Words & Photos by Michael Campanile

August 20, 2022

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After more than a two year delay, Rachel Ana Dobken and friends rocked the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park. Rachel and her RAD Band were joined by the Tash Neal and The MJT, Leslie Mendelson, and The Mercury Brothers in front of a packed house.

Asbury Park’s own The Mercury Brothers kicked the night off with a set of new songs and old favorites. “Last Call for Mankind” especially stood out, and I am looking forward to hearing it more in the future. They were followed by an acoustic set from Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Leslie Mendelson, fresh off opening for Roger Daltrey in the UK this summer.

The night then got cranked up to eleven as Tash Neal and The MJT took the stage. Tash and the Godfrey brothers treated the crowd to a set of high energy rock and roll and guitar riffs that shook the Wonder Bar. A highlight of their set was an incredible cover of The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.”

Rachel and her RAD Band then took the stage and kicked their night off with a guitar-heavy instrumental jam. They rocked a solid set that included the crowd favorite “Always”, an amazing cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” and some new tunes. Rachel then moved behind the drums as they were joined for a second set that included Tash, Leslie, Matt Godfrey, Paul Ritchie, and Danny Clinch to cap off another great night of local music in the city by the sea.

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Michael is an Asbury Park based photographer of what life puts in front of him. He snuck his camera into a concert for the first time in 2011 when he went to see Soundgarden on their reunion tour. Two of those shots ended up being published in Photofantasm Soundgarden: Nudedragons to King Animal, and he has been bringing his cameras to shows ever since. He relocated to Asbury in 2019 for its rich music and art scenes...and to save on tolls! He is a big supporter of the local music scene and has become well known amongst the bands for his photos. Michael is also a regular vendor at the Asbury Park Punk Rock Flea Market and can be found selling his prints at a variety of local markets.

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