Members of Morningside Lane were worried they might blow the speakers of the PA system, but it didn’t stop them from playing.
In a basement show near Main Campus on Nov. 8, the five-member alternative rock band pushed its luck, regardless of the PA system and a missing microphone stand someone had stolen before the group arrived to perform.
“It was a decent PA for just vocals, but the fact that we had to plug in the bass also, that could have been trouble,” lead singer and guitarist Marc Del Giudice said.
The band also improvised by tying the microphone to the ceiling for Del Giudice to sing into.
A dangerous situation was dodged, and both the band and fans enjoyed themselves, focusing on Morningside Lane’s music.
“You don’t find circumstances like that – when you do, it’s a breath of fresh air,” Alex Del Giudice, Marc’s brother and Morningside Lane drummer, said about performing at basement shows. “When you go to venues, they have thousands of dollars of equipment and they got the best sound guys … compared to a basement show, which is totally the opposite. We’re playing on concrete.”
Manager Zach Edelman, a junior at Temple majoring in sports management, has been with the band since day one, booking its shows at venues such as the Trocadero Theatre and Legendary Dobbs.
Morningside Lane will perform at The BoneYard in Atlantic City, N.J. on Friday, Nov. 22.
The band has also played at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square and Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – where it performed side stage for bands Blink 182 and My Chemical Romance – in New York. Edelman books a few stops every so often at basement shows off of Temple’s campus.
Morningside Lane started in 2009, and several lineup changes have led the band to where it is today. The band is now comprised of five members, none older than 23, from Bergen County, N.J.
Bassist Chris Beddy joined within the past two months after a friend spotted a picture Beddy posted on Instagram of his new six-string bass guitar, which he refers to affectionately as his “baby.”
“I posted a picture of my new baby and [my friend] was like, ‘Yo, hit up my friends, they need a new bassist, you know Morningside Lane,’” Beddy said. He described his and guitarist Ricardo Quadros’ positions with a laugh, saying they “started from the audience, now we here.”
Quadros said he used to attend Morningside Lane’s shows before being asked to join the band.
“I’ve been friends with these kids for a while, but I was always on the side with people watching the band,” Quadros said. “I used to go out and support them. The feedback that we get, now that I’m part of the band, is the same feedback I used to get around them.”
Guitarist Jon Khan said this positive feedback from the audience is what keeps fans coming back.
“It’s about the energy and the good time you have,” Khan said.
Morningside Lane released two albums: “Just the Other Side of Romance” and “Poets & Back to the Radio” in 2012, both with members who have since left, although the Del Giudice brothers and Khan have stuck with the band since the beginning.
Paying tribute to its Jersey roots, all of the members idolize The Gaslight Anthem, a band from New Brunswick, N.J.
Morningside Lane has performed at The Court Tavern, the same bar and basement setting where The Gaslight Anthem started to gain popularity. Del Giudice’s vocals sound similar to The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon’s – gritty yet sentimental.
But even the members of Morningside Lane can get confused when trying to pinpoint its genre.
“It’s a very contradictory statement, coming from an outsider who just joined the band, that it’s progressive classic rock,” Beddy said.
It might be an oxymoron, but it’s essentially the band’s goal to progressively weave its own sound with elements from New Jersey icons such as Bruce Springsteen.
“A lot of people take New Jersey for granted – they’re going to [New York] City and ditching Jersey, [but] we embrace New Jersey,” Khan said. “New Jersey’s a great place to live and a great place to grow up and a great place to go back to your roots and say, ‘This is where I came from.’ We want to stay true to our identity.”
Keeping this identity in mind, band members said they still enjoy playing in Philadelphia and hope to someday perform at the Electric Factory.
“Temple’s right at the heart of Philly,” Quadros said. “To get shows around here, it’s better. People come out more. Philly has a nice scene of students, a younger crowd.”
Kerri Ann Raimo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.