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Full Out Freak

By Gary Wien


The members of the North Jersey band Full Out Freak were finishing off a very good year when bassist Eric Berk asked his bandmates the big question.

,"What are you guys doing on the 22nd? Wanna play with Bon Jovi at the arena?"

As it turns out, Eric had heard about a contest XM Satellite Radio was running with Bon Jovi to find independent bands for the opening spots on Bon Jovi's tour. He actually entered Full Out Freak in the contest without telling anybody in the band. And they won! So, on December 22nd, Full Out Freak opened for Bon Jovi in front of thousands at a very familiar place for them - the Continental Airlines Arena.

"It was better than I expected, but I expected it to be great," said lead singer Joey Aparicio. "Even then it exceeded my expectations. People loved it! We're in that same genre of music as Bon Jovi and I've always known that his audience was our audience. I knew we'd go over well if we were ourselves and just went out there and had fun, which we did.

"We've been waiting to play that place our whole lives. I grew up in Hudson County in North Bergen and from any apartment my parents ever lived in I could see the arena. I grew up looking at it - just a few minutes from it to see all of the people I wanted to be and particularly Bon Jovi. He's probably my biggest influence."

Full Out Freak started out a few years ago when Joey Aparicio realized he had a few songs that he wanted to do more with. Nearly all of the songs on the bands self-titled debut were written by Joey and then fleshed out with the aid of a complete band. Full Out Freak is comprised of lead vocalist/guitarist Joey Aparicio, guitarist Tim Quick, bassist Eric Berk, and drummer Justin N. Together, they form an energetic melodic power pop sound that contains instantly catchy hooks and radio-friendly songs. They've started building up a fanbase around the world thanks to steady airplay on stations like XM Satellite Radio, MusicChoice, Live365, and Yahoo Music - plus having songs used for video game promotions. But it's shows like the Bon Jovi opening spot that get the band excited because they know they need to build up the tri-state area fanbase before trying to be everywhere.

"You've got to span from where your audience is first," explained Aparicio. "You've got to own this area and then you can start moving outside. Playing in this general area is good anyway; the music industry resides in New York.,"

The music industry is changing rapidly and bands have to be aware of anything that can help them reach a broader audience. Full Out Freak has done a brilliant job getting the band's music on to Internet and satellite radio stations. They actively use the web for promotion and have worked out deals for their songs to be included in future video games. It's definitely a different ballgame from a decade ago and bands need to keep up with the changes.

"Most bands have been in limbo not knowing really how to do it," said Aparicio. ,"How do you get there? How do you get noticed? I mean, the original scene in general isn't what it used to be in the tri-state area. It,'s hard playing original music and getting people to come out and see it. It,'s just as hard to get your stuff on the radio and to build a following. I think the digital age is great if bands know how to capitalize on it. Things like video games reach a wide audience. Those little avenues are what bands have to do now. You've got to be business savvy if you want to get your stuff out there. And you,'ve got to know all of the marketing tools that are at your disposal."

Full Out Freak has played at some of the top rock clubs in the area including CBGB,'s, Arlene's Grocery, Stone Pony, Mercury Lounge, Tribeca Rock Club, Sin-e, and Maxwell's. They've become known as an explosive live band, which is no surprise since many of the band members have been part of the New Jersey music scene for some time now. One of the next steps for the band is to start working the college market into their plans. They're looking to do more shows in college towns and to increase their exposure on college radio.

After beating out hundreds of bands to win the opening spot, Aparicio's night was complete when he got to meet and talk to Jon Bon Jovi. And he couldn,'t wait to tell him how appreciative he was for the chance.

"I thanked him for giving back to the Jersey bands," said Aparicio. "That a guy of that stature - that big in the business - would give back what he has... To all of the bands he let open up for him - in whatever capacity he had to do for it, just saying yes was huge. It was a huge gesture back to musicians. He's a guy who really paid his dues getting to where he is and I respect him tremendously."

Someday, I can see Full Out Freak and Aparicio giving another young Jersey band their own chance. Keep your eyes on this band.



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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.
Bickford Theatre Presents Herb Gardner's Groundhog Jam
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- The great Groundhog Jam has a long history of prying jazz fans out of their warm burrows and into the chill of February weather in order to welcome the advent of spring.  The Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum continues a tradition of hosting this event on Monday, February 4 at 7:30pm. Herb Gardner, who plays both trombone and piano, is assembling a stellar group of musicians from the New York, New Jersey, and New England areas including: Fred Vigorito on cornet, Joe Licari on clarinet, James Chirilloon guitar, Mike Weatherly on bass and Robbie Scott on drums.  Daughters Abbie and Sarah Gardner will be handling the vocals and guitar.


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
Thursday, Jan 17, 2019


MUSIC


Open Mic Night! @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 7:30pm


THEATRE

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


KIDS

AMERICAN GIRL LIVE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm

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