New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


BIG NEWS! Here's the latest Issue of NJ Stage Magazine -- Click here

REVIEW: Stone Pony 2/18/06 with April Smith, Soozie Tyrell, Lance Larson

By Gary Wien


(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Few rock and roll clubs have ever stayed around as long as the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park has and so it's fitting that the club celebrates its anniversary with a block of shows each year. The show on Saturday, February 18th was comprised of an interesting look at Asbury Park's past glory and a look at one of the scene's rising stars.

Kudos go out to the Stone Pony for bringing in new acts to their anniversary series this year and even more kudos for recognizing April Smith. A few months ago, April had one of the largest crowds in years for an unsigned act. Both April and her label ? Indigo Planet Records ? worked their tale off to make her CD release party a success and their work did not go unnoticed by the Stone Pony as they welcomed her back on a bill with Soozie Tyrell and Lance Larson. So next time an artist wants to complain about clubs demanding a certain amount of draw remember that clubs also pay attention when you exceed expectations as well.

April hit the stage shortly after 8pm ? a bit earlier than usual, but the earlier time allowed April the chance to play her entire album. Many of her fans came out early and more kept coming after each song. I think some didn't expect her to start so early, a shame since she not only did a great show but also did several of her most popular songs early on. She was breaking in a new guitarist and teased him that the show was going to be a good test with the band running through the entire album.

Regular fans of April know her distain of Paris Hilton and the night before just happened to be Paris' birthday ? something April could not let go unnoticed before playing the song she wrote about the "star". Interestingly, April even got a bit political with the song that followed when she remarked "at least Paris never shot anybody" before launching into "Suffering." After that number, April kicked her bandmates off stage to do a pair of tunes solo including her wonderful cover of "Unchained Melody" which truly shows off her tremendous vocal range.

Proving that both April and her family appreciated getting a chance to help the Pony celebrate, her mother baked a cake for the club which was presented to Kyle and Carolyn on stage. She then led the crowd through a rendition of "Happy Birthday" for a friend of hers who was turning the magic 21 that night. There were a lot of people in the crowd who looked like they weren't too far beyond that age as well. In fact, it was rather easy to tell who came to the show to see April and who was there for the other two acts.

During the final number, April dragged out the drum she debuted during her CD release party and proceeded to end her show with a stellar tribal beat. All in all, April proved once again that she is not only ready for stages like the Stone Pony but also is making that stage her own.

Following April came Soozie Tyrell, the headliner for the night. Soozie, is well known for being a member of the E Street Band and a long-time friend of Patti Scialfa. Her music is a mix of rock and roll and blues that gets an added punch from her impressive violin playing. She always has a lot of fans in the area, but it's my opinion that her music would be better in a true blues club or a listening room than in a rock and roll club like the Pony. I envision her music going over better in front of an audience seated at tables and having nice drinks than standing in front of the stage.

Unfortunately, the night wound up to be an example of a problem that is really affecting the local scene these days. The show featured three artists (all of whom have something in common ? a relationship to Jersey Shore music) and largely had three different audiences. The young crowd that April Smith brought disappeared when Soozie came on stage and Soozie's crowd largely missed April's set. Meanwhile, Lance Larson who followed Soozie had a much more local audience than both of them. It's something that I really can't understand. People are paying good money to see these shows but they're only coming for one act and leaving. It is something that I'm seeing at clubs all throughout the area and I just don't get it. I mean, whatever happened to people wanting to get their money's worth for a night? Where are they going afterwards? Another bar??

Many of the lineups for these shows feature artists that should appeal to fans of the other groups, but people just aren't interested for some reason. Take this show, for example. I would have to think that most fans of Soozie Tyrell would become fans of April Smith if they saw her live. Either that or the people might be coming strictly on the off-chance that Bruce Springsteen jumps on stage to play with her (as has happened before). That's one reason I'm so glad to see the Stone Pony putting some new blood on their anniversary series shows. It is high time that people started coming out to these shows to see the artists scheduled to play rather than hope someone not on the bill shows up.

As luck would have it, there was a chance Springsteen was going to play as April Smith's guitarist was told to keep his amp on stage for a special guest. Bruce didn't play, but this was obviously more than just a rumor. Unfortunately, whether Bruce shows or doesn't show shouldn't be the reason it was or wasn't a good show.

Closing out the night was Lance Larson and his band. They ran through a mixture of covers and originals highlighted by Lance's own "Saints & Sinners" and his signature cover of "Lawyers, Guns & Money" which is a perfect example of how an artist can make a cover- even a popular one ? their own. When Lance rips into that song, it no longer is a Warren Zevon tune, but becomes Lance's own.

Lance's set also included covers of "I Came To Dance" by Nils Lofgren (always good to see someone cover Nils?), "Road House Blues", "Down By The River", "Unchain My Heart", "Big Jet Airliner", "Prove It All Night", "Sunshine Of My Love", and "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place". His originals included "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Devils Right Hand". Here's hoping that the band keeps adding more of Lance's original tunes as he is not just a great lead singer but a fine songwriter as well ? and many of us missed out on him the first time around.

You can view pictures from the night by clicking here.



For more by this author, click here






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

View all events
























New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.