Sea.Hear.Now 2021 Preview

We’ve all been stuck inside for so very, very long, and need to get out. So, head for the Asbury Park on the famed Jersey Shore for the sun,...
Sea.Hear.Now 2021 Preview
Sea.Hear.Now 2021 Preview

We’ve all been stuck inside for so very, very long, and need to get out. So, head for the Asbury Park on the famed Jersey Shore for the sun, sand, surf, and sounds of Sea.Hear.Now, Saturday & Sunday, September 18th & 19th:


Surf Stage


Pearl Jam, 8:30 PM – 10:30 PM

Few bands in the past thirty years have had the staying power and continued success of Pearl Jam (QRO live review). From breaking out of the Seattle grunge scene in the early nineties with Nirvana and Ten songs such as “Alive” and “Jeremy”, Pearl Jam (QRO live review) have somehow managed to stay both relevant and successful. While their original contemporaries are long gone or just living on nostalgia reunion tours of old hits, Pearl Jam have toured the world numerous times, from Fenway Park (QRO photos at Fenway Park) to Down Under (QRO live review in New Zealand), and have released eleven studio albums, most recently last year’s Gigaton (QRO review) and 2013’s Lightning Bolt (QRO review).

Pearl Jam

The Avett Brothers, 6:15 PM – 7:30 PM

One of the bigger – and better – hits of today’s Americana (QRO photos at a festival), The Avett Brothers (QRO photos at a festival) won a wide audience with 2009’s fine country of I and Love and You (QRO review), including playing on The Grammys with Bob Dylan, and followed that up in 2012 with The Carpenter (QRO review). 2016’s True Sadness (QRO review) did sort of show a limit to their ability, and 2019’s Closer Than Together (QRO review) meant well, but their country will be great as they come to Asbury Park (QRO photos at a festival), and they have a great live show (QRO live review).

The Avett Brothers

Patti Smith, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Sea.Hear.Now lined up a true icon for their festival – Patti Smith (QRO photos outdoors). The ‘Godmother of Punk’ was one of the first to truly fuse rock and poetry, and served as something of a bridge between the beatniks & hippies of the fifties & sixties and the punks of the seventies and eighties. Her music even gave the name to perhaps New York’s most important venue, Bowery Ballroom (QRO venue review), and she helped open its sister in Brooklyn, Music Hall of Williamsburg (QRO venue review). She may have been made a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, but she hasn’t slowed down (QRO photos), and won’t be any less impressive when she comes to down the shore (QRO photos at a festival).

Patti Smith

Cory Henry, 2:30 PM – 3:15 PM

Former member of instrumental ensemble Snarky Puppy, Cory Henry (QRO photos at a festival) has since forged his own solo R&B career, most recently with last year’s Something to Say and Christmas With You.

Cory Henry


Hirie, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM


Park Stage


Lord Huron, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

The lonesome, lakeside dreams of Lord Huron (QRO photos) is also a festival regular (QRO photos at a festival), coming to Sea.Hear.Now behind this year’s Long Lost.

Lord Huron

Goose, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM

From just up in Connecticut, jam festival mainstay Goose hit the Jersey Shore at Sea.Hear.Now.


White Denim, 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM

Out of Austin’s psychedelic rock scene comes White Denim (QRO live review at home in Austin), but they’re more accessible than most psych-rock (QRO live review), like on 2016’s Stiff (QRO review).

White Denim


Briston Maroney, 1:45 PM – 2:30 PM

Black Flamingos, 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

Briston Maroney

Sand Stage


Matt & Kim, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Serious, long-time ‘Friends of the Q’ (QRO spotlight on), it’s been great watching Matt & Kim (QRO photos at a festival) blow up so seriously – without losing their infectious cheer (QRO live review). Singer/keyboardist Matt Johnson (QRO interview) and drummer Kim Schifino (QRO interview) bring a self-described ‘onstage pizza party’ with their sugar-filled hyper-pop/rock on stage (QRO live review). Known for spreading their giant, ever-present grins (QRO photos) to every crowd they play for (QRO live review), large, outdoor stages (QRO live review outdoors) don’t faze them, and neither do massive festivals (QRO photos at a festival), foreign crowds (QRO live review overseas), beer launch celebrations (QRO live review at brewing party), or playing on holidays like New Year’s Eve (QRO live review on New Year’s Eve) or Halloween (QRO live review on Halloween). They also stepped up their musical game on 2009’s Grand (QRO reviewQRO live anniversary review), with Sidewalks (QRO review) the following year, 2012’s Lightning (QRO review), 2015’s New Glow (QRO review), 2016’s We Were the Weirdoes EP (QRO review), and 2018’s Almost Everyday (QRO review) . So expect them to rock the crowd (QRO photos), from old tracks like “Silver Tiles” (QRO video) and “Yea Yeah” (QRO video) to Grand ones like “Good Old-Fashioned Nightmare” (QRO video) and “Daylight” (QRO video) to Sidewalks’ “Good For Great” (QRO video), Lightning‘s “Let’s Go” (QRO video) and even a cover of Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend” (QRO video) – as the kids go nuts (QRO photos at a festival), and so do Matt & Kim (QRO live review).

