Read all about their recent performances at The Saint and The Foundry!

By Diane DiMemmo

August 22, 2019

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Dinosaur Pile-Up has just been given a brand-new job. They are now headlining their own shows and wowing audiences all across the country; and after seeing their recent performances in Asbury Park and Philadelphia … I must say that they couldn’t be more ready. The buzz you hear at many radio stations (and directly from the mouths of their fans) is that their latest album – CELEBRITY MANSIONS – is groundbreaking. Fueled by its heavy-hitting singles “Backfoot” and “Thrash Metal Cassette,” DPU has branded a unique “punk-rock-alternative-metal sound” that brings us right back to the heyday of Seattle’s grunge scene in the 90’s.

Dinosaur Pile-Up is Matt Bigland (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Jim Cratchley (Bass), and Michael Sheils (Percussion). Hailing from Leeds (West Yorkshire, England), the band has gone through a few changes in their lineup since their formation in 2007, but the current members have a real, tangible chemistry that translates into the creation of uncompromising music and one kick-ass live show. Their fourth and most current album CELEBRITY MANSIONS (released by Parlophone Records in June 2019) is doing quite well with “Back Foot” placing on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart ever since it was released. As a matter of fact, DPU’s three biggest singles have amassed more than ten million streams altogether, which is enough to make everyone sit up and take notice.

Asbury Park Vibes was lucky enough to catch DPU’s recent visits to The Saint (Asbury Park, NJ) and The Foundry (Philadelphia, PA) and I was blown away, just as I knew I would be! First off, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many fans so jazzed about seeing a band. I mean, we all go to shows to see musicians we like, but these Dinosaur Pile-Up fans were insanely crazy about this band! If we’re going to be completely honest here … so was I. But it was super cool to not be the only nut there!

DPU has this great stripped-down, raw sound which places us rock fans right back into the heart and soul of genuine rock and roll. Real. Honest. Unfiltered. And heavy as hell. I love how they are minimalists when it comes to effects pedals. What you hear at a DPU show is … well … Dinosaur Pile-Up. Not a ton of effects or enhancements. Just pure rock music performed at full throttle for 100% of the show.

Matt conversed with his audiences frequently, making jokes and giving some history on their songs. He mentioned that they wrote the entire Celebrity Mansions album on a tour bus and that the song “Celebrity Mansions” came about when there was a feeling that possibly others didn’t believe in them; however, they were all committed to believing in themselves. I think that’s why fans connect so much with Matt and his music. His lyrics hit home and inspire us to keep going and never give up.

Guess I should throw in the towel

But I know I'll never quit 'cause

My time is coming around

Don't know when and I don't know how

I guess I'm working it out

So, if you're there, don't quit on me now

-Celebrity Mansions

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Mikey (as Matt calls him) is one hell of a drummer. He’s a heavy hitter and pounds on his set with such commitment, force, and energy that I actually wondered if he regularly breaks his drum heads. I have always been fascinated with percussionists … not sure why. But Mike is unbelievably fun to watch when he plays and it was funny to see him smile sweetly in between songs ... then turn on his game face to play like a demon with the band.

Jim wasn’t able to be with the band for these few shows, as he’s home with his wife awaiting the arrival of their baby. But kudos to bassist Joe Cannariato, who learned DPU’s full set in six days and had only one three-hour rehearsal before going on tour with them. He filled in seamlessly and was extremely energetic and expressive in his playing.

All three guys met with fans after their set in Asbury Park and couldn’t have been nicer or more accommodating. They took time to really talk with us, were genuinely kind, and continuously expressed their appreciation for all of the fan support. These guys are truly special. They’ve branded a unique sound, sincerely love their fanbase, and are committed to doing whatever it takes to reach the top. I – along with all DPU fans - look forward to the day that they do! We just KNOW it’s going to happen!


