Top 10 NJ Arts Events of the Week: U2, Kool & the Gang, more


U2 will perform at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, June 28-29.

A guide to notable arts events taking place around the state, through July 5:


• U2 will make the only New Jersey stops on its Joshua Tree Tour 2017, June 28-29 at 7 p.m. at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. The shows will include the band’s classic The Joshua Tree album in its entirety (in celebration of its 30th anniversary), as well as about a dozen other songs. The Lumineers, best known for their 2012 hit “Ho Hey,” will open.

• Kool & the Gang, the band that first came together in Jersey City more than 50 years ago, will be the musical headliner of the Freedom and Fireworks Festival, taking place July 4 from 1 to 10 p.m. at Liberty State Park in Jersey City. They are scheduled to perform at 8:15 p.m. Other performers will include Kareem Walkes, The Shady Street Show Band, The Paris-New York Band, Rocky and the Chapter, and Giselle. There will also be carnival rides, children’s entertainers, food, a beer garden and, of course, fireworks at sunset.

Original Smithereens bassist Mike Mesaros — who played with the band for the first time in 11 years in October, and also has rejoined them for some of the shows since then — will be on hand when the band performs at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, July 2-3 at 7 p.m. Rick Winowski and Snowblind will open both shows, and High Strung will open on July 2 as well. Also, Smithereens frontman Pat DiNizio has shows of his own June 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Crossroads at Garwood (featuring Beatles covers) and July 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.


• Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes will present their annual Fourth of July Week show at the Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park, July 1, with doors opening at 5 p.m. The Weight, featuring Jim Weider of The Band and musicians who have worked with various Band members, will open, and The Eddie Testa Band, The Nick Clemons Band and Saints in the City will perform on the club’s indoors stage before, after and between the outdoor sets.

The “Art of Rap” concert at Prudential Hall at NJPAC, June 30 at 8 p.m., will feature DMX, Wu-Tang Clan members Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, and Havoc, and include a tribute to Havoc’s Mobb Deep partner Prodigy, who died on June 20. DJ Chuck Chillout will host.  The show takes its name from the 2012 hip-hop documentary “Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap,” directed by Ice-T.

• Remembers Jones’ EP release party at the Baronet Rooftop of the Asbury Hotel, July 4, has sold out, a second show, July 3, has been added. Both are at 7 p.m. While the July 4 show will be a good viewing spot for fireworks in the sky, the July 3 show will feature onstage fireworks only. The EP — the five-song Tranquilizer! — was recorded in Nashville and produced by Andrija Tokic, who has worked with Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff and others. It will be available at the show, and will be officially released later in July. In the event of rain, one or both shows will move inside the hotel.


Folk scene veteran Happy Traum will perform and give a multimedia presentation titled “Coming of Age in the Folk Revival” — focusing on the Greenwich Village folk scene of the ’50s and ’60s — June 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship.

This gouache drawing, by Art Seiden, from his 1962 children’s book “Puppies,” is part of the “Cats vs. Dogs: Illustrations for Children’s Literature” exhibition at the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick.


• “Cats vs. Dogs: Illustrations for Children’s Literature,” an exhibition that opens on July 1 at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and will run for almost a year, features more than 40 drawings and collages by Frank Asch, Mary Chalmers, Tony Chen, Roger Duvoisin, Shari Halpern, Lois Lenski, Ward Schumaker and Art Seiden. The museum has a large collection of art made for children’s books, and is drawing from it for this exhibition.


The year’s “Music and Movies Under the Stars” series in Fort Lee launches July 1 at 7 p.m., with a performance by the neo-swing group Swingadelic followed by a screening of the movie “La La Land,” outdoors at the Fort Lee Community Center. (In the event of rain, the show will move inside.) Both the concert and the movie are free.

• Azzan Yadin-Israel — a Rutgers University professor of Jewish studies who has taught an honors seminar on “Bruce Springsteen Theologies” — will give a talk on his 2016 book, “The Grace of God and the Grace of Man: The Theologies of Bruce Springsteen,” June 29 at 4 p.m at the Alexander Library at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.

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