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Still Looking For Love, Fifty Summers Later, at the Shore

By Matt Koelling The fiftieth anniversary of the Summer of Love has been a recurring theme in 2017. Particularly in San Francisco, but also in celebrations, festivals, print publications, and online think-pieces, from across the country, all over the world. The original “Summer of Love” was predated by the Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park, in January 1967. It began in earnest in June, near the weekend of the Monterrey Pop Festival, and release of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts’ Club Band...

The Sun Hasn’t Set On Gordon Lightfoot Yet

The rest of the paying customers seemed less pressed. Well, aside from the woman shouting out “Sundown”, like it was his “Freebird”, from the back after only song three. C’mon, lady, you know he’s gonna get to that one. Just wait for it and I promise, when it comes, it’ll make it that much more fun. When it did, surprisingly early at around the halfway mark, the band and its main man set a course of momentum that they could follow for the duration. Which felt especially welcome after an abbreviated song in an acoustic medley, got shortened not by arrangement but by Lightfoot forgetting the lyric...

Blues Traveler Celebrate 30th Year at Ocean City Music Pier

Has it really been over a quarter-century since an up-and-coming New Jersey jam-band named Blues Traveler founded H.O.R.D.E. Festival, which boasted like-minded acts such as Phish, Spin Doctors, and Widespread Panic? While seemingly hard to believe, time is a thief. Some sights and sounds before the show around the Ocean City Music Pier would’ve felt familiar outside an amphitheater in Summer 1992. Phish tour t-shirts, tie-dye, Grateful Dead’s “Big Railroad Blues” playing inside the men’s room. Rain came down out on the boardwalk, but didn’t appear to dampen spirits...

Get The Led Out Provides a Familiar Soundtrack to Another Ocean City Summer

It’s still only June. Some kids aren’t finished school yet. But on the Ocean City boardwalk, summer is already in full swing. In this third season covering the Summer Concert Series for OCNJ Daily, show nights at Ocean City Music Pier feature familiar summer faces: Ellen manning the Information Desk, a plethora of returning seasonal staff at the box office and security, plus the omnipresence of the Bill Graham of South Jersey, veteran show promoter Bob Rose. Another familiar sight gracing the stage Monday and Tuesday night was Get The Led Out. The Delaware Valley-bred Led Zeppelin sextet are the best tribute band working. Packing the Pier for a pair of shows each summer is testament to that...

The Boys of Endless Summer Bring the 2017 Boardwalk Concert Series to a Close

All things must pass, as the late George Harrison famously sang. Bittersweetly, this now applies to the 2017 Boardwalk Summer Concert Series at the Music Pier. It will also, one day, apply to the Beach Boys’ annual summer pilgrimage to Ocean City. While the current lineup misses a trio of Wilson brothers, plus others, who helped create earlier musical magic, they remain an outfit worth appreciating while they get around. The 2017 edition of this trek, was billed as the Wild Honey Tour, after their 1967 R&B/soul album, celebrating its 50th anniversary in December. Wild Honey was released months after plans to release an ambitious double-album follow-up to their classic Pet Sounds, called Smile, were scrapped. It was an album that saw producer/leader/co-founder Brian Wilson ceding control, beset by personal problems. Wild Honey was well regarded critically, and displayed more of the band’s range, but was their lowest-selling album to date. Perhaps due to its lack of hits, only one song from it, “Darlin”, which Mike Love cited as a personal favorite when speaking to OCNJ Daily, was performed Tuesday night...

Beach Boy Mike Love Speaks to OCNJ Daily on Family Business, Endless Summers, Love...

With a fifty-plus year career, earning him Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1988, Mike Love has led a charmed life. Conversely, there’s been enough personal travails, coupled with family tragedy and acrimony, along the way to make a mini-series. That dichotomy, has made the famously outspoken Beach Boy co-founder/singer/bandleader Love, a lightning rod for controversy over the past several decades. Love will visit the Ocean City Music Pier stage, with his 2017 incarnation of The Beach Boys, on August 21st and 22nd, for two shows each night. In a wide-ranging conversation with OCNJ Daily beforehand, done while Love was in Indiana, in the midst of another Endless Summer spent touring America, and the world, singing songs about sun, fun, cars and girls, the surprisingly soft-voiced Love is warm and engaging...

Rock Legend Graham Nash Teaches Ocean City A Few Tricks In Intimate Pier Show

Graham Nash is rock and roll royalty. He’s one of only 21 musicians inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice. He was a fixture in the famed Laurel Canyon counterculture nexus of late sixties Los Angeles, plus a presence around the overlapping San Francisco scene. His “supergroup” Crosby, Stills & Nash, performed their first official gig at Woodstock. Nash was Joni Mitchell’s live-in lover during her Blue period. In 2010, the same year his original band The Hollies were inducted into the Rock Hall, he was appointed an Officer of the British Empire for his musical and charitable services...

The Hooters Try To Make Time Stand Still In A Marathon Music Pier Show

It’s hard to fathom that Philadelphia’s The Hooters have been together for 37 years. All with essentially the same core group that opened Live Aid in 1985, at a long since demolished stadium in South Philly called JFK. Granted, they lost a few bass players, before settling into a groove with Fran Smith in 1987. Sure, they bolstered their current sound, with a younger guitar maestro in Tommy Williams, at the dawn of this decade. But fundamentally, the band visiting the Ocean City Music Pier, for two sold-out shows in Summer 2017, were the same stellar lineup of multi-instrumentalists long-time fans had first seen play...

Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes Let Loose at the Music Pier

The term “bar band” is often used as a pejorative. When referencing the Jersey shore bar band scene, that birthed Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and Southside Johnny’s Asbury Jukes, it means something different. It signifies a seasoned unit, raised over countless nights onstage, taking cracks at classic soul, doo-wop, blues and early rock and roll records. Bands with decades of experience, learning how to give the people what they want. Bands that took their lumps in front of demanding, well-lubricated crowds, seeking that Jersey Shore sound in the early seventies. Audiences that were quick to let them know, when they weren’t getting it...

Temptations Brought Motown to the Music Pier

Due to the amount of time passed by, plus myriad of line-up shifts, in the fifty-seven years since The Temptations first signed to Motown, it was easy to head into Monday night’s sold-out show at the Ocean City Music Pier with tempered expectations. This is, after all, a group whose many trials and tribulations, along with personnel changes, made for a network television mini-series in 1998. The lone surviving member of the group’s original line-up, baritone Otis Williams, is the author of a 1988 autobiography that NBC’s The Temptations was based upon...