JerseyStyle Photography

Event: Sofar Sounds Asbury Park

On the heels of shooting rock and roll Hall of Famers (and potential Hall of Famers) a few day before in New York, I came back to New Jersey for a decidedly smaller event.

September 20, a Wednesday evening, saw 1,000 artists in 60 countries played 300 gigs – in conjunction with Amnesty International and Sofar Sounds – to raise awareness of the world’s refugees.

One of these gigs was in Asbury Park and I had the pleasure of shooting The Vansaders (my favorite NJ band now) and The Front Bottoms in about as intimate setting as you could get – someone’s backyard.


I had first heard about this “secret show” on Twitter. Seeing who was playing I decided to try to get to shoot it. After a few emails, the two guys hosting the show said “C’mon down!”

So I did!

The Vansaders (lead by Doug Zambon who I shot for my Musicians And The Mosaic project last month) plugged in and kicked off this backyard show.



Doug Zambon

I thought The Vansaders sounded great. Here’s a video I shot (while shooting stills) so you can have a listen.

It was a challenging spot for The Vansaders to be in. The attendees, of which there were about 30 people, had to try to win tickets. From what I understand, the big draw was The Front Bottoms, and that’s who people were there to see.

That said, I thought Doug and his band did a great job and won over some new fans.

After a brief intermission where a Diedre, a volunteer from Amnesty International, talked about AI’s mission, The Front Bottoms took the stage…uh, patio.

Brian Stella, lead singer of The Front Bottoms

The Front Bottoms, an Asbury Park band, are blowing up a bit along the Jersey Shore and nationally, from what I understand. They play some catchy riffs with quirky lyrics that remind me a bit of Wheezer.

I didn’t get the chance to shoot any original video of them, but here’s Vacation Town, a song they released earlier in September.

To be honest, I don’t love the images I pulled from this shoot. Yes, it was a bit challenging – one spotlight, not many angles to hit, not much room for the musicians to do much – I thought I could have worked the scene a bit better.

It’s all a process, I guess. While I was happy with my hustle to get this shoot booked, maybe next time I can figure out something to make lemonade when I get dealt lemons.

Well, maybe not lemons since the bands were good, it was for a great cause (I did some live Tweeting during it as well) and I got some keepers.

So, not so much just lemons, but more like really tart, but slightly sweet water. Know what I mean?

The crowd…plus Deidre and The Front Bottoms

Gotta keep after it. Gotta keep growing and learning.

And shooting. Always be shooting.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2017

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