"This Is What Streams Are Made Of!"

How WAWY Managed To Be Asbury’s (Virtual) Party of The Year

Words by Kenny Bieber

Photos by Diane DiMemmo

January 12, 2021

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Much changed dramatically for the local music scene in 2020. However, one tradition that managed to adapt and prevail was What A Wonderful Yearor given the circumstances, more appropriately rebranded as "What A Weird, Wasted, Wild Wacky Year!" The lineup consisted of several local Asbury Park mainstays, including but not limited to: Des and The Swagmatics, The Foes of Fern, Jarod Clemons and The Late Nights and Bobby Mahoney and The Seventh Son. The event was set up as a simultaneous livestream between both the Asbury Lanes and Transparent Clinch Gallery and incorporated graphics and commercials to channel and pay homage to the VMA'S and Grammys while still establishing it’s own vibrant energy and presentation.




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The livestream managed to capture both the energy and exuberance of its performers with great authenticity while also benefitting from seamless sequencing and editing as well. The lineups for both locations also managed to richly showcase a wide variety of genres and artists ranging from rock, soul, hip-hop, and pop-punk. The event also highlighted unique and memorable rising acts such as ALT-rockers Pollyanna and Malibu, and Neo-soul collective Alexander Simone and Whodat, all of whom delivered high-energy and committed performances.




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What made this WAWY so exciting and dynamic despite current circumstances was how well-rounded it’s presentation and talent were. The Clinch Gallery segments showcased such rich acoustic talent as Cranston Dean and Patty C, Matt Cook and Bryan Hansen and more explosive rock acts such as Candy Cavity and Little Hag along with a stunning striped opener from art-pop acts Blaise and David Ross Lawn. All these acts complemented each other with style and flair and on the Asbury Lanes end, the lineup featured an equally exhilarating set of talent with standout performances by Drew The Recluse, 8DayzStr8, and boasted truly showstopping turns by Des and The Swagmatics and Daughter Vision as well. The momentum and scope of WAWY still felt grand and entertaining - even in its virtual format - and the spirits and exuberance were tremendously infectious throughout, resulting in a truly satisfying and immensely entertaining viewing experience.




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Credit also goes to WAWY for subverting viewer’s expectations with some exciting surprises including a guest reunion set by beloved scene favorites The Burns that was absolutely thrilling to watch unfold, and a guest appearance from local singer-songwriter Rachel Ana Dobken that served as welcome codas to Nights 2 and 1 respectively. Other highlights included individual performances from Indie-folk act Jackson Pines, Hip-hop artist and producer Chill Smith and Philly Indie rock band Kate Dressed Up all of whom added variety to the lineup and turned in some of the strongest moments of each night. Hosting duties were carried out by Megan O’ Shea and Brian Erickson at the Asbury Lanes and Clinch Gallery respectively, and both anchored the presentation well and kept the momentum rolling gracefully and seamlessly.




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Overall "What A Weird, Wasted, Wild, Wacky Year" managed to still remain a success despite current circumstances and stands as one of the most impressive and ambitious livestream performances committed thus far. While the future is decidedly uncertain for live music going forward, events such as WAWY prove that the show can and will indeed go on!

Also, be sure to check out the Telegraph Hill Records, Vol. 3 Compilation out now featuring many of the performers of WAWY available on all streaming platforms! You can read all about these artists and their songs in my review here.

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Kenny Bieber is a local music journalist and photographer who also highly values a good pun, quality milkshake and swears he doesn’t have too many records. He’s generally just happy to be here.

Diane DiMemmo stumbled into and fell in love with Asbury Park and photography a few short years ago. An avid concert fanatic and former musician, she recognized the need for a Jersey Shore music publication to highlight the accomplishments of local and national musicians through photos and press. Asbury Park Vibes has been her labor of love ever since, along with her Golden Retriever – Cooper – who you’ll often see walking Diane through the streets of Asbury.

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