(MARCH 31, 2006 - Asbury Park, NJ) -- The Stone Pony had one of those special nights on March 31st as Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers rolled into town and showed why they are truly one of the greatest live acts in music today.
For the last two or three years, Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers had been cramming as many human beings as physically possible into the Saint on Main Street. This time around, they decided to move the show to a bigger venue.
The plan worked... Really well.
Hundreds of people jammed in front of the stage with dozens more hanging out around the side bars and VIP area. The result was a much more comfortable atmosphere - especially since the last Roger Clyne show was so amazingly hot that several people - including myself - came very close to passing out from the heat. The extra room was greatly appreciated.
For those who are unfamiliar with Roger Clyne - get familiar with him! He was the lead singer in the band The Refreshments which had the hit single "Banditos" in the mid 90s. The band's latest studio record, "!Americano!" was released two years ago and is flat out one of the best records I have ever heard. In fact, I tell people that I consider it the best rock and roll record from start to finish since U2's "The Joshua Tree".
The band released a live disc, "Live at Billy Bob's Texas", which is a good place to start if you're just starting out. At the Pony, Roger and his band did many of the songs on the live disc and threw in a few surprises.
It's always a party when Roger's band is in town and tonight was no exception. People seeing them live for the first time are generally amazed by the level of devotion shown by his fans. Many drove to the show from places several hours away and they all sing along with every song mirroring the crowd at a Bruce Springsteen show. In fact, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band is one of the only band I have ever seen with this level of cult-ish following. As with U2 and Bruce, seeing Roger Clyne is somewhat between that of a religious experience and a giant kegger.
In other words, don't miss him next time he comes back to town...Click here for pictures from the show
Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.