Top 21 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, more

Paul McCartney will perform at the Prudential Center in Newark, Sept. 11-12.

Here’s a guide to notable arts events taking place around the state, through Sept. 12.


Paul McCartney will be spending a lot of time in the area this month, with shows at Madison Square Garden, the Barclays Center and the Nassau Coliseum. But he’ll kick off the fall leg of his One on One Tour with two shows at the Prudential Center in Newark, Sept. 11-12 at 8 p.m. McCartney was in New York on 9/11, and was inspired by that experience to write the song “Freedom,” so the first concert may have particular importance for him.

Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters brings his Us + Them Tour to the Prudential Center in Newark, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. He has said that the tour will feature “a mixture of stuff from my long career, stuff from my years with Pink Floyd, some new things. Probably 75 % percent of it will be old material and 25 % will be new, but it will be all connected by a general theme.”

For his third annual Shadow of the City festival — which takes place at the Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park, Sept. 10, with doors opening at 1 p.m. ;— Jersey native Jack Antonoff (of Bleachers, fun. and Steel Train) has put together a lineup that really emphasizes Jersey-bred talent, and also happens to be the festival’s most impressive lineup yet. The show will be headlined by Bleachers, and will also feature Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Brian Fallon, Titus Andronicus, Brick + Mortar, Nicole Atkins, Khalid and Tangerine, along with a charity dunk tank, carnival games, food trucks and other attractions.

Rent Party, the Maplewood concert series that raises money to combat hunger in the community, will throw its annual Rent Party Family Picnic, Sept. 9 from noon to 8 p.m. at Maplewood’s Maplecrest Park. There is no admission charge, but attendees are asked to bring non-perishable food for a food drive. Performers will include The 4th Street Niteowls, The Campfire Flies, Rebecca Turner, The Transplendent, Elk City, Bern & the Brights, Safe as Houses, Glenn Morrow’s Cry for Help, the Marco Ranieri Band, The Anderson Council and The Vaughns.

Nalani & Sarina will perform at The Saint in Asbury Park on Nov. 6.

NALANI & SARINA is one of the co-sponsors of Hub City Sounds: ROCK New Brunswick, a three-day festival that will peak with a free concert, Sept. 10 from noon to 6 p.m. in Boyd Park. The show will feature artists nominated by the event’s media sponsors — Nalani & Sarina (’s pick), Hub City Stompers, Sharief in Burgundy (featuring Sharief Hobley), The Anderson Council, Killer Shrimp, Cook Thugless and Silent Knight & the Band Called FUSE — plus the Vertical Fixation aerial acrobats and DJ Don Dazzo (from the Whirling Dervishes and Everlounge).

Also as part of Hub City Sounds: ROCK New Brunswick … The New Brunswick music scene, past and present, will be the subject of a panel discussion taking place Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Alexander Library at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Participants will include Smithereens drummer Dennis Diken, journalist Bob Makin, Sharief Hobley of the band Sharief in Burgundy, Audrey Rose of the band The Wichts, and Andrew Spina, who owns the New Brunswick record store Spina Records.

• The South Mountain International Blues Festival offers a full day of blues, jazz, soul, rock and R&B with no admission charge, beginning at noon Sept. 10 at the South Mountain Reservation in West Orange. Performers will include Ty Stephens and Souljaazz, the Regina Bonelli Experience, Big in China’s Allman Brothers Band Tribute (featuring Junior Mack), Blue Tropic Soul, The Soul Project, and Dean Shot’s Howlin’ Wolf Tribute (featuring Vin Mott).

Billing itself as “Jersey City’s first major folk festival,” the inaugural Hudson West Folk Festival takes place at Cathedral Hall, Sept. 9 from noon to 10 p.m., with sets by The Mammals, The Chapin Sisters, Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards, Abbie Gardner, Matt Nakoa, Bobtown, Dayna Kurtz, Amy Allison, Diana Jones and others, plus workshops and vendors.

Willie Nelson will bring his Outlaw Music Festival Tour to the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, Sept. 8.

Willie Nelson has put together his own touring festival, titled Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival and featuring different lineups in every city. It comes to the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, Sept. 8 at 4 p.m., with Nelson, Sheryl Crow, The Avett Brothers, Margo Price, Nelson’s son Lukas with his band Promise of the Real, and Particle Kid.

Music, storytelling, environmental displays, children’s activities and sailboat rides will all be part of the 42nd annual New Jersey Friends of Clearwater Festival, taking place at the Larrison Hall Commons of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, Sept. 9 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Among the performers on three stages, throughout the weekend, will be After the Reign, The O’Neill and Martin Band, The Jody Joseph Band, The May Darlings, The Emily Grove Band, The Cobra Brothers, The Wag, Arlan Feiles & the Broken Hearted, George Wirth and Keith Monacchio.

