Words by Alex Napoliello | Photos by Joe Papeo
Shangri-La may be a fictitious paradise, but for one day in June, the utopia touched down in Jersey City, showering the waterfront with great live music, unique vendors, bottomless sangria, and whoopie pies aplenty.
Our friends at 4th Street Arts hosted Shangri-La @ The Pier on 6/16, a celebration of art and music along the Hudson at J. Owen Grundy Park. The weather was superb, and the view – even better. The main stage was set before a breathtaking backdrop of the world-famous New York City skyline, and featured some of the Garden State’s greatest local talent.
Jersey City natives Thomas Francis Takes His Chances took their traveling circus-like antics to the main stage at approximately 6PM. With the crowd starting to get a buzz on, many danced around each other, stomping their feet and clapping their hands to the TFTHC’s quirky hooks. Frontman Andrew ‘Felz’ Kenny spent a large portion of the set on the stage floor, clapping his flip-flops to lead the beat and screaming until his face turned red adding to the Thomas Francis madness.
Shortly before TFTHC kicked the party off on the main stage, The One & Nines, Jersey City natives as well, warmed up the Shangri-La crowd on a sunny side stage. Fans who were roaming around aimlessly were suddenly attracted to the soulful rhythm and funky brass section. Drawing in closer, fans watched Vera Sousa (vox) lead her band of boys through grooves akin to that of Brooklyn’s Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds.
Back at the main stage, members of Thomas Francis Takes His Chances were now dancing on the back of the stage while pop synth Jersey native TEEEL turned the party up another notch to 11. As TEEEL powered through a heavy-hitting set, more and more fans gravitated towards the stage, making the scene look like a college dance party.
Asbury Park’s Brick + Mortar followed, adding to the electronic feel of the party and keeping consistent with the minimalist style. Similar to Brooklyn’s Matt and Kim, Brick + Mortar are an electronic duo but feature drums and bass rather than drums and keys.
Brooklyn’s Monogold rounded out the night and was definitely worth sticking around for. Monogold offered a nice break from the previous band’s electronic madness; their soothing melodies flowed right over the river and through the NYC skyline. The excitement was taken down a notch for sure, but at this point in the day, the fans were ready for a breather.
Thanks to 4th Street Arts for hosting this incredible event, and for continuing to support our beloved New Jersey arts scene. Cheers!
TheWaster.com | Jersey City