Love in the Blink of an Eye: Eric Krasno Band and Waiting On Mongo
Falling in love can happen in the blink of an eye, and that is exactly what happened to me this past Thursday evening (November 3) at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The culprits? Two bands I had yet to see perform before combining for a night that easily exceeded any of my expectations.
Kicking it all off with “Rosie” (the String Cheese Incident), Waiting On Mongo, a local Jersey funk band instantly won me over. The band created a powerful wall of sound highlighted by a superb horn section that seemed to take the energy up a notch with each new song. From there the band played a mix of originals and choice covers such as “Blast Off,” a nod to the evening’s headliner, and “Fire” by Jimi Hendrix. Originals such as “Let’s Ride” and “The Stank” stood out, truly allowing the band to shine. Their passion and well-crafted tunes effortlessly translated into high-energy dance-friendly funk, making these guys a must-see act.
The crowd, now well warmed up, gave a very enthusiastic welcome to the evening’s headliners as they took the stage. The Eric Krasno Band, winding up this leg of the Blood from a Stone tour, wowed the crowd right from the start. Although I am quite familiar with each member of the band individually, I was pleasantly surprised by just how well they all meshed together: Danny Mayer (rhythm guitar), Alex Chakour (bass), Eric Kalb (drums), DeShawn Alexander (keyboards), and Mary Corso (backing vocals).
Although it was a treat to see each member have his time to shine throughout the evening, for me it was their ability to come together as one, creating a sound that seemed to have the audience hanging on each cord or word coming off the stage. This band is truly a force in the world of live music that should only get better as time moves on. Picking a highlight of the performance is nearly impossible as the set seemed to be one nonstop treat. The album is tight and crisp, and the band keeps that intact while one stage while stretching out the songs and creating a wonderful live experience.
This was one of those nights that remind me of exactly what it is I LOVE about live music: going into the evening having never seen either band live and walking out wondering when the next chance to do so would be. Good music has a way of lifting you up and setting you free, and that is exactly what the evening did for me, sending me home feeling like I was floating on a cloud.