New York City is absolutely ridiculous on the Friday of a long holiday weekend. The mass of humanity trying to escape the concrete jungle by train, car, boat, plane, horse, donkey or whatever method they can find, is staggering. So...what did I decide to do? Join them!
Why on EARTH would I do this?
Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes + The Stone Pony + Holiday Weekend + Beach = Potential for a Fantastic Time
After a "far too eventful" train ride, I was thankful to arrive at the Pony in time to hear a little bit of soundcheck from outside the walled-in lot. I was also able to snag one of the famous SP concert posters and even get it signed by Southside (who properly chastised me because they don't make any money on the posters. Oh if he only knew how many copies of Pills I have purchased at this point he'd probably hug me! haha) and Jeff Kazee (no, I didn't steal it from the wall in the bathroom. LOL I actually paid a whole $5 for it.)
We really couldn't have asked for a more gorgeous night to stand out for hours and have a beer and a hot dog (and there was NO shortage of all things wiener-related...long story.)
Following a couple of opening acts -- the talented young singer/guitarist from Outside the Box and Jersey Shore songwriter Steve Forbert -- Southside and the band took the stage. My heart nearly stopped because Johnny was wearing a New Holland/Fiat jersey ... and my dad (who was my golf partner, my football buddy, my musical guide...my hero) worked for New Holland. So, I was a bit emotional from the get-go. It just got more emotional from there.
Blend of New and Old
I thought that the balance between the new material from Pills and Ammo and the old favorites was pretty good. As usual, the set list played was not at all what was on the written set list, but we're all used to that. And though we didn't get all of the new record as Southside had promised, we certainly were treated to quite a few of the great tracks. As an aside, I gotta say that opening with Coming Back couldn't have been more perfect in my opinion.
There were so many great moments during the show -- Kazee's keyboards on more songs than I can count, dueling trumpets on Fever, John Conte's incredible bass during This Time Its for Real and Trapped Again, a heartfelt performance of Lead Me On (that song is so perfect for Jeff's vocal harmonies *sigh*), a blasting version of One More Night to Rock (which should be on every show going forward!), and a rip-roaring rendition of Take It Inside (I still contend it should be the slogan/song for the AFL ... yes, I know I haven't written YET about the return of the Soul. I will. I promise.)
A Night of Low-Flying Projectiles
The show was broadcast live on Sirius which was great EXCEPT that you really needed to be there to comprehend the craziness that ensued. OMG! Standing in the front row you had to watch out for things flying at you from the stage -- signed beach balls, whiffle balls, HOT DOGS, t-shirts, hats, Andy York's guitar picks, the setlist (thanks J.)
One little issue ... my friend N and I are relatively tall ... and ... well ... I'm pretty sure Southside's preferred hobby of bird-watching requires absolutely no skills whatsoever in terms of either kicking or hitting a ball! I think I would have a bit more faith in Kazee since he at least is a golfer. There was a bit of 'duck and cover' going on for sure.
I give band members a lot of credit for keeping it together (some, just barely ... you know who you are!) as this was all going down and continuing to play an ever-evolving medley of circus/cartoon/drinking tunes.
Here's how one of the ladies summed it up while writing about the set list on the SSJ board:
Hot Dog Melee (involving heavily dressed windmill hotdogs and a sling shot, accompanied by the farm music from bugs bunny cartoons, Jingle Bells [with Southside on keyboards] and Roll Out the Barrel, among others)Needless to say, we all had a great time. And I'm forever grateful to N who gave me a ride up to Secaucus so I didn't have to take the midnight train from Asbury.
We're Having a Party (with an interpretive dance by the Windmill hot dog mascot guy and the annual distribution of autographed flying objects) ...
Here's a few more pictures:
Andy York playing ... blissfully unaware that Jeff is flinging all his picks out into the audience. :-)
I love watching the horns during the show ... some of the greatest "dance" moves (I use the term loosely.) Ok, I admit ... I basically just watch The Dude. ;-)
And John Conte in a relatively conservative outfit ... especially for him.
It was some kind of party!!
So, to all my American friends ... have a Happy (and safe) 4th of July weekend.
And to my crazy German girls ... happy footballing ... obliterating Argentina ... wow! (and on the 8th day God created the vuvuzela and promptly said "ooops, my bad!!")
And to my mom ... NO! I will not be watching Nadal extract his underwear from his bum for two hours of the Wimbledon final (I'm a Federer girl.) But, I'll see you a week from today. :-)