New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


Tune into Radio Jersey with Lee Mrowicki every Monday through Friday from 6pm to 8pm
Broadcast on Asbury Music!

REVIEW: The Commons at the Wonder Bar

By Gary Wien


(ASBURY PARK, NJ) - It's tough for a band to build an audience outside of their area, but it's something that has to be done. The Commons have a great following in their hometown of Trenton, but have struggled to draw along the Jersey Shore. They returned to Asbury Park on August 4th with a show at the Wonder Bar before a Beach Boys Tribute Band. It was a Jersey Shore "Spinal Tap" kind of night for the band.

As the band started setting up on stage, disco music blared throughout the club. I'm not sure if anyone has ever brought this up to the club's management (or if I'm the only person who doesn't appreciate the disco grooves) but please stop with the disco before a rock and roll show! It just doesn't mix. Maybe on a dance night or if a disco reunion show is taking place at Convention Hall (hey, it happened once it could happen again) but not for rock and roll. The only people who seemed to dig it were a couple of drunken bennies that sang along for a song and then took off because this is 2006 instead of '76. Hell, if you lose their business because of the music you know that's saying something.

Why not feature music that is appropriate for the night's show instead. In this case, either rock music that a Commons fan might like or an evening of surf music to get the place revved up for the Beach Boys. How about some Jan & Dean? Maybe instrumentals like "Wipe Out" - you get the idea.

Anyway, I came to check out The Commons who were previewing songs from their upcoming record due out in the fall although you'd never know they were playing from the signs at the Wonder Bar. The Beach Boys Tribute got the only billing on the outside marques and even got 2 lines on the inside marque! It read: "Beach Boys Tribute" on one line and "featuring BBCB" on the next line. Oh well? as least they have German beer on tap!

The Commons opened with "China", a great song from "Come On, Get Gone" that starts off slow but really builds up. Even though I think they need to start off with more of a pure rocker, the song did grab the attention of many people around the bar. Up near the stage, the sound was terrific and a group of Commons fans were paying close attention to each word.

The band ran through several songs that should be on their next record including "Big, Big World", "What I've Learned", "Fast Food Parking Lot", "The Greenhorn", "John Somebody", "My Sexy Thing", and "Kate & Joe".

Highlights for me included "My Sexy Thing" - a wonderfully slow, bluesy number that features lead singer Keith Monacchio's vocals in fine form; and "Kate & Joe", the song that just might be the band's break out hit.

Following the Commons was the BBCB. There aren't too many bands that tackle Beach Boys songs and for good reason - if the vocals aren't on the songs will sound horrible. Well, these guys had great harmonies and not bad leads. I think the leads could be a little stronger, but when the entire band was harmonizing it was very, very good. The band rolled through many of the Beach Boy's greatest hits but also threw in some cult classics and rarities. It was an interesting set. I'm not one for many cover bands, but this was a pretty cool idea for a summer night and they did the songs justice.



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.