(ASBURY PARK, NJ JULY 8, 2009) "Cheap beer is good," said Frankie McGrath of the band Maybe Pete. "So keep drinking it."
Maybe Pete kicked off their summer residency at The Saint with a laid back Wednesday night performance comprised of some new songs, some fan favorites, a cover, and some requests. Frankie saluted Asbury Park by talking about how his wife Kelly and him are from North Jersey but 'they'll be taking over the Saint for Wednesdays throughout the summer, drinking our beer, and rocking out.'
Although the band hails from the Northern part of the state, their blend of Jersey Shore/Bowery-infused punk sounds right at home at the Saint, a club where they've held residencies before. The band has always been one of my favorites and they can consistently be counted on to put on a solid show. They sort of remind me of what it might sound like if a mid-70s Bruce Springsteen was on lead vocals for late-80s Dramarama tunes. Previously, I've written that Maybe Pete seemed to be one of the few bands to walk the line between the Stone Pony world and the Green Parrot. I think they still walk that line. They've never lost the punk attitude and are writing better songs now than when they first started, which is always a good sign for a band.
The setlist included tunes from their last album, Straight To Red such as "Static On The Radio", "Another Cigarette", "Hideaway", and "This Town"; from Between The City & the Stratosphere there was "Close Enough For Rock 'N Roll", "Somehow", "Ours For The Takin'", and "Exit 140A". And from their upcoming EP entitled Pancakes and Martinis they played "Asshole" and "So Damn Easy".
Proving that his timing remains impeccable, Rick Barry made an appearance during the tune "Asshole". Go figure...
One of my favorite things about Maybe Pete is their ability to bring out interesting cover songs. You never know what they may play and theyll probably not only play all of their fan favorite covers during this run but introduce some new ones as well. Personally, I'm waiting for them to bring back their cover of Abba's "Dancing Queen" with Frankie playing guitar and singing from on top of the bar.
"Whether you speak English or French, we're going to speak the universal language... Which is the Ramones!" said Frankie before the band kicked into "Rock and Roll Radio".
Anybody that knows Frankie at all is probably aware of his love for Miller Beer, so having the residency presented by Miller High Life is practically a dream come true for him. At one point, Frankie spoke about his pleasure at having Miller sponsor the summer shows. He then followed with, "I need a cigarette" so I pointed out he might have found his next sponsor. "Hey Scott, how about Marlboro Red Wednesdays?" he replied.
The residence has a nice, loose vibe to it. They've got great bands on each bill and will most likely be dragging out unique covers and requests from the audience. Be sure to check it out. For more information visit http://www.maybepete.com
** Photos from the show will be posted soon **
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.