As the hours past and the show creeped closer and closer I began to feel sluggish and rethink my plans for the night. Though I love Four Fingers and wanted to give them a proper goodbye before they embarked on their tour. I had seen them numerous times in recent months and with the exception of Rabbit Troupe I wasn't really inspired by the bands on the bill. At the last minute I gave myself the push I needed and I was off.
As I arrived Sick Jerk? were well into their set. I had recently seen the band play with Four Fingers in Denville and didn't leave with much of an impression but the few songs I caught were really good. The band plays good high energy punk with a comic satire. Just a bunch of kids having fun. I had just arrived and hadn't worked my way through the already growing crowd. Therefore I didn't get any pictures of the band.
Rabbit Troupe followed and played a short set that was really impressive. I've been hearing about these guys for about a year now and it was great finally getting to hear what all the hype was about. The bands performance was short due to some scheduling issues but they made the very most of their time. The band plays high energy indie rock with influences varying from Dinosaur JR. to My Bloody Valentine. The crowd really reacted to the bands set, energy and talent. I was really taken by these guys and I'm looking forward to lots more shows.
I had seen The Flops a few weeks prior at Kearny Irish and to be honest I wasn't the least bit into them. Nonetheless, I didn't want to go entirely on my first impression and took it all in with an open mind. The band plays Hardcore that reminds me of a lot of the stuff I avoided in the 90's. Tough guy mosh core with a Metal influence. The night they played Kearny Irish they broke into a Cro-mags cover that sent the crowd into a frenzy. This time we weren't so lucky. Before they got far in to their set I was convinced I was not into this band at all.
Prior to the show I had absolutely no knowledge or preconceived notions of Melissa & Paul whatsoever. I was, however, curious. So I decided to stay and see what manifested. A two piece with such as Melissa & Paul might get immediate comparisons to the White Stripes and The Black Keys (Both stellar acts in my opinion) but they really stand on their own and create a unique sound that's a melting pot of Rock, Psych, Punk, Garage and the Blues. The set was a highlight to what was already turning out to be a damn good night. Melissa & Paul's chemistry with one another and the crowd were warm and honest. Before their set was over I was already fumbling for my wallet for cash to buy the double 7 inch they had at the merch table. This is a band worthy of checking out and throwing your support to. I also recommend picking up the record if you get the chance.
After what seemed to be some confusion Four Fingers took the stage and went head first in to a set of chaos and bombast. This was their last show in New Jersey before they head out on a summer tour and to say they started things on a high note would be an understatement. I met Tohm, Jeff, Chris and Ryan some time ago and can't say enough about these guys. The band embodies the D.I.Y. spirit. They've been playing shows anywhere and everywhere for years now releasing countless 7 inches, booking their own tours and helping everyone they meet along the way. The band plays a style that is parts A.O.D., parts Black Flag and parts Stooges. Tohms stage presence is that of a wild man bent on self destruction. I've been to many shows where he's ended up a bloody pulp. Yet as self destructive as his style is he treats the crowd with this love and compassion that is rare. The more I see these guys the more I learn that Four Fingers is not a band as much as it is a family. Anyone that comes to their shows is drawn into their circle and accepted unconditionally. The band was in good form on this particular night. As long as I've known them Tohm and drummer Chris have been the madmen of the band. Yet during recent show I've seen guitarist Jeff come out of his shell and really show off what a good guitarist he is. Ryan, the newest member really compliments the band and in my opinion was the the perfect addition to the band. He somehow brings it all together.
A great set to cap off the night and I can't say enough about the people in the audience. I see so many shows where the audience stand in what looks like the next zip code. Afraid that if they got any closer they might lose connection to their wifi. These people were on top of it. They were into it and they were singing along to ever note. James Damion
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