Words by Allison Lips, Photos by Jeff Crespi
Pop-Break Live: The Sounds, My Jerusalem and Zipper Club at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ
On December 2nd, The Sounds brought along their friends from My Jerusalem and Zipper Club to Asbury Park for a kickass rock show. All three bands brought something different to the show and took advantage of the intimate nature of The Stone Pony.
My Jerusalem performed first. Lead singer Jeff Klein won the crowd over with his formidable vocals as bassist Kyle Robarge, drummer Grant Van Amburgh, and guitarist Jon Merz held down the fort with their steady rhythm. Hard rocking songs like “It’s Torture” and “Rabbit Rabbit,” were interspersed with banter about the story behind the songs. The highlight of My Jerusalem’s set was the band’s last song of the night, “Domino,” during which Klein jumped into the pit and got up close and personal with audience members as he sang the song.
The next band to perform was Zipper Club, who energized the crowd with their electropunk and new wave inspired sound. The trio of singer/guitarist Lissy Trullie, backup vocalist/guitarist Mason James, and drummer Damar Davis create music that is a blend of Joan Jett and Le Tigre. Their single “Going the Distance” has a sunny beat and a feel like a punk version of Hoku’s bubblegum pop “Perfect Day.” In case the crowd forgot underneath Zipper Club’s synthesizers is a punk band, Trullie and company closed their set with a raucous punk song.
Once Zipper Club ended their set, it was time for The Sounds, which is made up of singer Maja Ivarsson, guitarist Félix Rodríguez, multi-instrumentalist Jesper Anderberg, basses Johan Bengtsson, and Fredrik Blond, to perform their US breakthrough album Dying to Say This to You in its entirety. Fans cheered as the band’s energetic and charismatic frontwoman Ivarsson worked the crowd from the stage, singing songs her fans have held dear for ten years.
From the way she interacts with the audience, it’s obvious Ivarsson loves her fans. In between songs, she would comment about how the band loves small venues and that playing The Stone Pony felt like coming home. While that sounds like standard stage banter, it wasn’t because Iversson felt a real connection to these fans. She remembered not just their face, but their stories as well. One audience member in the front row was told the story of how Iversson watched him grow from a 15-year-old boy at his first The Sounds show to a man throughout the years.
The Sounds have been touring in support of the 10th anniversary of Dying to Say This to You; however, this isn’t a nostalgia trip. Not only does the album still resonates with fans, who know every word of the album from “Song with a Mission” to “Running Out of Turbo,” it’s also timeless. The new wave and punk influences make the album feel like a throwback and very modern at the same time. “Night After Night,” which serves as The Sounds’ torch song, could be from any post-80s era, while “Hurt You” and the eponymous track could easily be singles today with their electronic flair and rock attitude.
After Dying to Say This to You was complete, The Sounds performed songs from their other albums Living in America and Crossing the Rubicon as well their new single, “Thrill.” The set list was so cohesive that those unfamiliar with The Sounds discography would not have known the songs were from albums. The Sounds are that good at what they do, which is why fans love them and their electrifying, yet personal concerts.
Song with a Mission
Queen of Apology
Tony the Beat
Painted by Numbers
Night After Night (Acoustic version)
Much Too Long
Running Out of Turbo
Shake Shake Shake
Living in America
Rock N Roll
Hope You’re Happy Now