At Pat DiNizio’s “Confessions of a Rock Star” shows, scheduled for the next seven Thursday nights at the Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park — with more weekly shows, possibly, to follow — you can hear just about anything he is capable of playing. He’ll touch on Smithereens material from the hits to the obscurities, plus songs from his solo albums, covers and unreleased material he’s writing for the Smithereens’ next album.
He’ll take requests, and tell stories.
“I throw everything I know at the audience, basically, and see what the reaction is,” he says. “But by telling the stories behind the songs — which I’ve been doing for many years now — and answering questions, and taking requests, it will be much more of a very cool interactive experience for most people.
“I’ve always been willing to sort of venture into areas where a lot of my contemporaries — a lot of my fellow songwriters and musicians and performers — don’t necessarily feel comfortable doing. But what is there to lose? There’s everything to gain, for not only myself, but the audience.”
DiNizio has done a series of “Confessions of a Rock Star” shows before, at the Riviera in Las Vegas, but this is the first time he’s doing it in his home state. And each show will also feature a local artist (see below for a complete list).
DiNizio — who still performs with The Smithereens, and is developing a project where he would offer songwriting instruction to aspiring artists via Skype — calls the Asbury Park shows “an extension and, perhaps, an enhancement, on some level, of what I did in Las Vegas.”
“I think in this situation,” he says, “I will be able to go a lot deeper into the Smithereens catalog, which is plentiful: There are so many songs now that, even within the context of a concert by the Smithereens, we never get to do. And there are songs, I believe, that are worthy of hearing — songs that our audience requests frequently that we aren’t able to do, in the context of our show.
“There are so many albums, and there are so many songs, and you have to do the hits that you were lucky enough to have in the first place, and you have to do the popular album tracks. You’ve got to do some tunes from cover albums that we did” — two albums of Beatles tunes, and one devoted to The Who’s “Tommy” — “which were, much to our surprise, very successful, and … opened the door for people to rediscover the band, and set the groundwork for (their last studio album) Smithereens 2011 and the next studio album that we’re doing.”
During the interview, which took place on Monday, DiNizio was not yet sure if his sets would be solo, or feature backing musicians. “It’s going to evolve,” he said. “At this point, I don’t know. There are lots of great players, people who are, in fact, going to be coming up to play with me. I have to figure it out. There may be different theme nights.”
One thing he definitely wants to do, though, is play at least some songs with the opening acts. “I’m in the process of calling all of them up,” he said, “to determine what songs we’ll be performing together.”
The shows begin at 8 p.m. at the Langosta Lounge, 1000 Ocean Ave. at Second Avenue, Asbury Park, and there is no cover.
Here are the opening acts:
Oct. 9: Arlan Feiles
Oct. 16: Bruce Tunkel of The Red House
Oct. 23: Dan Dazzo and Billy Siegel of the Whirling Dervishes and Everlounge
Oct. 30: Six to Midnight
Nov. 6: Salvatore Boyd
Nov. 13: Chris Brown
Nov. 20: The Accelerators