Arizona Waiting/Stupid Heavy Metal Broken Hearted Loser Punk/K West/Peninsula/White T-Shirt and Jeans/Pouring Gasoline/Black Limousine/Thrash Metal Cassette/Round The Bend/Nature Nurture/Celebrity Mansions/My Rock/N Roll/Traynor/11:11/Long Way Down/Back Foot


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Ok, so if you just read my gushy love piece on DPU, you’re probably thinking I can’t possibly be that hyped up about the opening bands. Well, you are absolutely WRONG!!! BRKN LOVE is one of those bands where you remember where you were and how you felt the very first time you ever heard them. I had the same feeling listening to BRKN LOVE as I had when I first heard Greta Van Fleet. That we rock fans had won the lottery.

BRKN LOVE is the brainchild of Toronto singer and guitarist Justin Benlolo. At only 21 years old, this young musician has dedicated the last five years to honing his songwriting skills and voice to perfection. His band mates are Kyle Duke (Guitar), Russell Holzman (Drums), and  Nick Katz (Bass); and they have a raw, gritty, soulful rock sound that makes an immediate impression on the music lover because of its divergence from the norm. But when you hear Justin’s voice, you are taken to another level.


Video: Courtesy of Joe McAuliffe

Justin’s voice is rich and thick, and he sings with a passion that comes from deep within. He has unbelievable power and control over his vocals and a gorgeous vibrato that makes it even more potent. In addition, he has major lung capacity where he can belt out and hold some high register notes for long periods of time. VERY impressive.

BRKN LOVE has only been together for a year which blows my mind, because they are THAT good. It’s unusual to see a band where every member has equal energy and passion as they play. All four guys kicked it into high gear and gave a performance that was not only filled with outstanding rock musicianship, but with a dynamic intensity and enthusiasm as well.

BRKN LOVE comes out with their first full-length debut album early this Fall. The self-titled album was produced by Joel Hamilton [Highly Suspect, Pretty Lights] and will be put out by Spinefarm Records.

Justin has said, “When I first thought about starting a band, it needed all of the elements of rock ‘n’ roll that I respond to—big guitars, big drums, and big vocals. I didn’t want it to be too complex. It had to be something everybody could digest in a short and sweet format. It’s alternative, but it’s also heavy. I try to get right to the point. There are so many of these kids still showing up to shows and moshing to real rock music. That’s refreshing. There’s still a place for something authentic. That’s what I want to provide.”

After seeing BRKN LOVE perform, I can honestly say that they are authentic, they are the real deal, and that standout Justin Benlolo has “superstar” written all over him!


Papercuts/I See Red/Don't Panic/Seventeen /Toxic Twin/ Complicated/I Can't Lie/Flies in The Honey/Shot Down


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At the Asbury Park show, the indie rock band WETBRAIN impressed concert-goers at The Saint with their unique, experimental music. Rudy Meier (Guitar, Vocals), Ryan Grebel (Bass, Harmonies), and Nick Aufiero (Drums) create a pleasing rock sound that takes you in expected directions and always make you wonder what’s going to come next. I love music that keeps you tuned in like that.

The band started as a recording project back in early 2016 and the following year they released their albums A Certain Light and ¡Quebrado! With influences as diverse as Radiohead, Modest Mouse, Minus the Bear, and Boards of Canada, WETBRAIN prides themselves on always reinventing their musical style every time they write new songs. Says Rudy, “Our new songs, the ones we’ve been playing exclusively that we haven’t yet recorded, delve into some jazz or math rock territory at times while placing an emphasis on keeping them accessible.”

Rudy often plays his guitar with the two-handed tapping technique which is extremely difficult to learn and perform. It’s an approach in which both the picking and fretting hands, either independently or in conjunction with one another, hammer-on or tap the fretboard in order to sound notes. This unique element of their music is one of the ways WETBRAIN sets themselves apart.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the intricacies of WETBRAIN’S music and look forward to hearing them play again!


Jungle/Skipping Rocks/(Jaundice, Empathy)/Lowlife/Red Handed/Up/Test Your Water

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The indie/alternative rock band TV AFTERLIFE opened the night at The Saint with a fresh, experimental sound. Hailing from New Haven, Connecticut, TV AFTERLIFE is Kevin McDaniel, Owen Campbell, David Zajac, Dimitri Almeyda, and Vin Palone. The band members had great chemistry and were confident and relaxed on stage. Their music keeps you locked in because there are so many interesting layers and sounds with a variety of instrumentation. TV AFTERLIFE is a band to definitely keep on your radar!

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