The hard-working duo (QRO live review) are coming going offline & back online during the pandemic, and come to Asbury Park (QRO photos at a festival) to rock Sea.Hear.Now (QRO live review at a festival). And those up front better be ready for when Matt (QRO interview) sends Kim out to do her ‘booty shakin’ crowd surf’ (QRO photos at a festival)…

Matt & Kim

Dr. Dog, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM

Sea.Hear.Now has some of the lighter jam festival with Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog (QRO photos), who have become a festival regular (QRO photos at a festival) since 2008’s commercial breakthrough Fate (QRO review) launched them into headlining status (QRO photos headlining a festival). Unfortunately, Fate wasn’t anything special (QRO photos), but Dr. Dog make a lot of people happy live (QRO photos outdoors), especially outdoors (QRO live review outdoors), so expect the “Sweetness”, along with material from middling records such as Shame, Shame (QRO review), Be the Void (QRO review), B-Room (QRO review) and more.

Moreover, they’ve announced that this will be their last tour ever, so if Jersey boys (and girls) want to see the Dr., this is the time.

Dr. Dog

Patti Scialfa, 1:45 PM – 2:30 PM

Jersey Shore royalty comes to Sea.Hear.Now with Patti Scialfa. The Asbury Park High School graduate had her own solo career when she joined The E Street band mere days before the 1984 ‘Born In the U.S.A. Tour’, and has kept it going in strong both on the Street and on her own. Oh, and she ended up marrying some singer, Bruce something…

Patti Scialfa

Reignwolf, 1:45 PM – 2:30 PM

Check out the wild, one-man action of Reignwolf (QRO photos at a festival).


Jackson Pines, 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM



Surf Stage


The Smashing Pumpkins, 8:50 PM – 10:30 PM

Sea.Hear.Now has lined up another iconic nineties alt-rock band in The Smashing Pumpkins (QRO photos at Madison Square Garden). They broke out of Chicago (QRO photos in the Midwest) alongside the likes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam (see above) with 1993’s Siamese Dream and 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, eschewing the punk-infused grunge for layered guitar rock and psychedelia, even shoegaze to commercial & critical acclaim (QRO live review playing SPIN event). They (QRO photos) were one of the decade’s seminal acts (they didn’t just headline a touring season of Lollapalooza – they even played The Simpsons’ Hullabalooza…), but the decade/century/millennium ended, and so did the band, amid drugs, infighting, and declining record sales.

Frontman Billy Corgan wandered a bit, reuniting for a bit with drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, then recruiting a rotating cast of characters (QRO live review) for records like 2012’s Oceania (QRO review) & 2014’s Monuments to an Elegy (QRO review) that actually were really good. Then they one-upped by bringing back Chamberlin and guitarist James Iha (QRO live review together) for 2018’s Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun (QRO review) and last year’s Cyr (QRO review). See the old, hear the new, now Smashing Pumpkins (QRO photos).

The Smashing Pumpkins

Billy Idol, 6:45 PM – 7:45 PM

Sunday will be a nice day for Billy Idol (QRO photos at a festival). Possessing maybe the definite punk look (QRO photos), Idol (QRO photos at a festival) was one of the first stars for MTV (back when it played music), thanks to his “Rebel Yell”, and has been enjoying a recent revival thanks to working with none other than Miley Cyrus (QRO review appearing with her at a festival).

