Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Whole Bunch of Bands (Semiotics, ROMP, Dollys, Monterey, Deal Casino) Played The Court Tavern, 1/30/15 (PHOTOS)

Deal Casino closed out a friend-filled night at New Brunswick's Court Tavern

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"I'm impressed."

That was ROMP vocalist / keyboardist Madison Klarer's mom to me just after her daughter's band had finished their set and the last chants of "ROMP IS TIGHT!!" had died away. It's great to have supportive parents. Last night -- like a lot of nights I've experienced over the last couple of years -- showed that it's great to have a support system in general.

You could feel the network of support that each of the bands on last night's bill had built among each other. When bands weren't on stage, their members were front and center, pumping fists and singing along.

Semiotics, whose Banana Stand basement venue has given many bands a welcoming place to play, started things off. After interacting with them via social media for so long, it was nice to finally catch one of their sets. Monterey guitarist Matt DeBenedetti was right up front singing along with the band's wordy pop punk.

ROMP were next and commented a couple of times on how rare it was for them to be playing a "real venue" rather than a basement. The Court Tavern's sound system had them (and everyone else) sounding pretty good; and, while there was a little more room to move around, the vibe was pretty close to the basement where I'd seen them last weekend. Madison's mom was incredulous -- and impressed -- when I told her that things at Paradise Lost may have been a notch higher on the crazy scale.

Guitarist Lucas Dalakian shares a house and a side project with some of the members of Monterey; and, once again, the singalong section up front was heavy with members of other bands.

Dollys were back from kind of a mini hiatus, this time as a trio. Some of my favorite bands are trios, and Dollys' sound didn't suffer by being down a guitar. Guitarist Jeff Lane mentioned that The Court Tavern feels like home for the band.

When Monterey took the stage, Matt DeBenedetti commented, "You know it's been a good night when you don't have a voice for your own set." He and the rest of the band managed, though, getting reciprocal treatment from everyone they'd been supporting throughout the evening.

Finally, Deal Casino started their closing set just after 12. The Asbury Park band have just as many fans in New Brunswick it seems. I'm more amazed every time I see this band whip the crowd into a frenzy. Lead singer Joe P, as he introduced "Hurricane," said, "This song is about those times when a bunch of people stay to watch you at 1AM at The Court Tavern, because sometimes that's all you have."

I see it here in Asbury Park all the time, and last night I saw it in New Brunswick. Bands, friends, family out there for each other, supporting each other in what they're doing and having a genuinely fantastic time. Not just a great time at a good show, but a great time sharing the experience with their support system.

Here are some photo highlights. You can view, grab, whatever the rest in the Flickr galleries.

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