When Hoboken resident Jeff DeBruycker first came on the local radar, he was busy building up a following at the Whiskey Bar. As a longtime fan of live music, he ran the Washington Street club from 1997 to 2007, creating a scene that embraced original music and well-known cover bands.
During his tenure, he packed the house with acts such as Railroad Earth, members of Ween, and local cover bands 3 Peace, Lifespeed, the Nerds, and more. So it should be no surprise to regulars of the venue that he has moved on to a bigger club, taking over ownership of Mexicali Blues in Teaneck, which hosts national acts.
Yet, he hasn’t forgotten his roots. Recently, the club held a Hoboken night hosting popular local bands The Fave, Mere, and 7 Mornings. DeBruycker said the night was good because he got to see many friendly faces from his time at the Whiskey Bar. He is currently striving for a balance between local bands and nationally known talent.
“The show was good, I enjoyed it,” DeBruycker said about the recent show.
The three Hoboken bands have their own loyal following in Hoboken, and many came out in support of them.
7 Mornings, which is an indie-pop-rock band, is made up of core members Adam McDonough and John Miller. They have gained a regular following in Hoboken from their biweekly acoustic gigs at the Dubliner and O’Nieals and they are currently at work on their first studio album.
For the show at Mexicali, the pair played with a full-band including bass player Joe Blong and drummer Pete Cetinich, which gave songs more energy and drive compared to their acoustic sets.
“It was awesome,” said McDonough. “Joe and Pete played with us before. It was good chemistry.”
He added that playing with a full-band is what 7 Mornings is pushing towards.
“Even doing certain shows as an acoustic band, you just can’t get the same energy that you do with band,” said McDonough.
According to McDonough, he was pleased to participate in a night that featured such talent. “New York and Hoboken have such a big [music] scene and it is nice to connect with some of them,” he said.
Hoboken band Mere, which played at Sunday’s Art & Music festival, opened up the night with acoustic versions of their songs. Recently, the band was included in the official album for the Olympics with the song “Hold On” and a new video for it aired during the games.
According to bassist Kyle Monson, Mexicali is a “really great club.”
“The sound system was incredible,” said Monson. “We are looking forward to going back there with a full band when we can rock the night out.”
While Monson said that it was the first time he had heard 7 Mornings play, Mere and the Fave have played together several times. He feels that the Fave’s live show is similar to Mere’s with the complicated harmonies.
Monson said that there is always the added energy you get with a live show that is a little different than popping in an album or listening to music on an iPod. Yet he stresses that it is not necessarily better – just different.
“I always tell people that [a live show] is a different side to us,” said Monson. “Some songs are going to be better live and some are going to be better on the album.”
A good combination
Closing out the night, was none other than The Fave, who recently released their album “Tomorrow’s June” to a packed house at Maxwell’s.
The Fave played at the Whiskey Bar when DeBruycker ran it, when they first started gaining attention as the band formerly known as eugene.
The Fave didn’t disappoint with their infectious, high-energy pop-rock.
“All of the bands were really tight, good harmonies,” said Monson about the show. “It’s the kind of show I feel that you could pull people in and they would enjoy all three bands. That’s hard to do with live acts.”
Monson said that they have recently gotten good feedback from locals who said that they had seen them play during the Olympics.
“We love Hoboken,” said Monson. “We love everything about it. It is a great place to play, to practice, to exist.”
“They are all quality bands that have a good shot at making it and hopefully Mexicali will have a part in that,” DeBruycker said about the Hoboken bands.
Although, official plans aren’t in the works yet, McDonough said he’d be glad to do a show with Mere or the Fave again.
“It was awesome,” said McDonough, “just the venue itself was awesome. A show where you can be with other bands that are showcasing original music is exactly what we wanted to do when we moved up here.”
He added, “They were just really nice guys. It was cool to be able to play with bands that are part of the Hoboken scene.”
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