words and photos by bill bodkin…
Pop-Break.com’s first ever ‘Pop-Break Live’ concert was held on March 15th at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, N.J. which has been home to the site’s Shipwrecked at the Shore Musical Showcase. It was a true honor to present Virginia’s The Fighting Jamesons, who first appeared at the Jersey Shore a year prior at The Stone Pony. We’ve worked with the band a lot since that first meeting and for a good reason — they’re a great bunch of guys who know how to entertain an audience with their high-energy, interactive show and their superior musical skills. On the cold and rainy night in the city that Bruce built The Jamesons came, saw, drank a lot of whiskey and conquered — with the crowd demanding a return performance in the near future.
A surprise addition to the show was the acoustic duo from the band Urban Underclass. “Surprise” is the word I use here because the duo consisting of lead guitarist Kevin Doucette and vocalist Scotiva absolutely floored the crowd. The duo captivated the audience with the Alice in Chains-esque vocals from Scotiva and the surprisingly complex and intricate guitar-work of Doucette. These guys really killed it and converted some of the crowd to become U squared fans.
The Fighting Jamesons know how to work a room. Lead singer Mike Jameson had the crowd at The Wonder Bar drinking whiskey out of the palm of his hand. They were singing along to drinking songs, clapping hands and even got a few inebriated people off their chairs onto the dance floor. The band, as musicians, are absolutely dynamite. The energy in the Wonder Bar on this night was nearly palpable — strong and thick enough to top a corned beef sandwich. The setlist for The Fighting Jamesons was littered with traditional Irish standards that were given a shot of adrenaline and excitement and a number of covers from modern Irish faves — The Pogues, Flogging Molly and The Dropkick Murphys. The band also performed a number of their original tracks which drew the same appreciation and love from the crowd as the covers did. And of course, no FJ’s show would be complete without bringing an audience member up for some shots (see below). This particular fan, like the rest of the audience, were in love with the band on this March evening and demanded a return performance. Let’s hope this can happen!