Asbury Lanes Hosts “Nick Of Time Benefit” feat. The Gay Blades, Atlantic, Atlantic, Only Living Boy, and The Amboys

“I just want to thank you all,” said Nick Villapiano to the ample Asbury Lanes assemblage.  “Everyone coming out like this and showing their support is really amazing and means a lot.  It may sound crazy, but if we all look out for one another, we’re all gonna make it.”

Villapiano’s address was all that needed to be spoken on the subject last Saturday evening when the Lanes hosted “Nick Of Time…A Benefit For Nicholas Villapiano & His Treatment Of MS,” because the support shown by the Asbury Park music community for its ailing brethren said volumes on its own.

It was a truly a remarkable happening and a joy to be a part of.  Now, I realize that may sound alarming.  The event was, after all, a fund raiser in support of a long time member of our music scene who has been diagnosed with an unfortunate malady.  However, what took place in the frigid asbury twilight was an exceptional exhibition in strength on more than one level.

First, we must recognize the strength of Villapiano to confront this battle head on, with a bass strapped over his shoulder, and a genuine smile fixed upon his face for the duration of Atlantic, Atlantic’s lane quaking set.

Second, it’s important to take notice of the community as whole, beyond its musical strength.  The droves in which our populace turned out to support our brother, to have his back in this time of need, makes me proud to call myself part of it.  The cliche all for one and one for all most definitely applies here, and evidence that this happening was more about the man than the music was presented in the form of a well beyond capacity crowd that filled the building way before The Amboys began setting up its gear.

However, it would be silly not to observe the musical fortitude of our scene.  This benefit was supplemented with some of the best music around; beginning with the Folk-Rock stylings of The Amboys, followed by the Grunge work of Only Living Boy who surrendered the stage to the sultry sound of Atlantic, Atlantic, and finally, culminating with the thrashing tunes of The Gay Blades.

[[On a major side note…after attempting the feat several times this past year, I’m convinced that it’s impossible to do The Gay Blades’ set justice through mere words, but it won’t stop me from trying.  Front-man Clark Westfield is a master of the intimate performance.  He’s well versed in the art of transforming a cramped dance floor into a raging sea of Rock show patrons, and yet, still owns the ability to bring the water down to a simmer in an attempt reach everyone in attendance on a personal level.

Wells commands an audiences attention and it isn’t long before he has us all hanging like puppets by strings wrapped around his frenzied fingers.  We move when he tells us, we sing when he says so, and if you happen to elude this pied piper of Trash-Pop’s hypnotic abilities, he will stand on a speaker, stare you down until his eyes lock with yours, and proceed to serenade you with an acapella version of “Dog Day Afternoon.”

“Right at this moment, I have everything I ever wanted,” said a possessed Wells after a particularly raucous rendition of “Rock N’ Roll (Part 1),” and despite the circumstances under which we all gathered, I would have to share his sentiment.]]

No monetary figures have been released on  just how much was raised in the name of Villapiano, and though I’m sure it was a great deal, I also know that cash goes fast when dealing with medical bills.  Benefits are a wonderful thing but our support shouldn’t end at the venue doors.


The Gay Blades Setlist:

  1. Mean Muses
  2. Hey, She Say
  3. N.H.D.N.
  4. Why Winter In Detroit Is Hell
  5. Try To Understand
  6. Rock N’ Roll (Part 1)
  7. Puppy Mills Presents
  8. Mick Jagger
  9. Dog Day Afternoon
  10. O’Shot

More Photos:


About rote7123

Chris graduated from The College Of New Jersey in May 2011 with a Bachelor Degree in Journalism and Professional Writing, as well as a degree in Communication Studies. He has held down a position in the Asbury Park Press’ Sports Department since September of 2010 and is a contributor to the outlet's Arts & Entertainment section, and has contributed to The Aquarian Weekly all while being the sole operator of Asbury Park's premier music news outlet Speak Into My Good Eye.
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2 Responses to Asbury Lanes Hosts “Nick Of Time Benefit” feat. The Gay Blades, Atlantic, Atlantic, Only Living Boy, and The Amboys

  1. Pingback: Local Music Roundup | Speak Into My Good Eye

  2. Pingback: Brick + Mortar Pack The Lanes With Help From The Jersey Jerkoff | Speak Into My Good Eye

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