Top 12 NJ Arts events of Week: Guns N’ Roses, Rise Against, Judith Hill, Dylan tribute, more

Guns N' Roses, Newark

WES ORSHOSKI

Axl Rose and Slash of Guns N’ Roses, shown performing at the Prudential Center in Newark in 2017.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Aug. 5.

MUSIC

MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford will present its first concert since the pandemic began, Aug. 5 at 6 p.m., featuring the volatile and musically ambitious hard-rock band Guns N’ Roses. Mammoth WVH, led by Wolfgang Van Halen (son of Eddie and the Van Halen band’s bassist from 2007 to 2020), will open. Tickets from the original date, in 2020, will be honored.

Guns N’ Roses and Mammoth WVH also will perform at the Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, Sept. 11-12 at 8 p.m.

The 7 p.m. July 29 installment in Hoboken’s free Concerts in the Park series will be a Bob Dylan tribute, featuring Swingadelic’s Cheap Guitars, Gene D. Plumber, Kate Jacobs, Elena Skye and Boo Reiners (from The Demolition String Band), Deena Shoshkes and Jon Fried (from The Cucumbers), Jack Skuller, Abbe Rivers, Ed Fogarty, John Bauers, Dave Post, Elevator Pitch and others. The show will take place at Sinatra Park, at 525 Sinatra Drive.

The Stone Pony has previously presented shows indoors and at its South Side Beer Garden this summer, but will resume shows at its large outdoor Summer Stage this weekend, with Splintered Sunlight‘s Grateful Dead tribute, with the Pete Tonti Band opening, July 30 at 5:30 p.m.; and Rise Against, with Descendents and Spanish Love Songs, July 31 at 5:30 p.m.

JUDITH HILL

Judith Hill — a singer-songwriter who has worked with artists such as Michael Jackson, John Legend and Josh Groban, and who was featured in the Oscar-winning 2013 documentary about backing vocalists, “20 Feet From Stardom” — will perform her own music outdoors at Enlow Hall at Kean University in Hillside, July 31 at 6:30 p.m. (see video below)

Hill’s 2015 debut album, Back in Time, was co-produced by Prince, who also sang on it and contributed guitar, bass and drum parts.

Fantastic Cat — a new band featuring singer-songwriters Mike Montali, Anthony D’Amato, Brian Dunne and Don DiLego — will perform at the first concert at of 90.5 The Night Brookdale Public Radio’s free Songwriters on the Beach series at Silver Lake Park in Belmar, Aug. 5 at 7 p.m., with musicians from the Students of Rockit Academy opening. Other shows in the series will feature the Cranston Dean Band, Aug. 12; Tash Neal, Aug. 19; and Overcoats, Aug. 26.

Singer-songwriter Jill Sobule will perform at a benefit for the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, July 30 at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton. Located in Princeton Junction, the center defines itself as “a community activist center, educational enclave, & safe-space for our LGBTQIA kids, intersectional families, & all marginalized people, connecting our disparate communities, both locally & nationally.”

Members of the Montclair Orchestra’s Percussion Ensemble.

The Montclair Orchestra’s Percussion Ensemble will present a concert titled “Percussive Harmony,” Aug. 1 at 8 p.m., outdoors at the Morris Museum in Morris Township. The program will include works by Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, Bizet, Joplin, Gershwin and George Hamilton Green.

Due to pandemic travel restrictions, the band Screaming Orphans, which is partially based in Ireland, had to cancel its United States tour. One of their dates was a free show, outdoors at Woodbridge High School, Aug. 4 at 7:30; replacing them will be the popular, musically ambitious folk-rock group, The Slambovian Circus of Dreams.

Aug. 1 from 3 to 8 p.m., Bar Anticipation in Lake Como will present a benefit for the Feeling Beautiful Cancer Recovery Foundation, with the Eddie Testa Band, Guns 4 Hire, Frankenstein 3000, The Ruckus, The Outsiderz, Strumberry Pie and more. SiriusXM disc jockey (and Frankenstein 3000 member) Keith Roth will host, and veteran rock photographer Mark Weiss will display his work in a gallery, and auction off some pieces.

THEATER

As part of Bernard Township’s Plays in the Park series, Trilogy Repertory will present the Neil Simon-written 1988 farce “Rumors” at the amphitheater at Pleasant Valley Park in Basking Ridge, July 30-31 and Aug. 5-7 at 8 p.m. There is no admission charge; lawn chairs are recommended.

Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater will present “Three’s a Crowd” at Bell Works in Holmdel.

DANCE

Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater presents “Three’s a Crowd” at Bell Works in Holmdel, July 29-31 at 7 p.m. as well as July 31 at 3 p.m. and Aug. 1 at 2 and 5 p.m. The program features dances for one, two and three performers and includes works by Paul Taylor (an excerpt from “Roses”) and Martha Graham (“Lamentation,” “Satyric Festival Song”) and new pieces choreographed by members of New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company and The Juilliard School. The dances will be set to music by composers ranging from Wagner to Astor Piazzolla, as well as an original string quartet by composer Chris Becker, inspired by David Bowie’s “Heroes.”

OTHER

Time is running out to see “Springsteen: His Hometown,” an exhibition at the Monmouth County Historical Association in Springsteen’s hometown of Freehold that opened in 2019, closed because of the pandemic in 2020, and reopened in May. The exhibition will run through July 31. The exhibition features about 150 items from the MCHA’s collection and from the collection of the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, as well as items loaned from Springsteen’s family and management, fan-created art, and fan-taken photos.

Click here to read my original review.

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