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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...9/17/15

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 09/17/2015
"I'm sailing away, set an open course for the virgin sea. I've got to be free, free to face the life that's ahead of me..." 
Decades after the classic rock band Styx penned those iconic lyrics, a deep space craft from NASA's New Horizons team reached within a close distance of its destination; Pluto's smallest moon, known also as Styx. 
In the midst of a summer tour with Def Leppard and Tesla, members of the band were invited to the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD to view some of the first photos taken by the unmanned New Horizons space craft. The event, which took place several months ago and happened to coincide with the east coast leg of the tour, brought an extra special treat for keyboardist Lawrence Gowan who since youth has been fascinated by outer space and its exploration. "I've been a NASA enthusiast since I was a kid," stated an excited Gowan. "I find the entire thing just incredible! I actually had the chance to go on the space shuttle "Endeavor" and not just a mock up but the real thing and it was one of the coolest things I've ever experienced. I've been on the Mercury program launch pad and this New Horizon project just amazes me. NASA launched this on January 26, 2006 and here, nine and one half years later it's arrived at its destination and we're seeing the first photos. The first ones we saw were of Pluto itself, then the ones of the closest moon; the name of it being Styx was very cool too," he said as he laughed in approval. 
Drummer Todd Sucherman and ageless guitarist Tommy Shaw joined Gowan as the trio received a tour of the facility and mission control from Operations Manager Alice Bowman. "What a fantastic day basking in this team's accomplishments," added Gowan. "You could just see them all smiling as well as us too in the reflective glow of their achievements; it is truly special." 
Currently only Def Leppard remains a tour partner as the bands hit their west coast swing and Gowan says they couldn't mesh any better. "They're just great guys! We've toured together in the past so when we decided to do this it was like meeting old friends," said Gowan with a touch of nostalgia in his voice. Adding that, their tour mates have such a positive effect and maybe even get their competitive juices flowing a bit. "Touring with these guys I became a fan of theirs all over again. It doesn't matter whether we go on first or second, performing with them; they make you elevate your game. You have to try and be just as good as they are in order to share the stage with them; it definitely brings out the best in us." 
Gowan also remarks that Styx shows no signs of slowing down and as long as the fans are coming to shows; the band will continue to tour."We're really a band of this era if you think about it,"  Gowan says as he explained the longevity and success of the group. "There are maybe a dozen classic rock bands that tour as much as we do; we've not taken a break because the demand is there. Styx and our music is the soundtrack of many people's lives. They hear certain songs and for them it is instantly recognizable with a certain period of their life. Various hits of ours represent cross sections or experiences they've had in their lives and it's a good feeling to know that we can take them back, maybe even to a happier time, or an old love or just to cut loose a bit. There are generations of fans now, people are bringing their kids and grandchildren to our shows; we are embracing old and new fans every city and every show." 
One of the things about bands such as Styx and Def Leppard is that like other artists and groups of their veteran status; their concerts have evolved into "Greatest Hits" shows. These acts are able to perform all of their most popular tracks and not worry too much about introducing new material because their demographic wants to hear the timeless classics; not the case with Styx however. "We are always working on new music. Yes, we play a show that features all of our biggest and most recognizable hits but we also throw in some unexpected tunes off of our older albums and we try to feature something for everyone. We definitely have future plans for new material but that is really subjected to our live schedule. We tour well over a hundred dates a year and we don't want to just take new music and throw it out there, we're working on it; well maybe we keep hacking away at it is a better way to put it (laughs)!" 
Gowan and his Styx band mates are tearing up the western states with only two nights off between now and the end of September. To discover more about the band and their current tour; please go to  
ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...9/17/15

That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!