Formed last year, and preparing to release its self-titled debut album on Sept. 15, Prophets of Rage is a politically outspoken rap-rock supergroup that features members of Public Enemy (rapper Chuck D and DJ Lord), Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave (guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk) and Cypress Hill (rapper B-Real). They will perform at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, Sept. 9, with doors opening at 7 p.m.

With the Roar to the Shore motorcycle rally coming to Wildwood, Sept. 7-10, the city will also present a Rock and Roar 2017 concert on the beach (south of the Wildwoods Convention Center), Sept. 8 at 6 p.m., with Eddie Money, Foghat, the Michael Allman Band and Dead Fish Handshake.

“No One Is Alone: A Concert of Hope” takes place at the Central Presbyterian Church in Summit, Sept. 10.

The Central Presbyterian Church in Summit, which hosts the Pipes of Christmas concerts every holiday season, will be the site of a Hurricane Harvey Relief Concert, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. There will be no admission charge for the event, titled “No One Is Alone: A Concert of Hope,” but donations for the cause will be collected. ;Many of the performers will be familiar to those who have attended Pipes of Christmas concerts over the years, though there will be some new faces, too, including one of New Jersey’s leading gospel groups, Rev. Stefanie Minatee and the Jubilation Gospel Choir. Other performers will include vocalists Gillian Hassert and Wayne Mallette, pipers from the Rampant Lion Pipe Band, The Shot of Scotch Highland Dancers, guitarist/composer Steve Gibb, fiddler Calum Pasqua harpist Mia Theodoratus, singer John Grimaldi and pianist Mark Yolleck.

A free concert by the Eagles tribute band, EagleMania, will be part of the 30th annual Netcong Day celebration, taking place on Maple Street in Netcong, Sept. 10. There will also be a 5K walk/run race, a street fair, children’s entertainment, food vendors and more. The event begins at 10:30 a.m., and EagleMania will perform two sets, beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Brazil-born percussionist Cyro Baptista, who has played with everyone from Yo-Yo Ma to Sting in the course of his career, will play Afro-Brazilian improvisational jazz with with his Banquet of the Spirits group at a free concert at the Montclair Public Library, Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m.

• Engelbert Humperdinck — who had his first big hit, “Release Me (and Let Me Love Again),” in 1967 — will bring his 50th anniversary tour to the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank for a matinee show, Sept. 10 at 4:30 p.m. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email to ; with the word “Engelbert” in the subject line by 3 p.m. Sept. 7.)


The exhibition “Up Close: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel” will be at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus through Oct. 15.

“Up Close: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel,” a exhibition being hosted by the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, features full-size reproductions of Michelangelo’s iconic 16th century Sistine Chapel ceiling paintings. It will be open daily through Oct. 15.

“Subjective Objective: A Century of Social Photography,” an exhibition that opened this week at the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick and runs through Jan. 7, focuses on photographers”who use the camera to educate, persuade, and to effect social change,” according to a press release. Works by Berenice Abbott, Max Alpert, Nina Berman, William Castellana, Walker Evans, Larry Fink, Boris Ignatovich, Dorothea Lange, Igor Moukhin, Gordon Parks, Alexander Rodchenko, Arthur Rothstein, Sebastião Salgado and others will be shown.


Lorraine Hansberry’s classic 1959 family drama, “A Raisin in the Sun,” will be produced at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, with the first preview on Sept. 9, the official opening night on Sept. 15, and the last performance on Oct. 8. Veteran Two River actors Brandon J. Dirden, Crystal A. Dickinson and Brenda Pressley will play the roles of Walter Lee, Ruth and Lena Younger.


Guy Van Swearingen, left, and Michael Shannon in “Simpatico.”

Michael Shannon, who has been nominated for a Tony (for “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” in 2016) as well as two Oscars (for “Revolutionary Road,” in 2008, and “Nocturnal Animals,” in 2016), will star in “Simpatico” at the Berlind Theatre of the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, with previews starting Sept. 8, the official opening night on Sept. 16, and the last performance on Oct. 15. “Simpatico,” a dark drama that was first produced in 1994 (and made into a movie co-starring Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges and Sharon Stone in 1999), was written by Sam Shepard, who died less than two months ago at the age of 73.


“Dance on the Lawn,” a free event taking place outdoors at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Montclair, Sept. 9 at 3 p.m., will showcase both established New Jersey choreographers and emerging talent, with performances by 10 Hairy Legs, Freespace Dance, Dance Therapy, Futurestep Tap Company, Danceworks & Company, New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble, Alborada Dance, Robert Mark Dance, Project 44 Dance, the Stephen Petronio Company and others. Here is a video made at the annual event, last year.

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