On June 14th, New Jersey alt-punk rockers Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son took over the stage at The House of Independents in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Hailing from the town of East Brunswick, this band had the support and following of many friends, fans, and family in attendance and pumped out a show that rocked the walls of this intimate venue. Hard rock infused with catchy tunes and punk undertones made this performance a very enjoyable experience.
Their self-titled album, recently released, is their fourth; a notable accomplishment for a band that only formed in December of 2010. As a matter of fact, the very first performance of The Seventh Son (their original name) was only supposed to be a one-time gig. But if you attend one of their live shows, you will understand how and why this group immediately got a following who wanted more of this unique sound. In a time where a lot of music sounds the same, Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son have created an identity with a distinct sound that blends classic 70's rock, punk elements, and insightful lyrics with an abundance of enthusiasm.
The evening began with an outstanding performance by vocalist Mackenzie Brown and her band Mack (consisting of Connor Faleski, Andrew Conti, and Brett DeVesty). The bluesy rock-pop sound that emanated from her silky, smooth voice set the stage perfectly for a night jam-packed with eclectic artists.
The band Tula Vera followed, and I have to say that I am a huge fan after hearing them for the first time. The alternative garage rock band with bluesy undertones is as unique as they come. Claire Parcells (vocals, guitar) danced and moved across the stage as the meaning of the lyrics seemed to sink deep inside of her while she sang. Her vocals are as smooth as butter and as relaxed and natural as those of Norah Jones. Equally talented as a vocalist was Dylan Drummond (guitar, vocals) whose range and smooth tone were refreshing. Accomplished musicians Joe Jansen (bass) and Margaret Marino (drums) added artistry and funk to this group. I enjoyed this band very much and hope to have an opportunity to see them again one day as a headlining act.
The Burns were next in the lineup. These rockers were quite the unexpected breath of fresh air in the large pool of newer rock bands out today. Frontman Joe Henderson has a great southern rock-sounding voice and was constantly engaged with the fans, making jokes, and having an absolute blast entertaining the crowd. Actually, the entire band (Chris Dubrow-bass; Fern-lead guitar, Billy McCabe-drums) seemed to genuinely love playing. They produced amazing hard rock jams that had everyone dancing, singing and thrashing about.
As special guests, rock-pop singer Tommy London partnered with guitarist Matt Hogan to share his debut solo single "Sugar Red," as well as a few other musical gems. The duo are members of the rock group, Dirty Pearls, who are on a break as each member works on personal projects. The chemistry between London and Hogan was evident and they charmed the crowd in their seasoned musical style.
Fans were most definitely warmed up as Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son commandeered the stage. Dominated might be the better word. They started off with the 2014 hit "Another Deadbeat Summer" and never looked back. Their fourteen-song set included head-banging favorites such as "Empty Passenger Seats," "Shot in the Dark," and "Called It Quits;" all played with the energy and animation that would rival a Green Day concert.
Frontman Bobby Mahoney has powerhouse vocals that punctuate and drive his songs forward. His tone is similar in ilk to Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low, but he also has a grittiness and richness that makes it uniquely different. He exchanged jamming guitar solos with Andrew Saul (guitars, backing vocals) in several songs and their synergy is one of the band's best qualities. James McIntosh (drums) and Jon Chang-Soon (bass, backing vocals) were steadfast in providing a tight, fast-paced rock and roll foundation.
In terms of likability, this band wins hands down. They exuded a feeling of warmth and friendship with those in the audience and were happy to collaborate with fellow musicians during their performance. In a more tender moment, the band played their ballad "Black and Milds," which Bobby sang as a sweet duet with his friend Tori. And once he realized that former bandmates were in attendance, he invited them all on stage to sing and jam together. It was a really special moment and it seemed like each one of them had the time of their life up there on stage together.
As Mahoney introduced their final song "Roaring Twenties," he pointed out that its message is one of optimism and hope for better days ahead. Although these times can seem bleak, they prefer to focus on positive outcomes. That focus, along with a lot of hard work, seems to have paid off for this band. In just the last two months, their fourth, self-titled album Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son was released and they were asked to open for Bon Jovi at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on April 8, 2018. Make sure to catch one of their upcoming shows so you too can see what all of the hype is about!
June 23 – Lobsterfest (Bradley Beach, NJ)
July 13 – Pianos (New York City, NY)
July 14 – 13 (Easton, PA)
July 15 – Asbury Park Yacht Club (Asbury Park, NJ) and Blueberry Lawnching (East Brunswick, NJ)
Another Deadbeat Summer / Empty Passenger Seats / Called It Quits / Shot In The Dark / Jackie Was A Renegade / Danger Dan / Lorraine / Leave It Frayed / Ride Alone / Black and Milds / All These Things (The Killers cover) & Thrash Unreal (Against Me cover) / .38 Special / Roaring Twenties / Anxiety Queens