Alchemist & Barrister

28 Witherspoon Street Princeton

(609) 924-5555

 Thurs. 9 p.m. "Thursday Jazz" feat. Abe Ovadia Trio

Sun. 9 p.m. Ed Wilson

All shows 21+


Amalfi's Restaurant

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146 Lawrenceville-Pennington Rd. Lawrenceville

(609) 912-1599

 Fri 8:30 p.m. Paul Plumeri Band


Amarones Windsor Inn

29 Church St. Windsor


(609) 448-7144

 Fri. 8 p.m. Kindred Spirit

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Sat. 8 p.m. Shore Soundz


Blend Bar & Bistro

911 Highway 33, Hamilton

(609) 245-8887

 Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam 


The Backstage at Championship Bar 

931 Chambers St. Trenton

Fri. 7 p.m. I Am The Trireme, Seraph In Travail, Ethereal Tyrant, Malphas, Burn The Empire. All ages, $10

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Sat. 5 p.m. Percussor, Descendency, Antistasis, One With Nothing, Sentience, Sapremia, (TBA). All ages, $10

Wed. 4 p.m. Lich King, Hatchet, Thrashole, Paralysis, Panic, (TBA). All ages, $10/$12


Candlelight Lounge 

24 Passaic St. Trenton

(609) 695-9612

 Sat. 3 p.m. Lee Hogans Trumpet Quartet. (No cover-$10 minimum)


Cedar Garden / Princeton Manor Banquet 

661 Rte. 33 Hamilton

(609) 587-1511

Fri. 8:30 p.m. Charles Laurita & The Mischief / Honey Spot Blvd. Age 21+, Doors at 8 p.m., $5 


Chickie's & Pete's

183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown

(609) 298-9182

 Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night feat. The Dawgs

Wed. 9 p.m. Trivia Night


City Streets

510 U.S. Hwy. 130 South East Windsor

(609) 426-9400

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Fri. 9 p.m. That Acoustic 80's Band


Corner House Tavern

24509 East Main St. Columbus

(609) 298-8543

Sat. 9 p.m. Deep Release


Dog & Bull Brew House

810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.

(215) 788-2855

Thurs. 8 p.m. Brian Bortnick

Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour Jam" feat. Cecil Middleton (9 p.m.) Soul Kitchen

Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch Jam" feat. Jazz 180 


Fran's Pub

116 S. Main St. New Hope, PA.


Sat 8 p.m. Kim Yarson Band

Mon. 8 p.m. Open Blues Jam

All shows 21+  

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Havana New Hope

105 S. Main Street. New Hope, Pa. 

(215) 862-9897

 Thurs. 10 p.m. "Beat The Clock" College Night DJ Dance Party

Fri. 8 p.m. "Hello I Must Be Going" Phil Collins Tribute. Doors at 6 p.m., $15

Sat. 8 p.m. John Herington Band w/ Stolen Rhodes. Doors at 6 p.m., $35

Sun. 4 p.m. Rocky and His Friends

Mon. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron

Wed. Pat Foran and Friends


Ivy Tavern 

3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton

(609) 888-1435

Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Fri. 10 p.m. Blind Lemmon Pie

Sat. 10 p.m. Kindred Spirit

Tues. 7 p.m. Teddy Z Memorial Jam

All shows 21+


John & Peter's 

96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.

(215) 862-5981

Thurs. 9 p.m. Jerry Feiss

Fri. 9 p.m. Rainbow Fresh

Sat. 9 p.m. Bottle Cap Rockets

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Sun. (3 p.m.) Jamie Salvatore (9 p.m.) Justin Pope

Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Justin

Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational

All shows 21+


JoJo's Tavern

2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton

(609) 586-2678

Wed. 10 p.m. Karaoke


Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series at the Capital Green

201 Barrack Street Trenton

Sat. 7 p.m. Danielia Cotton / Chalk and The Beige Americans. All ages, Free outdoor event


Millhill Basement

300 S. Broad Street Trenton

(609) 989-1600

Wed. 9 p.m. Divided Heaven, The Penske File, Dead Broke, (TBA). 


