New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media

Big News! NJPAC has launched the 8th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition
Click here for the story!

Rick Barry / Hammel On Trial / Tara Elliott & the Red Velvets

By Gary Wien

(ASBURY PARK, NJ - February 24, 2009) - Since I had seen Hammel on Trial several times before, I knew tonight was going to be an interesting show, but I wasn't expecting Tara Elliott and the Red Velvets to be so good. It's a shame that the crowd had thinned out a bit before Tara's band closed out the night, because they missed a truly awesome performance.

Rick Barry started off the night with a set that blended his popular "hits" with several new tunes. The set included "All Your Mistakes Have Names," "Graphic Narrative," "Perfect Portrait of a Coward," "Atlantis," and "Stupid American Song."

As Rick stood on stage, dressed in a fine suit and tie, I wondered why it always seems as though he dresses like a million bucks when he's an opening act yet dresses like shit as the headliner.

There was an unfortunate - yet hilarious - moment when the microphone began shocking Rick. Each time he got buzzed in the face, he began smiling. Many of us were wondering what was going on and looked around to see if anyone was making faces at Rick or something. Finally, after he finished the song, he explained the situation.

"I'm being shocked by the mike here," said Rick Barry. "I think people are confused because they may be seeing me smile for the first time during a show." The mike was then adjusted and Rick went on with his traditionally smile free show!

Hammel on Trial is one man who plays a mean punk guitar, writes hilarious lyrics, and likes to tell crude jokes while on stage. It's a performance unlike anybody else you will ever see. It's also a combination that doesn't sound like it should work, but does.

"When I got here this morning, I told Scott the place was too bare," said Hammel. "It was just these plain walls. So we spent the morning putting up stickers everywhere. So now you can see at least a dozen stickers of made up band names on the walls."

Telling a song about drugs he mentioned doing crack then said, "Oh come on, it's crack cocaine. You've all done it -- Asbury Park was founded on crack!"

His set contained songs about sex, drugs, money, remotes that wouldn't work, Brilliant rants such as a hilarious one about television and stories about how President Obama got his wife to agree to do anal sex.

If you've ever seen Hammel live then you know about his famous "Pussy" song. Towards the end of the night he said, "We're getting to the end of the show and I know you're thinking he didn't do any pussy eating songs. We came here for some pussy eating songs. Did he have one? Well yes I do... Everybody loves this song except gay guys.

"I love when people walk in at this point. They're out walking and see this revitalized neighborhood. Maybe they see The Saint and say 'let's see what this place is like' -- maybe they think it's a Christian place. They walk in and were all screaming pussy!"

Songs included "When Yer Young," "Inquiring Minds," "Global Tattoo," "A Little Concerned," "Halfway," "Ain't That Love," "Magic", "John Lennon," and "Mom's Hot."

Your mom's hot
Your a little shorty, but your moms hot for forty.
She's got a slamming body, she must have done Pilates

Simply hilarious lines, fucked up rhymes, and full-blown rocking solo on stage with a mixture of 50s sound and punk rock. There were shades of Duane Eddy twang guitar along with some of the loudest and fastest acoustic guitar you'll ever hear. He's definitely one of a kind, which is good because I don't think the world is big enough for two Hammels.

Tara Elliott and the Velvets closed out the night. With a booming voice and a solid rocking/punk band behind her she kicked ass! She was one part Meat Loaf, one part Romeo Void, one part Janis Joplin, and one part Iggy Pop. She's definitely someone to keep an eye on. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a future Asbury Music Award nomination for top female vocalist for her and that tremendously powerful voice. She's from Jersey, but has been concentrating on gigs in New York City for the past few years. She said she's trying to build a following around Asbury Park now.

For some reason, I kept wanting to hear her sing "Time Warp". Maybe it was her theatrical voice. I'd love to see them tackle a Romeo Void tune like "A Woman In Trouble" or "Never Say Never." The band did throw out a few interesting covers among their originals. Covers from The Stooges to The Searchers were part of the set.

This was a good example of what makes Tuesday nights so special. Tonight was a grab bag of genres that all seemed to work together and, like most Tuesdays, there's always a surprise at the end. Tonight, that surprise was Tara Elliott and the Red Velvets. I look forward to their return to the area. They rock!

For more by this author, click here

More Articles You Might Like

P!NK Announces 2019 Spring Dates, Tour To End At Madison Square Garden
P!NK Announces 2019 Spring Dates, Tour To End At Madison Square Garden
Shawn Mendes To Perform At Prudential Center
Shawn Mendes To Perform At Prudential Center
New Kids On The Block To Perform In Newark With Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, and Naughty by Nature
New Kids On The Block To Perform In Newark With Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, and Naughty by Nature
Whitney Houston Exhibit Opens at The GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center
Whitney Houston Exhibit Opens at The GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center
NJPAC To Present "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" In Concert with the NJSO
NJPAC To Present "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" In Concert with the NJSO
Iron Maiden Announces 2 Local Dates
Iron Maiden Announces 2 Local Dates

Event calendar
Sunday, May 19, 2019


Believe: A Fundraiser Benefit for Marilyn's Place @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 4:00pm

Tash Sultana @ The Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park - 6:00pm

Will Martin Sings Dean Martin @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 3:00pm

MICHAEL BOLTON @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm

Band Together for Veterans @ Bar Anticipation, Lake Como - 1:00pm

ART OF THE DOUBLE CONCERTO - NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 3:00pm

Carmina Burana New Jersey Youth Symphony 40th Anniversary Concert @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 3:00pm

Derek Bermel's Mango Suite @ Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton - 4:00pm

Laurie Berkner, Solo @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 3:00pm

Grace Morrison at Riverside!! @ Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme, Succasunna - 4:00pm

The Bronx Wanderers @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 5:00pm and 8:00pm


Frost/Nixon @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 2:00pm

Surfing My DNA @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 2:00pm

Camelot @ Algonquin Arts Theatre, Manasquan - 3:00pm

She Loves Me! @ The Summit Playhouse, Summit - 2:00pm

Morir Sonyando @ Passage Theatre Company, Trenton - 3:00pm

Rapunzel @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 1:30pm and 3:30pm

MET Encore: Dialogues des Carmelites @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 1:00pm


Roxey Ballet Presents Cinderella @ The College Of New Jersey’s Kendall Main Stage Theater, Ewing - 2:00pm

Kick Dance Studios presents I LOVE the 90s @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 1:00pm


THE SLEEPING BEAUTY @ Brook Arts Center, Bound Brook - 2:00pm

Double Dare Live @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 1:00pm and 7:00pm


Transform Your Thoughts & Heal Yourself Spiritually @ 10 Colonial Court, Hainesport, NJ 08036, Hainesport - 1:30pm

View all events

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

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.