The Very Best Thing About the Shore

Drunk, loud, sweaty — there's still nothing like watching a cover band in a crowded bar at the Shore

I couldn’t begin to list all that I love about Sea Isle. Its beautiful, perfect-length beaches. Standing in the middle of Pleasure Avenue between Braca Cafe and Dalrymples and realizing that very little has changed about that spot of the planet in decades. “Christmas in July” on 35th St. Waiting in line in the singular most insane Wawa in the world behind women in bikinis buying packs of Parliaments. (Whoops, I think I’ve used that line before in a pervious article.)

The parties. The bikes. Reading on the beach. Carrying kegs up a flight of steps. Talking a nap on the deck. Playing ball on JFK Blvd. That older-than-dirt Acme. I don’t have time to list all the reasons. You wouldn’t have time to read them all. [SIGNUP]

But what I really love about Sea Isle? What I can’t just get enought of ? It’s not even close. Its the Music. The cover bands and acoustic acts that that have been leading us in drunkeb singalong’s on sweaty, 100-degree dance floors. “Geez, I got an idea. Let’s add music and beer TOGETHER and see what happens!” Do you know I listen to more live music between Memorial Day and Labor Day than I do the rest of the year combined? And it’s not exactly like I sit at home during the off-season watching reruns of General Hospital on the Soap Channel. I go out a lot.

But there’s something so unique about live music at the Shore. Maybe it’s the fact that when you’re out at a bar in Sea Isle, you’re bumping into friends that you haven’t seen since last summer because they’re not from the same neighberhood as you. Let’s face it, if you’re from Northeast Philly and you’re at your favorite bar on the Boulevard., chances are that the most of the crowd in the club at that moment are not from Washington Township NJ. They’re probably from NE Philly like yourself.

But when you are down the shore, and spilling your vodka and club on someone dancing fool next to you, they can be from ANYWHERE. That’s the beauty of it.

Throw in the fact that a high percentage of bar patrons in Sea Isle have WALKED to the club and what you have is a mob that can REALLY let loose because they don’t have to worry about getting behind the wheel of a car. (Watch those drunks on bikes, however. I was once walking back to my joint via the boardwalk, a little inebriated myself to say the least, when I almost got ran over by a chick driving a tandem bike by HERSELF. Lord knows what happened to the knucklehead who was once on that other seat. Probabaly thrown off into a dune.)

Sea Isle, I hope you realize, gets the cream-of-the-crop cover bands from the tri-state area. They always have. The absolute best, and I LOVE cover bands. Look, I realize we have to have artists who create these songs to begin with. I get that. And I understand that many, many of these awesome musicians want hit records.

In the meantime, however, these bands and solo performers are out there night after night, set after set, song after song, slugging it out , so that you can wake up the next morning and have a wondeful memory (and a splitting hangover). Cell phones are abuzz all day.

“Damn, LeCompt ROCKED the Springfield last night!”

“Greengenes did three new U2 songs at the OD last night!”

“Brian and Mindy had the whole Carousel singing!”

“Can you believe it? Those Secrets Service dudes ARE STILL ALIVE!”

I also believe that often people take for granted just how terrific these musicians are. These cats can PLAY, believe me. They wouldn’t be booked in this town if they couldn’t. From the legendary defunct Rage bands to the relativity new (and extremely talented) Sub-G , it’s a goal for the bands to get good enough to play all our top-level Sea Isle clubs. Someday, and that day is already here for many reading this, you are going to look back at those hot summer nights dancing your ass off to these bands with as many fond memries as seeing a band at the Spectrum.

So take the time to clap when the lead singer hits that high note on “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Take notice when the lead guitarist nails the intro to “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” OK, its the zillionth time you’ve heard “Sweet Caroline,” but if you drink enough it might sound like the first.

Get out there! Pay the cover! Support live music!