This year I saw the Scofflaws four times. Their performance at 89 North on Friday 12/19 was one of the best. It was a cold night which was a stark contrast to when I saw them at the Great South Bay Music Festival last July. I walked into 89. The cold entry leads to a staircase which was barren. The bar was empty and I paid a $5.00 cover to the doorman who asked, who are you here to see? The Scofflaws. Sammy was at the bar with a gin and tonic and was talking to the bartender. She said she used to tend the bar in Port Jefferson when The Scofflaws regularly played on Main Street years before. There was a venue above Starbucks and I’m not sure if this is what is called The Arden. I offered to buy Sammy a drink, but he was good. Bought a pint of Blue Point’s Hoptical Illusion and took a sip. It was very refreshing and when the bartender said, the alcohol content is higher than normal, well, I liked it even more.
This was my first time at 89 North and I have to say I was impressed with the layout. There was a kitchen in which fresh pizza was being prepared for the soon to be intoxicated crowd. There was a large bar with a varied selection of taps as well as spirits. I walked in and was impressed with the expansive risen stage. There was a large area for dancing. Tables with chairs were in neat rows and there was a balcony and another bar in the back as well as the sound board. If you wanted to watch The Islanders or basketball, there were assorted TV’s on. So, in comparison to some other Long Island venues, 89 North is a very professional establishment. Don’t let the barren lobby fool you.
Eventually, Erik showed up since he worked till 7 PM. His band is playing at 89 North on January 24th, The American Pink Floyd Experience. We had a pint and took a seat at a round bar table. The subject of cover bands playing gigs is something I need to cover in another blog entry. It amazes me there is such a robust market for these bands who tour and are able to pull in crowds at larger venues. Just recently, I saw another Pink Floyd cover band on TV performing at Red Rocks in Colorado. There is an array of Led Zeppelin cover bands. Anyway, if you like cover bands; 89 North has a variety playing each weekend. I can’t say I’d go to one of these gigs unless I knew the musicians…but if there was a Clash cover band…you might pull me in. You might.
The Scofflaws were the first of three bands to play that night. Also on the bill were Noah’s Arc and Slavery by Consent.
When The Scofflaws took the stage the crowd from the bar came in and started to bop to
the music. Missing was Jared on trombone which was similar to the last time I saw the band in Smithtown. It means the sound is less full, but the band at 89 was tight. Listen; there can’t be a mediocre Scofflaws performance as long as Godfather of the Rude Boys, Sammy Brooks is on the stage. There were people grooving in front of the stage as Sammy praised the crowd and sent his love. Just look at the pictures. He is the man. I’m working on getting an interview with Sammy for this blog. He said he’s interested; it’s just getting the time to get together with the man…the man…
Let’s hope we all get to see The Scofflaws in 2015. From what I understand there next gig is in March. It’s a shame they are not on The Slackers line-up at 89 North on January 30th…just saying…any Ska gig on Long Island should include The Scofflaws!
Thank you for reading this.