Rocking for charity in a Jersey City cemetery



A Billie Joe Armstrong impersonator sings and plays with gravestones in the background at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery on Saturday.

“Gravestones are fragile. Please don’t sit or lean against them,” read handwritten signs in strategic places at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery on Saturday. And indeed, they were necessary, as people were sitting everywhere. That’s because the graveyard was hosting a concert.

Yes, you read that right. Every year, the cemetery hosts a benefit, with local musicians impersonating other bands.

The $10 admission charge, Saturday, went to upkeep of the historic cemetery. Food vendors sold refreshments and the musicians, blessed with pretty ideal late-October weather, impersonated Bob Dylan, Green Day (in a set devoted to songs from the band’s 1991 Kerplunk album), Guns N’ Roses, The Smiths and others.


SARAH LUSTIG contributor Jim Testa, left, sings as Bob Dylan, with backing by members of The Porchistas, at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery on Saturday.

At night, the party was scheduled to move to Jersey City’s Lamp Post Bar & Grille for covers of songs by The White Stripes, Thin Lizzy, The Beastie Boys and Radiohead.

Bands were introduced as the groups they were impersonating, not themselves, and many of those who attended wore costumes, as well.

This was the fifth annual The Ghost of Uncle Joe’s Halloween Fundraiser (named after a defunct, and much-loved, Jersey City nightclub), and a message on the cemetery’s Facebook page today deemed the event “the most AMAZING Record Breaking Halloween Fundraiser that we have ever had.!!”


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