Tuesday, January 20, 2015

We're Ghosts Now, Des and The Swagmatics, Morningside Lane Played Happy Mondays, 1/19/15 (PHOTOS)

Bergen County's Morningside Lane kicked off a fine Happy Monday last night.

Healthy, Holiday, Happy Monday

I know it's not always thrilling when I write about dad problems here. Hey. That's the brand, man. "Dad" is right there in the title.

Anyway, both cooldaughters have been laid low all weekend by some bug that causes sore throats, fevers, lots of dramatic acting. CoolDaughter 2 is on the mend and at school this morning, while CoolDaughter 1 continues to suffer in front of the TV today.

I had to get out of the house last night. As luck would have it, it was a Monday night and The Wonder Bar had a particularly strong Happy Monday on tap.

Bergen County's Morningside Lane started playing their awesomely Jersey brand of rock and roll to a relatively sparsely populated floor in front of the stage. By the end of their set, though, people had crept up front. The band engaged the crowd throughout their set, even employing Jeff Crespi as a human mic stand for part of one song. They passed out freshly-burned CDs containing both of their Pete Steinkopf-produced EPs as well as an earlier collection.

Morningside Lane gave way to Asbury's Des and The Swagmatics. The band burned up The Wonder Bar with an abundance of positive energy. Their performance of "Sunny Side" was just what I needed after a dreary couple of days. They closed things out with a faithful cover of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" that had everyone moving.

Freehold's We're Ghosts Now ended the evening with their blend of pop punk, indie rock and Americana. Guitarist Ben Resnick broke his G and B strings early on, but he pushed through with a healthy dose of power chords. Nobody in the audience seemed to notice or care about the missing strings.

When it was all done, I was exhausted but exhilarated at the same time. Morningside Lane's energy eventually brought the crowd around. Des and The Swagmatics kept up the high and even raised it a few notches. We're Ghosts Now overcame some small difficulties and turned in a great set.

At the end of it all, Speak Into My Good Eye's Chris Rotolo gave me a holiday / birthday gift. It's a shot he took at the Titus Andronicus / Screaming Females / Diarrhea Planet show we both attended back in 2012. As I've said many times, that's the first thing I ever wrote about here; and, as it turns out, it's the first known instance of Chris and me at the same show.

It's going on three years here at CoolDad Music since that show, and I'm still in awe of the ease with which we can find great music like what went on last night to lift our spirits when we need it. The blog is where it is today thanks to all of those musicians and venues and thanks to people like Chris who helped me reach a wider audience early on. I'm looking forward to continuing with everyone -- after recovering from the inevitable, debilitating illness that should hit me by the weekend -- in a big 2015.

Here are some shots from last night. The rest, as always, can be found in the Flickr galleries.

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