Casualty at the Saint, Asbury Park, NJ – 6/10/2011

Its been a crazy two weeks, so I’m trying to keep up with the individual blogs before I forget to…   They’ll be shorter than my longer-winded ones 🙂

Casualty at the Saint, Asbury Park, NJ – Friday, June 10th, 2011

I drove down to Asbury Park to see one of my best friends Jeff Hornlien play his first show with his new band “Casualty”.

If you haven’t heard by now, Jeff’s old band “The RiffSurfers” (that I managed – against my will LOL), are no more.  <insert huge sad face here>   No dramatic fight between the 5 J’s (Jeff Hornlien, Jimmy Diamonde, Jenna D’Onofrio, John Kraemer & James Hannon (umm, that’s me),  but things weren’t happening, and we all eventually went different directions.  I went on to promote my book “Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang“;  John became Johnny Rox and joined the band “Tasting Grace” (see my review of their shows here and here);  Jenna joined the successful cover band Decades Invasion and is probably playing somewhere near you this weekend (and next weekend, and the weekend after that);  Jimmy became James Giunta, Certified Hypno-Therapist and currently has a thriving practice in Red Bank, NJ.   And Jeff started up this new band called “Casualty” with old RiffSurfer drummer Sean O’Connor and bass player Nicky Vitucci.   So now that you’re all caught up with the history of the band, lets move on to their first show.

They hit the Saint’s stage at around 10:45pm and they rocked the joint.   Apparently word got out about this fresh new band and the Saint was pretty packed – I would guess over 100 people were there in this small club, and most were there to see Casualty.  Very nice showing for their first gig!   This three piece band was tight – I wouldn’t have guessed that they weren’t playing together that long prior.   They did quite a few reworked RiffSurfers songs, some new stuff, and some killer covers of songs by KISS and the Smithereens – and the crowd loved them.

Now, while I’ve been around the RiffSurfers for a while and really love their sound, I have to say I love the new stripped down versions of the songs.   Not having keyboards in the band reduced some of the “sophistication” of the music, but replaced it with more RAW power…  I would hate to be asked which version of the songs I like better, so I will ask that you check them both out and come to your own conclusions!

Outside of the music, one of the great things from the evening’s event is that most of the RiffSurfers bandmembers were there, as well as some great friends who I haven’t seen in a while.  I’ve been really missing the “homey-ness” of hanging out with these people lately, and it was a great bonus of coming out to the show that night.   Looking forward to more shows from Casualty (and Tasting Grace and Decades Invasion over the coming Summer)

Pictures below

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