I think I can say with confidence that the summer of 2019 may go down in modern Jersey Shore music history as a pivotal time in the local music scene. Over the past several months and the even a few months prior to the official start of summer, venues throughout our region have exploded with all sorts of live musical offerings.
I am a firm believer, as are many of you, that live music drives people to spaces and places more so than any other incentive or activity. I have seen the scene build with my own eyes. The ever-growing music community here in the southeastern portion of our state is made up of a diverse group of those dedicated to supporting a vibrant music scene.
Before getting into specific examples, I have to give full credit to all of the promoters and venues that worked diligently over the past years to keep the live music playing throughout our area. Some have survived the “darker days and nights” when the number of venues that offered live music was few and far between. This made the work of booking spaces for artists and bands to play difficult. For a live music consumer, it also reduced the options to go out and see local music without traveling. During those years it took a good amount of searching to find places that offered live music, and there was a limited amount of bands to see live.
But those days appear to be over. Dozens of new and existing bars and restaurants booked and promoted a solid number of artists and bands. Towns such as Somers Point embraced a live music renaissance of sorts, powered by a big investment in the design of indoor and outdoor music spaces such as The Adare Room at Josie Kelly’s and the bayside deck stage at The Point. Caroline’s, Clancy’s by the Bay and Gregory’s all seemed to offer more live music this year than in past summers. And let’s not forget the amped up, ramped up offering of the Friday night Somers Point Beach Concerts programmed by Tony Mart’s Presents.
Speaking of Tony Mart Presents, the team also lit up the Atlantic City Boardwalk on Wednesday nights with their Mardi Gras concerts. Atlantic City has also been a hub for live music, but with the newest offering this year of Tennessee Avenue’s Orange Loop, venues such as Bourree, Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall, Sirens Bar and Grill as well as the newly opened Rhythm and Spirts kept the beat and kept it strong. Even some of the big music houses like Hard Rock, Resorts, Ocean Resort and Showboat offered more local live music through their Music Row Mondays offering. Steel Pier and the Absecon Lighthouse even got into the act.
I call this a renaissance of sorts in both towns and throughout the region because "renaissance" is a French word meaning "rebirth." Each of the two towns spotlighted this week have an amazing rich history of live music and some of the most historically significant artists playing live in places like Atlantic City and in Somers Point. Being a life-long frequent visitor to both towns, the live music has always acted as a “pied piper” leading crowds of all sizes to the towns.
I fully expect the booking of acts to continue for the next few months. My true hope is that the owners and managers of these fine establishments continue to call on local and upcoming artists and bands to help fill their venues throughout the fall and winter. Perhaps a suggestion could be that each venue could decide on a different weeknight to be promoted as their live music night, with all of them programming music over the weekends. That could go a long way to keeping the off-season live music offerings alive and well.
So Listen Up! and stay tuned to our following and letting you know about the local live music scene throughout the region and the rest of the year.