Words by Kenny Bieber

Band Photos/Words by Diane DiMemmo

Festival Photos by Melissa Lawlor

September 24, 2021

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Day Two of Sea.Hear.Now proved to further expand its diverse lineup of contemporary and established talent and proved to have its equal share of highlights and unexpected surprises! The afternoon kicked off in rousing fashion with the electrifying American Trappist from Philly who won over the crowd and delivered a set worthy of Reading and Leeds and other noteworthy festivals. Their punky and visceral energy was a welcome start over at the surf stage which then later gave way to the exuberant and impossibly infectious The Happy Fits.

The Happy Fits drew quite the audience for an early set and won over any uninitiated with a set full of rollicking energy and a tremendous amount of chemistry and joy to spare. The band .fresh off their recent album What Could Be Better, were in eager spirits and kept their brand of enthusiasm and positivity flowing throughout. Frontman Calvin Langman impressively handled both cello and vocal duties as well. Overall, The Happy Fits delivered one of the most refreshing and utterly enjoyable sets of the festival and proved why they’re a rising talent full of promise.

The rest of the proceedings gave way to a truly eclectic festival experience, with standouts including the exhilarating blues rock of Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears who put on an outrageously entertaining and high-energy set full of rollicking energy and plenty of vintage swagger and style to spare. Mid-day through, rising country talent Orville Peck captivated the sand stage with a set full of surprises and a performance that was refreshingly authentic and intimate. Credit also to his top-notch backing band and a setlist that showcased his diverse range including a low-key yet truly captivating Lady Gaga cover that won over the audience effortlessly.

Over at the park stage turned out to be quite the destination as ALT-pop group Grouplove wowed audiences with an immensely high-energy and infectious set that was pure joy from start to finish, complete with drinking out of a shoe, lots of dancing and a stage presence that was electrifying from minute to minute. The sonic diversity of the evening gave way to reggae rock/hip-hop act Dirty Heads who got the audience properly hyped with their setlist full of bangers and surprisingly anthemic acoustic numbers as well. Delivering a set that was exciting, dynamic, and undeniably enthralling, Dirty Heads brought plenty of vitality and flair to the festival and more than dominated the crowd in the process.

If you were to look up “Rockstar” in the dictionary, the definition should be only two words. BILLY. IDOL. The man, the legend, the rock and roll trailblazer of the 70’s and 80’s was in top form as he commandeered the stage as only a true musical icon can do. Idol showed his characteristic energy and conversational nature with the crowd by covering every inch of the massive stage and thanking his “always supportive New Jersey fans” for making his life so “fucking great!” He ripped through many of his most popular tunes such as “Flesh For Fantasy,” “Eyes Without A Face,” “Rebel Yell,” and “White Wedding;” as well as sharing new standout singles "Rita Hayworth” and “Bitter Taste” from his album - The Roadside – released just this year. The audience on the beach swelled, fists punched the air, and everyone sang at the top of their lungs as Idol punched out one of the best performances of Sea.Hear.Now 2021. Here’s hoping he has more new music under his sleeve because he just keeps getting better and better!

The Smashing Pumpkins put a great big exclamation point on 2021’s Sea.Hear.Now Music Festival with a twenty-song set chock full of fan favorites like “Today,” “1979,” “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” and “Zero” to name just a few. The band amplified the chill SHN festival vibe with their signature dreamy goth/metal/progressive/psychedelic rock sound and the stage took on a mysterious look with dimmed lighting and a smokey haze. With over 30 million albums sold, The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the 1990’s and the large size of the festival audience Sunday evening proved that their following is as loyal and dedicated as ever. Their set was passionate, intense, and deeply felt by every festival attendee. Such a perfect way to end 2021’s wildly successful Sea.Hear.Now!

Overall, Day Two of Sea.Hear.Now boasted a robust lineup of some of today’s most noteworthy, original and well-rounded talent with some truly inspired headlining performances and a refreshing mix of local and national discoveries along the way! We cannot wait to see who will be rocking the beach in 2022!

Click here for coverage of Day One!

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