The reunion of The dB's ahead of the release of their first album in 25 years was a big draw, and the band delivered with tunes old and new. The songs from their forthcoming album, "Falling Off the Sky" (out June 12th) sounded great, and felt like worthy additions to The dB's catalog. The original lineup of Chris Stamey, Peter Holsapple, Gene Holder, and Will Rigby was rounded out by young singer-songwriter Brett Harris on keyboards and guitar.
|Chris Stamey and Peter Holsapple of The dB's.|
While The dB's were the big draw for older music fans, the young New Jersey band The Front Bottoms had their own cheering section, and it was enthusiastic. (A mosh pit threatened to break out, the first time I've ever seen that at this festival.) No doubt they'll draw comparisons to another Bergen County indie/pop/punk outfit, Titus Andronicus. Like Patrick Stickles of Titus, Front Bottoms singer Brian Sella throws out rapid-fire streams of smart, funny, and sometimes oddball lyrics (such as "I will remember that summer / as the summer I was taking steroids / because you like a man with muscles / and I like you.”)
The Front Bottoms are a lot of fun to see live, and I'll probably try to catch their show again. I want to check out their self-titled album as well (on Bar-None Records).
I've never been disappointed by a Freedy Johnston show, and yesterday's was no exception. The Kansas native and former Hoboken resident played songs from throughout his career, which has been long and productive (it's hard to believe that his breakthrough album, "Can You Fly," came out way back in 1992). Backed by a band that included his frequent collaborator on guitar, the excellent Dave Schramm, Johnston played a set that included favorites such as "The Lucky One," "Until the Sun Comes Back Again," "This Perfect World," "Bad Reputation," and of course his cover of Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman."
Some photos below (more to be added later)...
|Holsapple, Stamey, and bassist Gene Holder.|
|Holsapple and dB's backing musician Brett Harris.|
|The Front Bottoms.|
|Brian Sella of The Front Bottoms.|
|Mathew Uychich of The Front Bottoms (drums); bass player not identified.|
|Freedy Johnston and band (Dave Schramm, Johnston, and Jared Nickerson. Not pictured: Steve Goulding, drum). The under-construction 1 World Trade Center can be seen rising in the background.|
|Dave Schramm (left) and Freedy Johnston.|