After spending the afternoon at the shore with my parents and buying my mother a new Nintendo 3DS so she can play Animal Crossing: New Leaf, I went up to Asbury Park to check out an awesome gig at Asbury Lanes. I thought that venue was closing? Whatever happened with that? This was a great gig and I saw three excellent bands.
Driving into Asbury Park got a bit complicated. I came down the main road through the city like I always do and was suddenly diverted around a detour. After going a few minutes out of my way, I noticed there looked to be some kind of, uh, incident in front of a dance club and some huge show going on at The Stone Pony, which is one of the biggest shitholes I have ever been to way too many times. A lot of people were going in and out of the club. I parked and heard this horrendous mix of ska and reggae coming out out these obnoxious speakers outside of the club. Who thinks that is acceptable? If you do, you’re an asshole.
I get out of my truck, send a txt off to a friend letting them know I got there and hear my name shouted. I turn around and it is this dude I went to college with about 15 years ago. Turns out Pennywise (lol) and Sublime (LOL) are playing at The Stone Pony. Isn’t the guy from Sublime dead? Well, this dude is there for that and wonders why I was around. I told him there was a gig at The Lanes and he was totally amazed I was still into “that stuff.” He was mega psyched on Pennywise. Hilarious.
Despite these delays, I got to the gig just as Give were setting up. I said hello to a few people and snuck over to the side of the stage so I had to a good place to watch the bands. Give were phenomenal. I have seen them a few times but this was, by far, the best time. They played a mix of old and new songs and some songs sounded a lot better in a live setting than on record. I did try to take a few pictures, but the members of Give are constantly moving around and I had great difficulties getting good focus.
I have missed Omegas when they played in the area a few times, so it was good to finally see them. Their Blasts Of Lunacy album is one of my favorites. Omegas did not disappoint and played a crushing set, tearing through songs from all of their records. The crowd went off a bit, although not as much as I was expecting. I have a feeling Omegas get a bit of a varied reaction depending on who they play with. A really funny moment happened near the end of their set: The singer asked the crowd if they liked Social Distortion. Maybe two people clapped of course because that band sucks! They then blasted into a Necros cover. Nice. I picked up a shirt at the end of the night.
I did not know a lot about Night Birds before this gig, but the show was a record release for their new LP on Grave Mistake Records. Night Birds were pretty impressive. I think an obvious influence on them is the Dead Kennedys, but other 82 hardcore influences are blended through their music. The local crowd was really into them and some Pennywise jokes were abound. I am going to definitely look into their two albums and other materials.
Sometime during the evening, word broke that George Zimmerman had been acquitted of his racist execution of Trayvon Martin. I spent a lot of time between bands txting and tweeting with friends, some of whom were extremely upset. I have little, weeks later, productive, still, to say about this, so I will leave it to other people. I drove home in silence down 195 and spent the 45 minute drive home thinking. When I got home, I spent some time online talking to a few friends to make sure they were okay, plus a few of my students, who looked to me for something thoughtful. I had nothing. I literally fucking had nothing.