Posts Tagged ‘Asbury Park’

These songs are about mental health and queer struggles. Stand by your friends that are hurting. Harm reduction is the key to safety. Often pinned as a band that has a lot going on,” Teenage Halloween has crafted a sound rooted in abundance. Luke Henderik’s rare and universal lyrics, and the precise ear of engineer Evan Bernard, this newest collection of songs is full of surprises that humbly aims to redefine the modern DIY punk scene.  A joyous vibe of Replacements/Springsteen/The Hold Steady, but young, beautiful and a little punk. It’s short in that good way where you think ‘aaaww, already?’ when it’s over and silence takes over.

Predominantly a gay identifying band, the songs reflect this experience holistically with lyrics that grapple with vulnerability, community, extreme existentialism, mental illness, and gender euphoria. Accompanied by the band’s explosive energy, each song functions as a politically charged anthem. The album maintains constant energy, and that energy also celebrates the bravery of being a queer band. Further, the songs speak in narratives, making sure people are held accountable for their actions and in the same vein, given the opportunity to communicate that self-reflection.


The self-titled debut album Teenage Halloween was recorded by Bernard in Big Mama’s Recording Studio and will be released by Don Giovanni Records in September. Liberated and alive. You can really tell that they’ve developed their chemistry through hard work in the course of playing hundreds of live shows. I guess it’s just a matter of time now before Teenage Halloween are traveling the globe playing their inspiring songs to the appreciative weirdos, outcasts, and societal rejects of the free-thinking underworld. Exciting, hopeful music for challenging times.

The Band:

Luke Henderiks – guitar / vocals / lyrics / composition
Eli Frank – lead guitar / composition / production
Tricia Marshall- bass / vocals / keys
Brandon Hakim – saxophone
Peter Gargano- drums
Jane Lai – piano
Evan Bernard- tambourine / guitar

Released September 18th, 2020 Don Giovanni Records 2020


Bruce Springsteen hasn’t played a full-length concert in New Jersey since September 2012. That’s a long gap for him, and his most ardent fans have felt the lack,

He did show up at the Light of Day festival last year, though, and did so again this year, at the event’s main concert at the 1,600-seat Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, Saturday night. And, more so than at any of the previous annual festivals (he has appeared, unannounced though not unanticipated, at 11 of the 15 Parkinson’s disease research fundraisers), his set approximated the length and scope of one of his regular concerts.

He took the stage shortly before midnight, and stayed there for about an hour and 50 minutes. And that’s not counting his guest appearances earlier in the evening, with LaBamba’s Big Band and Willie Nile. All in all, he probably performed for about 2½ hours.

During his own set, he sang both classics (“Thunder Road,” “The Promised Land,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town”) and rarities (“Hearts of Stone,” “Save My Love,” “Frankie Fell in Love”). He opened with a tender solo acoustic version of “Janey, Don’t You Lose Heart,” but Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers backed him after that, and proved nearly as versatile as the E Street Band itself, excelling at everything from the brooding “Racing in the Street” to the upbeat, Chuck Berry-influenced “From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)” and scorching rock songs such as “Adam Raised a Cain” and “Because the Night.”

Springsteen worked the crowd like a gospel preacher during “Savin’ Up” (“When Jesus comes back, he’s gonna want to know how much you got in your love account, not your savings account!”), and he and Grushecky traded wry jokes on the Grushecky-written “Still Look Good (for 60).”

Festival founder and organizer Bob Benjamin, a rock artists’ manager who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, joined Springsteen onstage at 1:30 a.m. Springsteen, after expressing his admiration for how Benjamin has transformed Light of Day from a local event into a global one (there have been Light of Day shows in Canada, Europe and Australia), talked about what attracts him to festival, year after year. It’s the cause, of course (the shows have raised about $3 million), but also the “brotherhood and sisterhood” of the musicians – now, literally, hundreds of them – who volunteer their services, he said. He comes “to feel that thing,” he said, and told Benjamin that is “the gift that you give us every year.”

“See ya next year,” he said when the concert finally ended, at 1:40 a.m.

There have been more than 40 Light of Day events over the last 11 days, mostly in Asbury Park but also in Montclair, Burlington and New York. The Paramount show lasted more than seven hours, with band sets plus short acoustic sets (as the next band set up). Standout performers included Willie Nile, James Maddock, Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens (performing solo) and John Eddie. A nice bonus for fans of Jersey Shore rock was a reunion of Peter Scherer, Gordon Brown and Rob Tanico, who sang together in the Shore bands Mr. Reality, Highway 9 and Samhill, and played at the first Light of Day show, in 2000. They sang Mr. Reality’s “In My Yard” after Brown’s acoustic set with his current duo, Williams Honor.

LaBamba’s Big Band, the 20-piece group led by former Asbury Juke and current Conan O’Brien house band member Richie “LaBamba” Rosenberg, was the evening’s nominal headliner, though they were slotted before Grushecky, for obvious reasons. And they suffered from some bad luck. Gary U.S. Bonds, one of the vocalists who were planning to perform with them, was sick, and couldn’t make it. Southside Johnny, the other, was having some vocal problems, and sounded hoarser than usual. So they did the obvious thing, asking Springsteen to help them out, and the Boss obliged.

The high-spirited but sloppy results were in sharp contrast to the sustained intensity of the Grushecky set. Springsteen played guitar on the Joe Cocker signature song “The Letter”; Southside Johnny sang it, but his voice was really in bad shape at this point (it got better later). Springsteen took over lead vocals for “This Little Girl” (which he wrote for Bonds) after confessing he wasn’t sure he still remembered the words, and he and Southside Johnny dueted on “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher.” “It took two of us to (screw) that completely up,” Springsteen joked afterwards.

Another duet, “I Don’t Want to Go Home,” was more successful, though Southside Johnny felt the need to make one more self-deprecating comment at the end of the set. Springsteen came to the Paramount to see monster movies when he was growing up, Southside Johnny said, “and we’re seeing one now.”


Light of Day, Asbury Park17.01.2015
1. One Guitar (with Willie Nile)
3. This Little Girl is Mine (with Southside Johnny and La Bamba’s Big Band)
4. Higher and Higher (with Southside Johnny and La Bamba’s Big Band)
5. I Don’t Want To Go Home (with Southside Johnny and La Bamba’s Big Band)
6. Janey Don’t Lose Your Heart (solo acoustic)
7. Adam Raised A Cain (with Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers)
8. Savin’ Up (with Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers)
9. From Small Things (with Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers)
10. Joe Grushecky – Never Be Enough Time (with Bruce and The Houserockers)
11. Racing In The Streets ’78 (with Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers)
12. Pumping Iron (with Danny Clinch, Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers)
13. Darkness On The Edge of Town (with Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers)
14. Bruce and Joe Grushecky duet – I Still Look For 60 (with The Houserockers)
15. Frankie Fell In Love (with Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers)
16. Hearts of Stone (with Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers)
17. Save My Love (with Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers)
18. Bruce and Joe Grushecky duet – Talking To The King (with The Houserockers)
19. Because The Night (with Joe Grushecky, The Houserockers, Willie Nile, John Eddie and Garland Jeffreys)
20. Light of Day (with full stage)
21. Thunder Road (with full stage)
22. Promised Land (full stage)