Top 10 Arts Events of Week: Phish, New Brunswick Heart Festival, From Good Homes, more

Phish atlantic city 2021


Phish will perform on the beach in Atlantic City, Aug. 13-15.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Aug. 22.


Phish‘s success is really unique in rock history. Can you name another band that has been able to play amphitheaters, arenas and stadiums throughout the world for close to 30 years without ever having a major hit single? Originally scheduled for the summer 2020 but postponed because of the pandemic, the jam band’s three shows on the Atlantic City beach will finally take place Aug. 13-15 at 7:30 p.m., with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. For those not attending, webcasts will be available at, and each show will also be broadcast live on Phish’s SiriusXM station (Phish Radio, channel 29).

Also, to capitalize on the large number of Phish fans who will surely be looking for something to do after the shows, some Atlantic City venues have booked musically complementary, jam-filled late-night shows. Sound Waves at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino has Tauk with pedal steel virtuoso Robert Randolph (performing in a special Beatles vs. Hendrix set) and BoomBox, Aug. 13 at 11:45 p.m., and Lettuce, Aug. 14 at 11:45 p.m., while the Tropicana Showroom will feature Pink Talking Fish playing the music of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads and Phish, Aug. 14 at midnight.

BergenPAC in Englewood returns to presenting indoor shows with a concert by hard-rock band Queensrÿche, with Jaded Past opening, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m.


Brass Against — a group that plays covers of hard-rock songs, often with a political edge — and prominently features brass instruments, will perform at the free, outdoors Sounds of the City series at NJPAC in Newark, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. Check out the band’s version of Rage Against the Machine’s “Wake Up,” below.

• From Good Homes, the Jersey-based roots-rock band that presented a farewell show at the Waterloo Village Concert Tent 22 years ago this month, will reunite for a show at The Fields at Waterloo in Hackettstown, Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m. There will be no opening band, but From Good Homes will play three full sets.

Tammy L. Kernodle, author of the 2020 book “Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams,” will discuss the life and work of the groundbreaking jazz composer, Aug. 15 at 3 p.m. in a live stream co-sponsored by the Metuchen Arts Council-Jazz and the New Jersey Jazz Society. According to a press release, Kernodle “will explore Williams’ engagement with the musical practices of various local music scenes and the shifting sonic aspects of her sound identity. She will also examine how the racial and gender politics surrounding jazz culture in America significantly undermined her professional path and muted her contributions to the progression of the idiom.”

The presentation can be seen on, as well as on Facebook and YouTube, and will be archived on and YouTube. It is being offered at no charge, but donations are suggested.


The Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan will present “Rent” for limited-capacity audiences, Aug. 13-14 and 19-20 at 8 p.m., Aug. 14 and 21 at 2 p.m., and Aug. 15 and 22 at 3 p.m. There will be at least one empty seat between all parties, and each party will have direct access to its seats from the aisles. But the 8 p.m. Aug. 21 show will be at 100 percent capacity, with proof of vaccination required for this performance only.



The New Brunswick Heart Festival is a free, family-friendly, arts-oriented event taking place on Livingston Avenue in downtown New Brunswick, Aug. 14 from 4 to 9 p.m. Offerings will include tap dancer Omar Edwards, the New Brunswick Brass Band and Sonido Latino, from 4 to 5 p.m.; trumpeter-pianist James Gibbs, DJ New Brunswick Vinyl Society with rapper Silent Knight, and Hearts of Oak Youth Fife & Drums, from 5 to 6 p.m.; The Bilingual Birdies Trio and a Salsa Dance Class Party with Elvis Ruiz from 6 to 7 p.m.; and an live Art Battle at Above Art Studios (at 55B Morris St.) from 7 to 9 p.m. DJ music at several New Brunswick restaurants will follow. The event is co-sponsored by The State Theatre, the New Brunswick Cultural Center, the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center and Above Arts Studios.


Writers and longtime friends Jonathan Santlofer and Joyce Carol Oates will team up for a Zoom conversation about Santlofer’s new novel, the thriller “The Last Mona Lisa,” Aug. 17 at 8 p.m. The event is free; email Hoboken’s Little City Books at for the link.

Actors such as Brad Dourif, Danny Trejo, Skeet Ulrich, Chris Sarandon and David Naughton will appear at the Monster-Mania Con horror film and memorabilia convention, taking place Aug. 13-15 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill.

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