed, a little wake up to get us motivated to keep moving! Hooks also had life size PacMan and competitive basketball which were tons of fun too!
After some competitive fun we continued our adventure down to EJ’s Tap House, which is definitely a rock venue. Even earlier in the day before bands started at EJ’s they were already playing rock music on the radio and we knew we were gonna like that place! We made it there in time for The Inversion Circus from Red Bank, NJ. The Inversion Circus didn’t have a vocalist, but they definitely had musicians that could play! They played a rock/jazz infusion that was thoroughly entertaining! I was glad they at least introduced each song and told us about the meaning behind writing them, because it really helped connect you to each piece. Their bass played Chris not only played his regular bass, but also switched to some form of a stand up bass. It was pretty cool and very different.
We stayed at EJ’s for the duration of the night and we also caught Pralaya from New York, NY. These guys definitely kept the place rockin with their alternative rock madness. Their energy was insane and they had a great sound. Empire Fallen from Belleville, NJ took the stage next. Even though they were the biggest band of the night with 5 members they didn’t let that stop them. They were all over that little stage with enough energy for everyone in the room. In March they just released their new album “Knife Party” you can check it out online. Empire Fallen also get a reward for being one of the only bands to follow up with me after the Festival.
The last band of the night was Autopilot. I’ve seen these guys the last two years at the Millennium Music Conference, and they never disappoint. They come all the way down from Saskatchewan, Canada so if they are willing to travel so far, I am willing to make it to their show. They’ve come down the last few years to the Jersey Shore Festival so it was cool to see how they’ve already developed a fan base in the area. Since they released their album “Afterglow” last year they’ve really been gaining momentum across the US at many different radio stations. They tour about four months out of the year, and they are willing to travel anywhere people are willing to listen. After their show we headed back to the motel and just hung out and had a great time.
The next morning was a little rough, so we decided to head out to the beach and take a recovery nap. When we woke up the festival was in full swing, we had kites of all shapes and sizes flying above us and the booths were all lining the boardwalk with tons of vendors to check out. We walked the boardwalk and saw a group of guys that were obvious a band… Here it was Wild Planes. I met these guys at our MMC Booth and they’ve played on our Acoustic Stage, and of course they remembered me because of Fireball! They invited us to their show later that day, but first we needed food. Even though there were awesome food trucks set up we wound up finding a nice spot to sit and enjoy a delicious lunch.
After lunch we headed back to the room to get ready for more adventures and right at our Motel they also had a stage, so from our balcony we were able to enjoy Kjersti Long from Annandale, NJ. After she belted out Barracuda she then told us that she’s 12 years old! WOW! What a voice. She had a band backing her up along with 3 backup singers. The next band was supposed to be The Dirtee Blondes, unfortunately most of the band couldn’t make it, but the one guy that did still said the show must go on, so he went up on the stage with just his guitar, little amp, and a microphone. He was a little awkward without the rest of his band, but ya gotta love the kid’s determination.
We headed back up to the Boardwalk and checked out the free Monster Truck Rides. The Jersey Shore Festival literally had entertainment for everyone. Then we heard music coming from EJ’s that sounded intriguing so we bopped in for a few songs from Another Day’s Armor from New York, NY. These guys had a total rock look from their hair to their outfits. One guitar player definitely looked like Nikki Sixx, they had a super cool sound and they were well worth stopping in to hear. Then we headed back to Aztec for Odette/Odile, no offense but they are a perfect example of different strokes, for different folks. They were pretty much just dancers dancing to a track that she operated with her watch. It was different and they definitely had a good crowd so they know how to intrigue people with their outfits and promotion. Next we headed to Grant Ave. that was completely shut down and hosted the main stage, food trucks, and Hell On Wheels BMX Stunt bikers. I listened to Vextion from Farmingdale, NJ. They had a female lead singer that not only had a voice that could just soar she was also an insane guitar player having no problems keeping up with the guys in her band or throughout the conference. Next we headed up to Jimbo’s for The Random Hubiak. I’ve seen him at the MMC too, but it was cool to see him playing in his full rockin’ element. After The Random Hubiak it was time to head back to the main stage for another show for Autopilot. That was my first time seeing them on a big stage where they could really move. It was a gorgeous day and Autopilot looked amazing up there on the huge main stage. After Autopilot I enjoyed watching some of the Hell on Wheels BMX Stunts. Reminded me of the old days of sitting and drooling over my big brother’s cool friends! Ha!! For those that don’t already know Josh still does the fancy BMX Tricks. I’ll never forget watching him pull off his own Superman and Can-Can in our backyard. You think he would learn that he’s not a spring chicken anymore, but he loves flying through the air!
Speaking of flying through the air, the next band was the band we met on the boardwalk, Wild Planes from New City, NY playing at Jimbo’s. Jimbo’s might not have been the best venue for the bands, they really didn’t have a lot of space and they had Cheesesteak steam blowing on them from the grill.. but they didn’t let that stop them the Wild Planes were there to party! Honestly even though I love all bands, they were my favorite of the festival. Their original music is hilarious and catchy. They want to party and make sure everyone is having a good time! Their harmonies are crazy. I can’t imagine seeing them on a stage where they can actually move! I would absolutely love to see them playing down here in the Harrisburg area. Hopefully I can find a club that’s willing to take the risk.
Believe it or not the night still wasn’t over. As a matter of fact it was only like 9pm! After re-grouping at the room we went back to EJ’s, one band I did really want to see was Revel 9 from from Long Beach, NY. Their lead singer DJ, I met years ago playing with a band called Gee Davey. Even tho he had new band mates and a new band name, he still knows how to rock! I’m glad I finally got a chance to ‘revel in it’. I really wanted to see the next band, Know Your Enemy from Somerville, NJ, but unfortunately the venue was running behind and I had another band to go see. Know Your Enemy was the only band that personally contacted me before the festival and invited me out to their show. The intrigued me with video links and everything, but unfortunately my schedule didn’t line up.
Ironically enough the next band I went to see is called Running Late from Madison, NJ. They are another band that has graced our MMC Acoustic Stage a few times, but I never got the chance to see them play live. When I saw their name on the schedule I knew I wanted to finally get to their show. Running Late definitely didn’t disappoint. They are a Pop/Rock Alternative band. Their music is tons of fun from the beginning to the end! They recently picked up Lauren on lead vocals who is phenomenal and also a Tre who is a keyboard player; Mix that in with their already amazing line up of Noah on guitar and vocals, Mike on bass, John on Sax and Ori on drums, and it is one heck of a party!! There aren’t many 6 person bands out there so it’s amazing to hear the music they can create. I’m so glad I got a chance to catch them live and in action!
The very last band of the festival was Funeral Students. Their drummer left them right before the show, but they didn’t let that stop them. They all brought their acoustic instruments and made the most of the show. Their vocals were amazing and I’m sure they could be heard even better acoustically. I’m not really sure how I was still awake at this point, but somehow my senses made it through and I enjoyed every minute! I’m extremely thankful to Indian and the rest of his crew for inviting me down and putting together such an awesome festival! We really did truly have a blast all weekend long.
I’m crazy busy the month of June too with my cousin Patti graduating from High School, and my Daddy’s birthday Bash!!! Mixed in with Father’s Day. Hard to believe Whitey the Mighty is another year older. I love spending time with family and friends, but I do get out to see more music every chance I get. I will be starting things off right with the DAM Party, May 31st and June 1st. If you missed the details in last month’s issue check it out at DamParty.net. If you see me Out and About please stop me and say Hi! I love meeting new people out supporting local music!! Get out there and enjoy the scene, you’ll be glad you did!