Guitar Bar’s annual play-along concert planned for Hoboken’s Sinatra Park, July 21

guitar bar play-along

James Mastro at the annual Guitar Bar play-along concert in 2017.

After a two-year hiatus, the Hoboken music store Guitar Bar will host its eighth free play-along concert, featuring The Guitar Bar All-Stars, at Sinatra Park in Hoboken, July 21.

Guitar Bar owner James Mastro invites attendees to play along with store staff members who make up the All-Stars band by bringing acoustic guitars or other stringed instruments. The goal is to organize the world’s largest band, according to Mastro.

“After being so isolated these past couple years, I can’t think of a better way to bring people together then to resume this show,” said Mastro. “These concerts never cease to amaze me at how powerful and cathartic it can be playing music with other people — and when you make it several hundred playing at the same time, that power is exponentially multiplied.

“Even if someone is just watching the event, there’s no way you won’t be uplifted.”

In 2013, he planned the first event — coincidentally, the day before Bob Dylan was scheduled to perform in Hoboken.

CINDY STAGOFF

Event leaders hold up chord charts for those playing along at Sinatra Park, in 2019.

“We were planning the Dylan tribute night, and it just seemed selfish for us to have all the fun,” Mastro said in a prior interview. “His songs — though lyrically deep — are some of the simplest songs to play. So we encouraged people to bring their guitars, and we held up chord charts for them to follow along.”

The record for the largest performing rock band is 953 musicians, set by the Beijing Contemporary Music Academy in Tianjin, China. Mastro, his staff and community members will have to come out in droves to surpass that record.

For those who want to practice before the show, Guitar Bar will post instructional videos and chord charts for the songs on Guitar Bar’s Facebook page and Twitter account.

Among the songs you can expect to hear are Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” Wet Leg’s “Chaise Lounge,” Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun” and Tears for Fears’ “Head Over Heels.”

The event starts at 7 p.m., but organizers encourage participants to arrive by 6:30 to register and secure a good seat.

The show is part of Hoboken’s Concerts in the Park series. Visit hobokennj.gov.

Those with questions can email info@guitarbar.com. There is no rain date. In case of inclement weather, check Guitar Bar’s social media accounts for updates.

Here is “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” from 2013:

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