Palermo's Of Hamilton

310 Klockner Rd. Hamilton

(609) 838-7979

 Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Sat. 9 p.m. Radio Fiction

All shows 21+ 


Patriot's Crossing

1339 River Rd. Titusville

(609) 737-2780

Fri. 7:30 p.m. Buffalo Trixx

Sat. 7:30 p.m. Blues In Disguise


Pete's Steak House

523 Whitehorse Ave. Hamilton

(609) 585-8008

Fri. 9 p.m. The Polish Nannies

Sat. 9:30 p.m. F2 & The Anchovy Brothers


 Randy Now's Man Cave

134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown

(609) 424-3766

Fri. 7:30 p.m. "Garage a GoGo Weekend" feat. The Doughboys, Spanking Charlene, The Insomniacs. All ages, Doors at 7 p.m., $15 (one night pass) / $25 (two night pass)

Sat. 7:30 p.m.  "Garage a GoGo Weekend" feat.  The Grip Weeds, Palmyra Delran, Soraia, The Droogettes. All ages, Doors at 7 p.m., $15 

This show takes place at The Open Arts Stage 146 Rte. 130 South Bordentown


RHO Waterfront

50 Riverview Plaza Trenton

(609) 393-7300

 Thurs. 9 p.m. "College Night" w/ DJ Mica Harris. Ages 21+, $5 (with college ID), $15 (without)

Fri. (4 p.m.) Happy Hour Buffet. $10 (8:30 p.m.) Xcluzive

Sat. 10 p.m. "Virgo Birthday Bash." Men ages 25+/Ladies 21+, $20 (advance)

Tavern On The Lake

101 Main St. Hightstown

(609) 426-9345

Fri. 9 p.m. Rule Thirty Five

Sat. 9 p.m. (TBA)

Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night 


The HOB Tavern

146 Second Street

(609) 291-7020

 Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke


The Ivy Inn

248 Nassau St. Princeton

(609) 921-8555

 Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron

Fri. 10 p.m. Jam Lab

Sat. 10 p.m. Milan and The Sour Goat

Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv

Wed. (8:30 p.m.) Tune Trivia (10:30 p.m.) DJ Rockn Ron


The Record Collector

358 Farnsworth Ave. Bordentown

(609) 324-0880

 Fri. 8 p.m.  Commander Cody. All ages, Doors 7:30 p.m., $28 (advance)

Sat. 8 p.m. John Ford Coley w/ The Cryers. All ages, Doors at 7:30 p.m., $18 (advance)

Sun. 8 p.m. Jack Semple Band. All ages, Doors at 7:30 p.m., $15 (advance)

The Sticky Wicket 

2465 South Broad St. Hamilton

(609) 439-0007

Fri. 9 p.m. Drunk Monkeys

Sat. 9 p.m. Reaction


The Sun National Bank Center 

81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 656-3200

 Check web site for upcoming events


Tir Na Nog 

1324 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 392-2554

Fri. 9 p.m. Birmingham 6

Sat. 12 p.m. "Half Way to St. Patrick's Day" feat. Seamus Kelleher, Diarmuid McSweeney, Some Assembly Required

Tues. (7 p.m.) "Rock On Radio Happy Hour" Hosted by Danny Coleman feat. The Williamsboy (9 p.m.) Open Mic. w/ Jerry Monk

Wed. 9 p.m. Diarmuid McSweeney

All shows  21+

Trenton Buzz

702 Pine St. Trenton

(609) 392-6000

 Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Hek Cat


Trenton Social

449 South Broad Street Trenton

(609) 989-7777

 Thurs. 8:30 p.m. Cinema Thursday Presents: (TBA)

Fri. 7 p.m. First Friday Presents: "Old Work Meets New" by Howard Michaels

Mon. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P

Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic.


Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)

400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.

(215) 862-8300

Fri. 10 p.m. Jack And The Bear ($5 cover charge)

Sat. 10 p.m. Doghouse Charlie & Co. ($5 cover charge)

Sun. 7 p.m. Open Jam Night (Sign ups 6:30 p.m.)

All shows 21+


Wildflowers Inn

2572 Pennington Rd. Pennington

Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock 

All shows 21+

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.



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