Monday, June 19, 2017

YJY Played (Their Final Show) at Asbury Park Music Foundation with Avery and The Man Devils, Jeff Lane, Julian Fulton and The Zombie Gospel, and NGHTCRWLRS, 6/17/17

Through Being Hip

I've given a bunch of space in the last week or so to the end of YJY. The band are a great bunch of guys with great songs; and, on Saturday, they called it quits with a show at Asbury Park Music Foundation. By the end of the evening, the room was so packed out that the air conditioning couldn't keep up with the body heat. That meant for a sweaty and joyful sing along with "Couch Surfin' USA" and some pretty damp hugs to close out the night.

Before things got to that point, though, we had sets from several YJY friends and fans. Avery Mandeville opened things up solo; but, when we reached 8pm (the official "let's make some noise" time), she brought up her backing band, The Man Devils. It was my first chance to hear her songs live in the full-band arrangements that appear on the EP; and they were spot on.

Jeff Lane followed with a solo acoustic set that included mostly new songs along with a cover of dollys' "I Know." The crowd was rapt, remaining amazingly quiet and attentive for the entirety of Lane's set.

Julian Fulton had opened a previous release show for YJY as a solo act. On this night, however, he brought the full Zombie Gospel, an amazing collection of musicians who did great renditions of the songs from Fulton's Battered Receptions along with earlier stuff.

NGHTCRWLRS, featuring Sniffling Indie Kids label co-honchos Frank DeFranco and Eric Goldberg, revved up the crowd with their own, contagious, manic energy. With the crowd starting to pack in and the guys bouncing on the stage, I found it a little hard to take pictures. They played what felt like a pretty short set -- even including a brand new song -- to make way for YJY.

When YJY did take the stage, the weird "audience buffer zone" that existed for the whole evening shrank down to a few inches. Steve Sachs, Ricky Lorenzo, Dave Sachs, and Tim Fitzpatrick did about a forty-five minute set that included the "hits" like "Summer Lifeguard," "Ameila," "Surreal," "Through Being Hip," "Past My Prime," and "Couch Surfin' USA" along with songs from The Enduring YJY like "Somebody Take My Phone," "Best Coast Weather," and "Loathe."

At one point, singer / guitarist Steve Sachs acknowledged the community that made YJY possible: the folks at Sniffling Indie Kids, the people who worked with them on recordings, played shows with them, offered them a place to play, covered the band, or just came out to shows. You could feel the sense of community in the room, and the looks on the faces of the band members as the crowd screamed "Couch Surfin' USA!!!" back at them were worth the price of admission.

It's pretty easy to get jaded in any music scene. Booking shows, getting people to come out to shows, overcoming that general feeling of -- well -- shoveling shit against the tide sometimes are not easy things. They can wear on you and make you question why you stick with it. But, then, there's an evening like Saturday night. YJY were able, if even for just a little while, to look out over a crowd of sweaty faces and know that -- together with everyone in that room -- they were able to put a little joy into some people's lives. That's no small thing, and it's something I hope the guys take with them no matter what else they do.

Pics are going up in the Flickr galleries and on the Facebook page a little later today.

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