Words & Photos by Melissa Lawlor

June 27, 2023

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Nicole Atkins sang her heart out to a happy audience during her sold-out show at Wonder Bar, which was part of the North To Shore Festival that took place the week of Asbury Park’s exciting events. Delighted fans filled the room with dancing and singing. At times it was a bit of a struggle to move around in the packed crowd, which is a good sign of a popular show. But with Wonder Bar’s open and airy vibe it created a perfect evening at the Jersey shore where the crowd spilled out onto the deck and enjoyed the wonderful music and cool ocean air.

Atkins has an enormous following, so when she comes to town it truly is special! She is an extremely talented singer, songwriter, and artist that is captivating to watch on stage. Her self-proclaimed ‘pop noir’ is a perfect description for her style of music. With dark moody undertones mixed in with splashes of feel-good moments and groovy sounds, Atkins vocals and stage presence are mesmerizing. She makes you laugh, smile, and always have a good time.

Her opener for her show was Tommy Stinson, who did a fabulous job warming the crowd up. Towards the end of Nicole’s set, Tommy came out and they performed "Too Late," which is a song they wrote, produced, and arranged together for his band Bash & Pop. Stinson has an extensive history as a songwriter, musician, and vocalist. He was bass guitarist for The Replacements, Guns & Roses, Soul Asylum, Perfect, Bash and Pop, and solo work as well. Currently his latest venture is working with Chip Roberts as a duo called Cowboys in the Campfire.

Check out Tommy Stinson’s Cowboys in the Campfire song "Dream".

And check out Nicole Atkins in "Domino" featuring many Asbury Park landmarks!

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I was born and raised in New Brunswick, NJ surrounded by creativity and the arts. My parents always loved listening to music, so I was exposed to an array of genres from an early age. As my own tastes developed, I found myself drawn to performers who weren’t so mainstream. It was during college, while studying art and photography, that I embraced the punk scene and spent most of my free time “going to shows.” Whether it was in a local VFW Hall, a small club in the tri-state area, or somewhere on Rutgers campus, I was usually there with a camera. I became involved with local bands, working on photo shoots and designing artwork for them. After receiving my BFA in graphic design, I moved in the direction of publishing while always keeping an interest in photography. I currently live in Freehold, NJ and although concert photography still remains my favorite, I also like to incorporate portrait and wildlife work as well. Asbury Park has practically become a second home to me, and to this day you’ll still find me, whether working or in the audience, 'going to shows.'

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