Words by Audra Tracy

What better way to celebrate the holiday than sharing drinks and barroom singalongs with some Rhode Island riffraff? On this 4/20, Deer Tick sunk its teeth into The Stone Pony in Asbury Park for a Friday night of unapologetic fun. The boys wore their Sunday best to perform songs off their latest efforts, Divine Providence and the Tim EP (Partisan Records).

Blazing yellow lights onstage spelled out the words Deer Tick, and around 10PM out came the indie rockers, making their Asbury debut with the cautionary tale ‘The Bump’. When John McCauley (vocals/guitar) hollered the lyrics “I’m at your function/and I’m an animal/I’m in your town/I’ve got a warrant ooooooout!”, it pretty much set the tone for the show. It was kind of the band’s way of saying, ‘It’s okay to get a little sloppy tonight’.


Dressed in a pink tuxedo jacket, the man behind the mic is a cross between Cash and Cobain: the outlaw of the indie scene. McCauley doesn’t just sing about mayhem, he openly encourages it. The Stone Pony’s security staff collectively cringed when, at one point, McCauley noted ‘If we see a fight break out in the crowd, we’ll jump off-stage and join in!’.

The band was also very proud to show off their newly acquired sampling machine, which spit out random rounds of applause in between the live treatment of tracks like ‘Main Street’ and ‘Born at Zero’.

Deer Tick offered a good balance of material, from the slow and soulful ‘Twenty Miles’ to the punk rock closer ‘Let’s All Go to the Bar’, which culminated with bassist Chris Ryan crowd-surfing on some Jersey shore kids lining the front row. For a band of drunken devils like Deer Tick, Asbury Park seemed like their kinda town.


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