Recent Posts

Shows of the week: Gerard Way, others

Many more people will crowd into the Prudential Center on Saturday to see Demi Lovato and Christina Perri, but don’t be fooled by the numbers. The big show in the Garden State this week happens 20 miles to the south. On Wednesday night, the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville hosts Gerard Way’s return to the stage under his own banner. The last time Way sang at Starland, he was fronting My Chemical Romance, the band he founded in Northern New Jersey at the turn of the millennium. MCR made Way into an international star, and although the group disbanded, an international star he remains. Continue Reading →

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Shows of the week: Fred Hammond and Donnie McClurkin, Thomas Wesley Stern, Billy Hector, Onyx

A church it is not, but over the past 12 months, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark has hosted a run of astoundingly good gospel performances. Last October, Kirk Franklin presented a fierce, funny, high-energy set of devotional music that, when the star sat at the piano, felt reassuringly traditional. That show was followed by a gospel revue curated by Bishop Hezekiah Walker that featured a mid-evening appearance by Camden’s Tye Tribbett, a musical polymath whose band finds the middle ground between Weather Report and the Black Eyed Peas. Franklin and Walker are both members of the first generation of gospel artists who had to reconcile church music with the ascendance of hip-hop — and so are Fred Hammond and Donnie McClurkin, who will co-headline at NJPAC on Friday night. Both singers are on the far side of 50, and both are modernizers who have nevertheless remained faithful to inspirational music. Continue Reading →

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