Words by Doug Dresher

Photos By Doug Dresher & Kenny Bieber

August 12, 2021

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Photo: Kenny Bieber

Photo: Doug Dresher

With Connor Bracken’s fantastic performance on August 6th, you might think it would be easy to forget the opening bands that night. But that was just not the case, as Natalie Farrell and Morningside Lane gave incredible performances of their own.

Natalie Farrell opened with a subtle funk-soul set that showed her vocal skills. She moved around the stage with confidence and flair, which were bolstered by her bandmates—both Lou Panico on bass and Matt Fernicola on guitar backed Farrell with skill and emotion. Oddly, I’d swear Panico and Fernicola are in, or have played with, every other band in the Asbury Park area – and why not? They are fantastic at their respective instruments.

The most impressive part of Farrell’s performance is her sincere love of performing and how she owns the stage. She is a force to keep an eye on as the summer moves into the fall – you won’t be disappointed.

Natalie Farrell Photos by Doug Dresher

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Natalie Farrell Photos by Kenny Bieber

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"Finesse" (Remix) by Natalie Farrell

Morningside Lane brought their Jersey-Rock ethos to the stage as well. Their infectious melodic tunes filled the House of Independents as the growing crowd swayed and head-bopped to the songs. As with Farell’s band, each of the members of Morningside Lane were skilled musicians who showed off their energy and well-rehearsed set. Here again, there are the intangibles that make Morningside Lane an exceptional band. They are a tight rock and roll outfit worthy of your attention.

I do not doubt that both bands can have a future outside of Asbury Park, and your support will be the energy they need to keep to their dreams.

Morningside Lane Photos by Doug Dresher

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Morningside Lane Photos by Kenny Bieber

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"Temperamental" by Morningside Lane

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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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