On January 2nd my buddy Chris and I decided to brave the below freezing temperature and ring in 2010 with some live music. Cold, hungry and thirsty we gassed up the Civic and headed to Dingbatz in Clifton for (in particular)Joe Coffee and a host others. As usual we arrived early so we grabbed a couple of seats at the bar and just watched as the people began to come in from the cold.
- Let it be said that I have never been a big fan of Oi but 45 Adapters (great name btw)were an eye opener. Good on the ears and a great stage presence. Their singer had the crowd dancing and singing along. They were a definite crowd pleaser. They brought a following with them and definitely left with some new fans.
Next up were another NY band Step to Far. I remember meeting their singer Frank in the 90’s down at CBGB’s. He was always a familiar face and a friend on the scene. On this particular night he was doubling on sound while also fronting his band. Step 2 Far brought some gold old NYHC to Jersey on this particular night. Just in case those Jersey kids forgot who was runnin’ shit. Nice seeing Frank. It’s been a while now. Maybe since the closing of CBGB’s.
By the time Joe Coffee took the stage I was a bit snoggered but steady on my feet. As Paul and the band took the stage I felt a slight crack in the concrete as the world seemed to shift on it’s axis. I had not witnessed Paul Bearer’s greatness since his days fronting Sheer Terror but have had Joe Coffee’s “As bright as the stars we’re under” on heavy rotation for some time now. Needless to say the man is an ominous, dark anti-hero. Yet he still has this “favorite yet oft hidden uncle meets W.C. Fields” quality. With all that said Joe Coffee is a band to be reckoned with. Mixing so many different styles. Call them Punk. Call them Hardcore. But I’d best describe them as brutally honest Rock n’ Roll. In between songs Paul went on lengthy rants while drinking a bottle of gin. Brutally honest, spiked with humor, fueled by booze. I’m glad the years haven’t softened him.
Last and not least were the Hub City Stompers. I’ve been hearing about this band for quite some time now but finally got to see for myself what everyone was talking about.After the dark cloud (and I say this with great respect) that Joe Coffee brought. This band was definitely what the crowd needed to send the crowd home on a very high and positive high. The Hub City Stompers hailing from that great band factory New Brunswick keep that great Reggae/Ska/Oi beat going strong. Great musicianship and a contagious energy. They had the whole place showing love. I love a show when you have bands who bring different styles and moods. This was a really good example of it. I think all of the taste buds were refreshed with this one. It was good seeing a familiar face in Brian Macko and meeting the guys from the band Feet First. The ride back to Hoboken was an adventure and story in itself. Flirting with the Dunkin Donuts girl at 3:00 am and Chris’s Jack Daniel’s fused jibba jabba. One of those nights that reminds why live music will always be a special part of our lives.