Hey Jersey bands, welcome back.
The Gaslight Anthem show Saturday, Oct. 8, at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel is the latest of reunion and homecoming shows for state bands that gained national fame in the late '90s and early aughts in the post-hardcore, emo, screamo and pop-punk worlds.
Gaslight Anthem, formed in New Brunswick in the late '90s, returned to “full-time status” in the spring after an eight-year hiatus.
“We’re also beginning to write new songs for what will be our sixth LP,” said the band on social media in April. “We’re very much looking forward to the future and seeing you all again. We want to thank you for staying with us. Stay tuned!”
The actual Gaslight reunion took place at lead singer Brian Fallon's solo show at Crossroads on June 18. It was livestreamed. They join My Chemical Romance, Midtown and Thursday as prominent Jersey bands of the era whose reunions have gained momentum in 2022. Midtown's reunion also took place on the Crossroads stage in August.
“I don't know if it's a secret, but New Jersey has a pretty awesome culture to export to the country and the rest of the world, and now people are seeing that,” said Lee Frankel, owner of Crossroads.
Gaslight Anthem and My Chemical Romance (Belleville natives) have both toured Europe on their reunion tours this summer.
So why is everybody getting back together now?
“The pandemic had made some of the differences seem trivial over the last couple of years,” Frankel said. “There's been a lot of reconnections, and people went for so long without music and seeing shows. They really missed Jersey music, past and present. It's a great time to get back and do what you love.”
My Chemical Romance, which had a Billboard No. 2 hit with the 2006 album “The Black Parade,” broke up after the playing the 2013 Bamboozle festival in Asbury Park. During a reunion show on Dec. 20, 2020, at the Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles, the group announced a tour that featured multiple sold-out performances. The shows were postponed several times due the pandemic.
“I was just so grateful, and just really just blown away by that,” said My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way when asked about fan reaction to the reunion during his appearance on the “My Turning Point” podcast with Steve Baltin. “When I saw the shows, they just kept selling out. We kept adding them, and it just kept selling again. ... I was like, ‘Wow, something happened in the years that this band went away.' "
Emo and pop-punk bands are hot commodities. There are numerous emo-themed deejay nights in the state, and across the country. The Bamboozle, a launching point for many emo bands, is returning next year in Atlantic City, and the big When We were Young pop-punk themed festival, headlined by My Chem and Paramore, is set for Saturday, Oct. 22, and Sunday, Oct. 23, in Las Vegas.
“People have really missed music,” Frankel said. “From a business perspective, it's a great time to capitalize on that.”
Midtown, which formed at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, announced they were touring with My Chemical Romance on select dates — including the Aug. 17 show at the Prudential Center in Newark. They initially sparked interest with cryptic social media postings. The band will headline Starland Ballroom in Sayreville for two sold-out shows on Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3.
Read next:My Chem gets a little batty in Newark
Thursday, the New Brunswick group that in many ways set the path for the Jersey post-hardcore generation of bands, reunited in 2016. They opened for My Chemical Romance at the Prudential Center Aug. 16. Lead singer Geoff Rickly joined My Chem on stage for a song.
Way had joined Thursday on stage earlier in the night.
“The Jersey scene is strong — it has its own sound,” Frankel said. “People worldwide are really tuned into that. It's great to see that lot of the bands who are excelling at the highest levels in music are Jersey bands.”
Go: Gaslight Anthem and Jeff Rosenstock, 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, PNC Bank Arts Center, Garden State Parkway, Holmdel, tickets start at $35; www.livenation.com.
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Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers music and entertainment for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Gaslight Anthem, MCR, Midtown: Reunited NJ bands are back