The first-ever North Jersey Indie Rock Festival at Cathedral Hall in Jersey was a major accomplishment for NGHTCRWLRS and Sniffling Indie Kids’ Frank DeFranco, who, in conjunction with Neil Sabatino of Mint 400 Records, planned and organized the festival i decided that the time had come to organize an event showcasing the remarkable talent hidden in North Jersey. That’s the kind of ass kicking D.I.Y. attitude that N.J. Racket is proud to support.
NGHTCRWLRS took to the stage in the basement of Cathedral Hall close to the midway point of the festival. Now, some people will say that basements are not the ideal location for live music because of acoustics, resonance, vibrations, whatever, all that kind of shit. Anyone with that opinion does not understand how basement shows are done in New Jersey. There are bands that just sound right in that environment, and as a fan you go to see them play knowing that they’ll make your ears bleed and that it will be totally fucking awesome. That’s the kind of band that NGHTCRWLRS is.
This band puts on a serious show, and they really excel at engaging the audience. Standing in the crowd watching these guys rocking out on stage, head banging, jumping around, kicking, screaming, you’ll be itching to open up a pit and start throwing people around like you’re the goddamned angel of death reigning terror and chaos upon that basement. Maybe it was just because the venue was an old church and God made sure that the crowd that day was super chill, but when that hook hit, “I just found out that death invented time/ I just realized that nothing really matters!” I thought hell was going to break loose.
Still, what I found most impressive about NGHTCRWLRS pertained to their songs like “Insert Name Here” that really tap into that emo angst while managing to avoid the feeling of embarrassment associated with flipping through your high school year book. There’s a maturity to the music that is often not achieved.
I was fortunate enough to catch a word with bassist and vocalist, Brian Goglia, before the NGHTCRWLRS set that day. I never mentioned this site or that I planned on covering the band, but he was cool enough to take a minute to chat about the C.R. and the Degenerates set and the earlier set he played with Ken de Poto. He mentioned how, despite being so active with his own projects, he feels it’s important to take a step back and still be a fan of other artists on the scene. To me, that exemplifies what makes the whole scene and community so special. It’s the support and mutual respect between individuals who are work their asses off for something they love and want to share it with everyone and anyone. I find it inspiring and thank these guys for the difference they’ve made in this scene.
Adam gave man-birth to N.J. Racket and is as close to an "editor-in-chief" the site has. He's a god awful photographer.