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Close Enough For Rock-n-Roll

By Gary Wien

I arrived at the Saint sometime around 9:15 or so. Outside the building was Kelly McGrath of Maybe Pete. She was on the cell phone and looked rather nervous. I asked her what time the band was supposed to go on and she said "9:30... but Frankie's not here yet." And so began a rather tenuous twenty minutes for the band as they got ready for the CD release of Between the City and the Stratosphere.

It's rather surreal to watch a band try to set up for a big show when their lead singer is nowhere to be found. You could tell that their minds ranged from nervousness about whether Frankie was in a car accident or stuck on the highway somewhere to flat out pissed off that he might actually miss the show. Apparently, the band had thought they were going on at 10pm.

As 9:30 came and went there was still no sight of Frankie. Visions of that scene in "Eddie & The Cruisers" where Joanna was forced to sing the entire set as lead because Eddie walked off the stage (Wendell Newton, his sax guy and best friend had just died the night before) suddenly popped in my head. I noticed Mark Linskey of the Hudson Falcons outside and knew that he probably knew all of the songs as well. I started thinking about what would be the order of lead singers. Maybe Kelly McGrath, Mark Linskey and then Marc Gambino? Who knows?

cigarette dangling from his mouth, Frankie and the band kicked into gear with a blistering version of "Whatever You Want Me To Do." From there it was a non-stop race through the album with the band moving from "Ours For The Takin’" to "Outta My Hands" and finally "Somehow" before Frankie took a breath. Normally, Frankie jokes with the audience and does a few impressions - not this night. Maybe it was the seriousness of a record release or maybe it was because the band had only a limited amount of time on stage and lost some due to him being late, but it wasn't until the fifth song that Frankie even opened his mouth to talk to the audience. He went into a story about seeing Tommy Stinson (of the Replacements) do a solo show in the city. Tommy was taking forever to get his guitar in tune. After a while, Frankie yelled out "Tommy it's close enough" and Stinson replied, "yeah, close enough for rock and roll" before proceeding to create a God awful sound. While Frankie admitted being a bit embarrassed for forcing him to play in that state, he was not only amazed that Tommy Stinson was talking to him - he found the name for a song... "Close Enough For Rock And Roll."

Maybe Pete followed with their cover of Abba, which ended abruptly when Frankie realized he forgot to strap on his capo so he was singing in a different key than the rest of the band! Capo on, the 70s cover continued. This is one of the band's most popular cover tunes and it seemed to provide a breath of relief for the band. The final song was “Exit 140A,” a brilliant cut from the new album. With the crowd screaming loudly, Maybe Pete came back to do "Between the Love and Fear" for an encore.

Technical difficulties aside, it was probably one of the best performances I've ever seen Maybe Pete put on. It's a shame they didn't have more time, but they certainly made the most of it. Maybe next time they'll come back as the headliner. They're getting close...

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State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze on Friday, December 7 at 8:00pm, Saturday, December 8 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday, December 9 at 2:00pm. Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a division of Cirque du Soleil, has become a critically acclaimed, state-of-the-art Broadway musical, and a fun-filled, holiday family show. Tickets range from $35-$98.
NJSO presents 2019 Winter Festival, 'Music Speaks'
(NEWARK, NJ) -- A trio of renowned guest artists with distinct musical voices—pianists Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov and soprano Dawn Upshaw—headline the NJSO’s Winter Festival, “Music Speaks,” in January 2019. The Orchestra’s signature artistic event takes place across three weekends, January 10–27, in six New Jersey venues.
RVCC Chorale to Perform Annual Holiday Concert on December 8th
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) --The RVCC Chorale will give its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00pm in the Welpe Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College’s Branchburg campus. The program will feature Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata, Das Neugeborne Kindelein, as well as a cappella pieces from by Sergei Rachmaninov, Zoltan Kodaly and Giuseppe Verdi. The program also will include an audience singalong of traditional carols.
Classic Stones Live! The Complete Rolling Stones Tribute Show Comes To SOPAC
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Tony Trischka Presents "Of a Winter's Night" at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
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"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
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Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
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Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
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Event calendar
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018


New Politics @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE REPUTATIONS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

TOTO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

ANNIE, The Musical @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 7:30pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 7:30pm

Spring Awakening: The Rock Musical @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm


PARSONS DANCE @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


Crybaby Matinee: March of the Penguins @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

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