Just about anybody can learn a few chords, hop on stage and sing a song or two. That may fly at the family’s Sunday night singalong, but keeping the Jersey Shore crowds entertained these days calls for a little more.
One of the newest cover bands in the area, Thirsty Wilson, has been proving themselves worthy of local ears, and are preparing themselves for the next step.
“We all play music for fun,” says guitarist John Petronis. “Our practices are like a comedy show.”
Maintaining a care-free attitude helps keep a “loose” vibe on stage, but the band is quick to point out that when it comes down to showtime, things are kept strictly professional.
In the future, the band hopes to conquer what Petronis describes as the “next level” of venues in the area, including branching out into more of the Atlantic City beach bar scene.
Originally, the band was formed, primarily, as a way to have fun.
“Everybody likes to have a good time and joke around,” Petronis says. “But we’re all about playing the songs right.”
Instead of indulging in covers, obscure songs or unknown bands, crowd pleasing tunes from the past few decades are featured, with a particular focus on tunes from the 1990s.
“We do a lot from that era,” Petronis says. “Anybody in their late 20s or 30s will definitely hear a lot of their favorites,”
Thirsty Wilson’s setlists typically contain healthy doses of Oasis, Cracker, Green Day and Better Than Ezra.
With an average of three hours to fill at any given performance, the sets tend to stretch far beyond the confines of any single decade.
“If we do an older song it’s one that has already withstood the test of time,” Petronis says.
Well-known songs from Billy Joel, Billy Idol, The Cure and The Beatles are all given equal share.
As the night goes on the band lets their hair down and things start to get a little heavier.
“By the end of the first set, everybody is moving. Whether they’re actually dancing or not, they’re moving,” Petronis says.
Thirsty Wilson hopes to pursue more original material, as well.
“We have been playing one original over the last four or five weeks,” Petronis says. “We’re trying to get more out there.”
First and foremost a good time is imperative for both the band and the audience.
“We’re not trying to be perfect,” Petronis says. “It’s not Madison Square Garden — it’s a very ‘party band’ atmosphere.”