By Chris Rotolo, The Creator
With each alluring performance inside various area venues, Elevator Art has made its prime artistic objective crystalline…fortifying the community is just as essential, if not of greater importance, than fashioning your own stature. And from the looks of this Toms River outfit’s set on Friday evening at The Press Room, amidst a flock of local musicians and enthusiasts, its become apparent that both feats are coming hand in hand.
“I know my church is kind of odd, but I gotta believe in people before I believe in God.”
From the lyrics above crooned by Elevator Art’s front-man Daimon Santa Maria and the title of the group’s sophomore release, an EP dubbed Tent City; to the proceeds generated from its shows and record sales that were donated to that album’s Lakewood namesake; to the public chest of percussion instruments set at the foot of The Press Room planks; down to the artistic company it keeps, which was recently named the Brother Dog Collective, Elevator Art is the all-star band backing a societal drum circle, the epitome of what the Asbury Park music scene is about, possessing a bewitching catalogue of compositions to extend its influence well beyond the bounds of The Boardwalk, and it was full display at this showcase.
An acid spewing fusion of Bluesified Hard-Rock, Folk philosophy, and electric Jazz-flute was spit forth int0 the ether and minds of those experiencing the pageantry put to Liz Dayback’s charred guitar carvings and Joe La Scola’s thunderous stick wielding.
The riotous assemblage, as well as the group’s bass plucker Jen Mustachio, frolicked about the stage, jumping, skanking, and contorting their limbs and torsos like local natives on an peace pipe binge about the flesh licking flames of a wild fire born from the sparks shed by such musical infernos as “Punch & Judy” and “Tent City,” as well as more elaborate mind coiling numbers like “Killing Time” and the closing salvo “My Lesbian Father.”
The members of Elevator Art attempted to leave the stage in a blaze of glory after the aforementioned but were called back by it’s congregation, who hoisted the outfit to even greater heights boisterously craving “One more song!” The collective, seemingly uncertain about how to handle such a situation, replaced blank stares with grins and a sing along as its multi-stringed instrumentalist, Mike Jonin, serenaded the assemblage, including his band mates who were now seated on stage, with a solo rendition of the Paul McCartney-penned “Blackbird.”
Indeed, our church of the musical fashion is odd, and every evening selections like Tent City emerge from it reassuring this reporter that his decision to put faith in others was the right one.
A beautiful end to another beautiful evening in Asbury Park indeed…but let us not forget that it was commenced by the Metal-infused Jam styling of Wall, NJ’s own Karmic Juggernaut, who drove through alluringly elongated cuts from its debut release, a four-song self-titled EP released in early January, with the windows down and musical opiates such as “Business Savvy” and “Fearmonger” altering the mind states of all in attendance. However, no number was more appealing than the record’s single “Guacamole Genie” which you can see the outfit perform live below:
Karmic Juggernaut has no scheduled events for the near future but Eelevator Art will be back at The Brighton Bar on February 25th with Jon Herrington (Steely Dan) and Verity In Stereo…doors are 7 p.m. with a cover charge of $12 to be paid upon admission.