NOT WITH BANG, BUT WITH A BRACKEN!!!

CONNOR BRACKEN & THE MOTHER LEEDS BAND BRING ROCK AND ROLL BACK TO ASBURY PARK!

Words by Diane DiMemmo

Photos by Doug Dresher & Kenny Bieber

June 9, 2021

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Photos by Doug Dresher

Photos by Kenny Bieber


Connor Bracken & The Mother Leeds Band stormed the stage at the House of Independents on Friday, June 4th and unequivocally announced the return of rock and roll to Asbury Park! The audience was buzzing with excitement prior to the show as this was many attendees' first public outing since the pandemic shut the world down. The staff at The House of Independents did an excellent job in taking preventative steps by strategically spacing tables, keeping service interactions to a minimum, and seating a limited number of guests.


The Mother Leeds Band (whose HOI record release show for Nightbird Motel was canceled last year), ignited the stage and electrified concert goers throughout the entire night, as if they just couldn’t contain the music inside themselves anymore! The guys have been quite busy this past year promoting Nightbird Motel (which was officially released on September 25, 2020) as well as releasing Nightbird Sessions on January 1, 2021 and most recently, the acoustic Nightbird Companion on May 28!

Click for video of that night!

Starting the night with an acoustic segment from the new album, Bracken joked that "playing acoustically was hard" as it seemed like the band just needed to cut loose as soon as possible. And following the masterfully played acoustic portion, the band did just that … pumping out song after song, each one building upon the energy of the previous one. The MLB was locked in and tight interspersing the songs in their setlist with epic jam sessions between Bracken, Jeff Linden (guitar), and Chris Dubrow (bass). Rich Seiffert (one of my favorite drummers, BTW) played lightning-fast and at full throttle from start to finish.


By the end of the night, many fans moved to the stage to dance, cheer, and celebrate the return of live music by one of Asbury’s most beloved bands. I was speechless to describe what I just saw and heard but local musician Brian Erickson (frontman of The Extensionscharacterized it best when he said, "Hands down, the best show they ever played!"


THE MIDNIGHT CALLERS

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Photos by Kenny Bieber

Photos by Doug Dresher


New York City's The Midnight Callers introduced themselves to Asbury Park by opening the show and did so with a bang! Their old-school rock and roll sound was interlaced with modern, progressive techniques that really sets them apart in this genre. Their catchy tunes mesmerized fans and set the energetic tone for the night.


The Midnight Callers are Chris Paine (vocals/rhythm guitar), Martin Stubbs (vocals/lead guitar), Julien Budrino (vocals/drums) and Marley Myrianthopoulos (vocals/bass).

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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.

Born from an existential argument between the modernists and postmodernists, I have found my home with the post-punks and those who love a good slice of pizza. I live in a world of art in the age of mechanical reproduction and the ever-elusive decisive moment. Punctum and Stadium aside, I like to take photographs of people and things to see how they look photographed. While I miss CBGBs, I think Asbury Park is as close as we are ever going to get to making punk whatever we make it to be. The future is unwritten and I owe it all to Mr. Bradley and Mr. Martin. Let us now praise famous men and ask the little prince for his thoughts. Sometimes I'm on the road, but If it wasn’t for the honor of the thing, I’d rather walk. My loving wife supports this albatross of an obsession and my kids put up with me well. BA, MFA, M.Ed., BCEA, Tri-X, and Nikon.

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.

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