So last night I pretty much forced myself out the door and headed to Montclair for my first trip to The Old Mogul Theatre at 180 Bloomfield. With the flyer reading Doors at 7:00. I made a point to get there around 8:00.
The ten member Asbury Park act
Teenage Halloween were the first band I caught. With a horn section, guitars, bass, keys and drums. It looked as if the entire
Rutgers Marching Band was up on the stage. It would seem the the theatre's stage was custom built to host them. Honestly, it was a very rare moment for me.
Sure, I've been to my share of Ska shows and may have even attended a football game or two in High School. However, Teenage Halloween were somewhat outer worldly. Musically funky and diverse. The band matches excellent musicianship with movement and a overly quirky sound. Throughout the entire set I envisioned them in matching suits and sombreros. I'd love to see them do this on a tight postage stamp size stage.
I think it would be a neat trick. I really hope to see them again soon.
furthered my appreciation for this somewhat under the radar act. While their set did have some technical difficulties. The time spent making messing with knobs and tugging strings allowed them to show off their stage presence and ability to keep the crowd engaged. One of the highlights of the set and the night was when one Tui Jordan got on stage to drop a hot track. Tui is, herself, a band in the making. Overall, a good set from a band that just might get me to leave the house more often. Good luck with the tour guys.
Putting a cap on an already stellar night was Don Giovani Records all star duo Shellshag. Hailing from Brooklyn, the duo featuring Jennifer Shagawat and John "Shellhead" Driver. play an eclectic mix of Punk and Noize. In the tenty years together. The duo has released four LP's allow with countless of EP's for numerous labels. Including their own imprint Starcleaner Records. The duo faced off trading riffs and tribal beats with John resembling an early 80's street punk and Jennifer looking more like a tribal chief. They put on one hello of a show with a minimalist approach and an cultish vibe.
A respectful nod to Joann Smalls, owner of The Old Mogul Theatre. She was working the door that night and made everyone feel welcome and comfortable. The room is huge with a large stage and a dressing room at both the left and right sides of the stage. Plenty of room for a hot dog stand and an ice cone machine. All it needs is a similarly eclectic mix of bands and a full house. Make it do kids. Make ir do.