(JUNE 15, 2006 -- ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- It was one of those nights where you wished the club was full; one of those magical kind of nights that happen at the Saint from time to time - the kind of night you pull out your cellphone halfway through the set and try to drag your friend out because you just know they'd fall in love with the band. And, it appears by taking a look at the crowd, that Asbury Park is slowly but surely becoming a decent stop for Red Wanting Blue, an incredible band out of Columbus Ohio that comes around two or three times a year.
I've seen Red Wanting Blue about a half dozen times now, but tonight was the best show yet. Lead singer Scott Terry was in top form and his voice sounded excellent. The band has released six records since 1998 and several people in the crowd not only were singing along but shouting out requests which had to make the guys feel good. In my opinion, bands like Red Wanting Blue are the best example as to how corporations like Clear Channel have ruined the record industry more than file sharing ever could. The last two records from the band were as "radio friendly" as anything you will ever hear and the band is simply awesome live.
Red Wanting Blue played many of their most popular songs off of their last records including "Leaving Behind", "Tearing Down Stars", "Never Enough" and "Your Alibi". In addition they played an incredible cover of Tom Waits "Pasties and a G-string", a great new song about Las Vegas which should make their next album, and even threw in a cover of a Bryan Adams song as a encore.
Scott Terry was visibly moved and surprised to have the band brought back for an encore - the first time it's ever happened to the guys at the Saint. Of course, back in Ohio they regularly sell out clubs as large as the House of Blues in Cleveland, but in Jersey they've simply been one of the best kept secrets with anybody whose ever seen them live coming back each time they're in the area.
It's nice to see that the secret may be out. Keep an eye out for these guys. They will be releasing a new record sometime around October and should be back in our area this winter. You have to see them live to understand just how good these guys are. I'd call them one of the top 3 touring bands around...
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.