‘Into the deep end’ Eugene comes alive at Max’s

Before playing “Wade Into the Deep End,” the last song of their first set at Maxwell’s last Friday night, Eugene lead singer Dominick Della Fave took his beer and threw it at the crowd near the front of the stage. In that moment, Della Fave was emotionally uncovered. He was angry, frustrated, hopeful and exhausted.

The audience had already enjoyed almost an hour-long set, and Della Fave’s sister, Jaime Rose Della Fave, had stolen the show with her charming stage presence and pop rock Sheryl Crow-esque voice. Yet, as he threw the beer, Della Fave forced the audience to listen and feel his pain.

“This song is about me and anyone who cares about their dreams,” Della Fave said, before playing his intimate angst ode to the uphill road Eugene embarks daily. One of Hoboken’s most popular bands gave a sold-out gig at the town’s haven for original music, celebrating the release of their second album, Escaping the Paparazzi.

For two years, the Della Faves, bassist Ed Jude Smith and drummer Drew Berman have performed at every local festival, venue and outing. They hit up New York City frequently and have endured their share of regional dates.

The beer moment woke the audience up from the mellow trance Jaime Rose had created with new songs like “Save Me” and “Go.” Della Fave’s energy was infectious, undeniable and potent. Unlike a bad (redundant) GWAR concert where they spray stuff at the audience, Della Fave made it known that punk is not a term to use lightly, and the local rock scene is alive and hopefully growing.

As the band continued to play, fans sang along during various tunes, and hints of a pit in the crowd happened sporadically. After “Deep End,” the band, with the exception of Berman, left the stage victorious.

When the people seemed to have given up urging Eugene to get back on stage for an encore, Della Fave jumped on stage, grabbed the mic and yelled, “I ain’t going out like that.”

Then Smith grabbed his bass, Jaime Rose set herself on center stage with mic in hand, and Della Fave asked Hoboken’s High Speed Chase frontman Chris Gibson, a mile-square city music pioneer, to help out on lead guitar.

Sticking together

“Hoboken bands have to stick together,” Gibson explained after the encore. “He asked me to play guitar, and that’s all he had to say.”

Della Fave asked Berman to give him a beat. Berman did, and then the Eugene frontman got silly with popular ’80s and early ’90s rap songs by the likes of the Beastie Boys, Run DMC, and Rob Base. He also asked audience members to join the fun on stage, and about a dozen people took him up on the offer. Two drunken guys let it all hang out by dancing in their underwear on stage. At times Jaime Rose appeared shocked by their behavior, but, to quote Della Fave, “It’s all good.”

Jaime Rose didn’t have to take the mainstream pop route and dance half naked on stage to earn the audience’s attention like Christina and Britney; a simple red Kizz shirt and a denim skirt proved to be enough. Berman’s drumming was efficient. During their encore, he kept the beat fast and loud to appease Della Fave. Smith’s beer kicked in midway during the first set when he pretended to be Flea with hyperbolized playing antics. Yet, Smith’s shirt captured Eugene’s Maxwell’s show brilliantly. The light blue t-shirt read: “There’s no place like home.”

Fans threw flowers at Eugene, and in return, Eugene gave them sweat, emotions, energy, funk, and honesty through originality. Their evolution continues. q


“This song is about me and anyone who cares about their dreams.” – Dominick Della Fave


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