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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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Arijit Singh's New North American Tour Will Include Single Stop In Tri-State Region At Prudential Center on April 13
(NEWARK, NJ) -- Bright Brain Productions, the leading entertainment company based in California announced the “Arijit Singh LIVE Tour” in 12 cities all across the U.S. This is the first of its kind and largest tour done by Arijit Singh or any Indian artist. The tour beings on April 5 and travels through major U.S. cities culminating on May 5.  The tour stops at Prudential Center in Newark on Saturday, April 13 at 7:00pm.
Light of Day's Main Event To Be Broadcast Live at McLoone's Supper Club
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- If you couldn't get tickets for the fabled "main event" of the 2019 Light of Day Winterfest, you have another chance see the show.  For the first time in the 19-year history of the festival, the "main event", the star-studded “Bob’s Birthday Bash” on January 19th (a show that has long sold out), will be broadcast live via fiber optic cable at McLoone's Supper Club in Asbury Park.
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts To Hold Winter Open House On January 27
(BERKELEY HEIGHTS) -- Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) will host a Winter Open House on Sunday, January 27 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The free event is open to the public and will be held at the Performing Arts School (PAS) located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights.
Billy Idol and Steve Stevens To Perform At Count Basie Center For The Arts
(RED BANK, NJ) -- Billy Idol and Steve Stevens, one of rock’s most iconic and enduring duos, will hit the road this March for their first ever tour performing as a duo: Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged. The Billy Idol/Steve Stevens tour comes to The Count Basie Center for the Arts on Thursday, April 4th.
McDonald's Gospelfest To Celebrate The Life of Aretha Franklin With Return to Prudential Center
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The 37th Annual McDonald’s Gospelfest returns to the Prudential Center on Saturday, May 11 for the gospel event of the year. This year's event will honor and celebrate the life and legacy of the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin with an All-Star cast. The 5:00pm to 7:00pm portion of the evening will feature a rising stars competition for all ages and cultures in categories including Soloists, Choirs, Praise Dancers, Singing Groups, Gospel Comedians, Gospel Poets and Gospel Rappers. The gospel concert, beginning at 7:00pm, will feature some of the most renowned gospel artists in music history with the goal of spreading love, peace and joy to all races, nationalities and beliefs.


Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes At Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme
This coming Sunday, January 20, Scott Wolfson and his band will be serving up their unique blend of Americana at the Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme series at Investors Bank Theater in Succasunna, New Jersey. The band – Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes – formed in Jersey City in 2011, and, even though the members have migrated in various directions since then, they still consider themselves to be a Jersey City band.
"He Totally Wowed Us!" John Oates LIVE! at SOPAC
It’s brisk for an evening walk on South Orange Ave. in South Orange, NJ, this Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 evening, but it’s a good road to follow as it leads us directly to the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) for a special performance by singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Oates and his backup group, The Good Road Band.
“Tons of Fun!” The Glenn Miller Orchestra LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Although Friday, December 21, 2018 is the shortest day of the year, the audience of big band music lovers here at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts is hoping for a long evening of classic swing and holiday tunes performed by the incomparable Glenn Miller Orchestra!
Mike Davis and The New Wonders
Mike Davis traces his love for the trumpet back to a Disney movie. He grew up in a musical family, with both his parents playing strings in the Seattle Symphony. But Davis wanted an instrument of his own. Then, at age 9, he saw “The Aristocats,” the animated film about a bunch of French felines — including a group of jazz-playing alley cats.
Ana Gasteyer's "Holiday Tipple" LIVE! at the Grunin Center
The Grunin Center stage in Toms River, NJ is set this Saturday, December 15, 2018 with drums, a grand piano, a guitar, an acoustic bass, and various microphones for vocals. A stool and several microphone stands are bedazzled with colorful garlands of shiny red, gold, and green, and wrapped gifts are strewn on stage among the instruments. Projected white snowflakes adorn the walls, and Christmas music plays as patrons enter the theater to put everyone in the mood for tonight’s holiday show — Ana Gastayer’s Holiday Tipple!










Event calendar
Friday, Jan 18, 2019


MUSIC

John Forster at the Minstrel @ Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown - 7:30pm

David Massengill - Folk Concert @ Christ Congregation Church, Princeton - 8:00pm

SAL "THE VOICE" VALENTINETTI @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm

The Elvis Birthday Bash @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 7:30pm


THEATRE

"Apple Season" by E.M. Lewis @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm

Annie Jr. @ The Oakes Center, Summit - 7:30pm

Some Girl(s) @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 8:00pm







COMEDY

Big Apple Comedy Club @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm


MISC

The Jason Bishop Show to Benefit CASA @ Pfleeger Concert Hall, Rowan University, Glassboro - 7:00pm

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