The last time live music was played inside the caged and deteriorated architectue of The Asbury Park Casino, the tunes flowed from amplifiers owned by The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen. Today, as sun beams crept over the rooftops of homes on the far bank of Wesley Lake, it was members of the new guard of Garden State music, Titus Andronicus, that held the keys to the structure’s rusted locks.
Boardwalk patrons, the young blooded and the young at heart, gathered inside and around the Casino as Eric Harm, front-man of the Glen Rock outfit, ripped into the opening chords of “A More Perfect Union,” track one off the band’s acclaimed 2010 sophomore release The Monitor, to warm up a congregation that had gathered to be part of the filming of Titus Andronicus’ first music video for the song “No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future.”
The Casino was the band’s second of three stops on a day trip to different shooting locations in New Jersey, including a morning shoot in Little Egg Harbor, and finally, night filming on the roof of the Iron Monkey in Jersey City…Beatles style.
But unlike The Fab Four, Titus Andronicus is far from disbanding. As mentioned prior, the band exploded out of the basements of New Brunswick when The Monitor, a concept album that intertwines the diversity and brutality of The Civil War with modern ideas about love, insecurity, and how to deal with doubters and nay sayers, was named one of 2010’s best albums by such notable publications as Pitchfork, Spin, and of course Speak Into My Good Eye.
On the back of its recent release, the Indie Punks have landed a gig at the 2011 Coachella Music & Arts Festival, and, although rumored, SIMGE will act as the bearer of bad news and sadly report that Titus Andronicus will not be playing Bonnaroo.
“I hate to disappoint,” said Harm when I approached him today with the question, “but we’re not gonna make it out to Manchester this year. You guys will just have to provide your own fun.”
We can only hope he was lying so as not to tip the group’s hand.
The band ran through “No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future” four times, capturing it from every angle and micing the crowd screaming the repeated refrain “You will always be a loser, you will always be a loser,” until throats were raw.
When the shoot was rapped the band ripped off their jackets as sweat dripped from every pore. “What we failed to realize this morning,” said Harm, “once you a start a shoot with a jacket on, you can’t quite take it off in the middle of shooting because of continuity, and we’re paying for it now.”
To reward us for our efforts, despite objections from the director, Titus Andronicus treated the crowd to “Richard II” and a wild rendition of “Titus Andronicus,” what some would call the best song off the band’s 2008 debut The Airing Of Grievances, in which Harm immersed himself in the assemblage, shoving his tattered microphone into the faces of his fans as they screamed out the chorus “Your life is over!”
Titus Andronicus’ next Jersey show is on February 26th at the VFW in Manville, NJ in which the band will headline a benefit with The So So Glos for New Jersey Children’s Specialized Hospitals.
Titus Andronicus Setlist:
- A More Perfect Union
- No Future Part Three: Escape From No Fututre (4x)
- Richard II
- Titus Andronicus