Billy Idol

Orville Peck, 4:45 PM – 5:45 PM

While it’ll likely be very hot in Asbury Park in this global warming extended summer, don’t expect the unknown cowboy Orville Peck to take off his signature fringe mask, which has gotten him a ton of attention. So, check out Peck live to see whether or not he’s all mask, no cattle…

Orville Peck

Strand of Oaks, 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

For those looking for something a bit more heavy, look no further than Strand of Oaks (QRO photos at a festival). Timothy Showalter is not afraid to be honest in his guitar-driven songs punctuated with soaring solos. There’s a touch of pop, some Neil Young and the cathartic release of Strand of Oaks (QRO photos at a festival) will have you feeling nostalgic and ready for the future all at the same time. He comes to Sea.Hear.Now behind 2017’s Hard Love (QRO review) and 2019’s Eraserland (QRO review).

Strand of Oaks

Liz Cooper, 1:15 PM – 2:00 PM

Nashville’s Liz Cooper (QRO spotlight on) brings a propulsive rhythm that feels so good. She plays Sea.Hear.Now (QRO photos at a festival) behind 2018’s debut full-length, Window Flowers.

Liz Cooper

Park Stage


Dirty Heads, 7:45 PM – 8:45 PM

Huntington Beach’s Dirty Heads (QRO live review) began by fusing reggae, rock, and hip-hop, and their 2008 debut Any Port In a Storm featured appearances by the likes of Beatles collaborator Billy Preston, Weezer/DEVO/Vandals drummer Josh Freese, and reggae singer/DJ Tippa Irie. They (QRO live review) are a perfect fit for the surf & sound.

The Dirty Heads

Grouplove, 5:45 PM – 6:45 PM

In 2012 rock collective Grouplove (QRO spotlight on) have had two of the most enjoyable recent hits, “Tongue Tied” (QRO video) and “Colours” (QRO review) from the debut Never Trust a Happy Song (QRO photos at a festival). Live, they take it to another level (QRO live review), with a massive spectacle (QRO photos outdoors), and can even persevere in the rain (QRO live review in the rain) or on television (QRO live review at TV taping). The band (QRO interview) followed that up in 2013 with Spreading Rumors (QRO review) and tour (QRO live review), and singles like “I’m With You” and “Shark Attack” (QRO review). Then lead singers Hannah Hooper & Christian Zucconi (QRO interview with both) had a child, Willow – who has accompanied them on tour (QRO live review) behind 2016’s Big Mess (QRO review).

Grouplove (QRO photos at a festival) were looking to have a big 2020 with new album Healer (QRO review) – only to release it pretty much right before everything shut down. But the group knows how to roll with the punches, doing great livestreams (QRO livestream review), great videos such as for Healer’s “Inside Out” (QRO review), covers like Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” (QRO review) & Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” (QRO review) – and then put out a new record for this new year, This Is This (QRO review) with singles “Deadline” (QRO review) & “This Is the End” (QRO review). And now they’re finally back out on the road.


MOON TAXI, 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM

MOON TAXI (QRO photos at a festival) cross the dashed lines between indie, jam, progressive, and rock as they come to Sea.Hear.Now (QRO photos at a festival).

Moon Taxi


Remember Jones, 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM

Ron Artis II & The Truth, 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM

Ron Artis II & The Truth

Sand Stage


Ani DiFranco, 7:45 PM – 8:45 PM

The celebrated, Grammy Award-winning feminist icon Ani DiFranco (QRO photos at a festival) has also been a prolific singer/songwriter (QRO photos), releasing over twenty studio albums, with her Righteous Babe imprint, most recently was this year’s Revolutionary Love.

Ani DiFranco

Tank & The Bangas, 5:45 PM – 6:45 PM

Tank & The Bangas (QRO photos at a festival) have bounded onto the scene (QRO photos at a festival) with a lively mix of funk, soul, hip-hop, rock and spoken word (QRO photos).

Tank & The Bangas

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM

On Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is (QRO review) and more, Austin’s Black Joe Lewis (QRO photos at an Austin festival) pretty much just copied James Brown, but even a copy of the hardest working man in show business brings a party (QRO photos outdoors at home).

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears


The Happy Fits, 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM

American Trappist, 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM

The Happy Fits

Late Night Shows

Jesse Malin

Friday, September 17th

White Denim @ Wonder Bar

Jesse Malin & Friends @ Stone Pony

Saturday, September 18th

The Ocean Ave Stomp feat. Tangiers Blues Band & many special guests @ Stone Pony

Reignwolf @ Wonder Bar