Words by Patrick Lacey | Photos by Nicole Mago
A few months ago, The Parlor Mob announced via Facebook that a new album was due out in the fall, along with a handful of shows. This news was greeted with great relief from a loyal fan base that had been wondering if or when the rockers would resurface. Any music fan will tell you they are one of those ‘ya gotta see live’ acts that are worth making an effort to go see. So on September 11th, my efforts found me at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City.
From the beginning of the show, the gang from Asbury Park displayed no signs of rust from not performing in over two years. It was all still there, face-melting guitar from David Rosen and Paul Ritchie and a rhythm section composed of Sam Bey on drums and newcomer Gianni Scalise on bass that played at a torrid pace. Not to mention the vocals of Mark Melicia, which are unparalleled to most singers today and were highlighted in the epic version of “Tide of Tears” in the middle of the set.
While this show was promoting the release of Cry Wolf, which is usually the chance bands have to showcase new music, The Parlor Mob spread it around in the setlist, playing cuts from each album in their catalog. Though the new material was very good and showed promise to the future of the band, the real crowd-pleasers were the old favorites. Songs like “The Kids”, “Hard Enough” and “Fall Back” got the crowd primed up, it was others like “Bullet”, “Real Hard Headed” and “Everything You’re Breathing For” that made fans give everything they had to let the band know they were missed during their time off. But the highlight of the night had to be the incredible version of “Hard Times” with guitarists Rosen and Ritchie facing off in a frenzied extended jam to close the show.
Nearly two straight hours of blistering rock ‘n’ roll concluded with an encore that featured the fan favorite “Can’t Keep No Good Boy Down” and an intense “Into the Sun”. One can only hope that these few shows are just a taste of what’s to come from these fellas from New Jersey, not a tease of what used to be and won’t be again. All I can say is if they come to a venue near you, make the effort to go, you won’t regret it.
TheWaster.com | Cry Wolf