The Riviera, a prominent college-based concert venue in Glassboro, New Jersey, had a basement event on March 3 that drew a lot of attention and a large crowd. The evening comprised four different bands: Cadalay, Dummy Pass, Super Jack and Shark Earrings, all of whom performed brilliantly and added an eccentric spin with their similar musical styles.
One band stood out from the crowd with its unique-front runner’s gimmick of wearing a superhero mask during their performances. Super Jack, with their commanding stage presence, captivated the audience and left an indelible impact with their spectacular performance.
Yet, it was the final act, Shark Earrings, who truly stole the show. Shark Earrings, the only non-Philly-based band, managed to keep their crowd engaged despite being the last to perform. They played a few songs from their EP “Mutual Toxic Positivity,” including one of their biggest hits, “Wake Up Wake Up Wake Up!!!”. Along with that, they performed five new unpublished tracks, each with its own peculiar name like the other songs on their EP, namely “Dude Where’s My Dad,” “Gone Fishing,” “Boardwalk Hermit Crab” and “Bullypants.”
“They’re memorable. There are so many songs that have very generic names. That’s so hard to find,” said guitarist Mike Landolfi. “We’re trying to make it so that if you look up our song name, no one else is going to show up. You’re not going to be confused.”
Furthermore, Shark Earrings performed in the Battle of the Bands event that took place the following Saturday, giving their fans another chance to witness their amazing talent and creativity.
The band will also embark on a tour that will take them to cities across four states. The band is scheduled to perform in five cities: New Brunswick, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Boston and Beverly. This tour gives an exciting opportunity for the band to promote their music to a wider audience, fans across the country are anxiously anticipating their appearances.
While the event was a huge success, the Riviera’s future, as well as the band Frankie Mermaid, which also manages the Riviera, is unknown. This year, all Riviera members are graduating, including some who have already graduated but still remain in the house, prompting concerns about the future of this famed house concert venue. According to Matt Stypa, who lives in the house and is the lead singer of the band Frankie Mermaid, he hopes that after he and his roommates/bandmates graduate, the house will be passed down to someone else.
“We’re figuring that out and the moment a couple of ideas have been thrown around like whether it’s passing it down to someone,” said Stypa. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be this house just like people who share the same passion for wanting to throw shows and stuff. We would definitely be okay with them taking the name and everything. The other [idea] we’ve had is something more along the lines of a recording studio or a record label. Turning this into a record label and like every once in a while throwing shows.”
The Riviera’s success on March 3 only emphasizes the importance of having a facility like this in the community. It gives aspiring musicians a chance to perform and get experience, as well as a place for music fans to gather and enjoy amazing performances. All of this is contained within a secure and welcoming environment that is open to everyone.
The Riviera has become a Glassboro institution, providing a venue for rising bands to display their talent. Its compact location and welcoming ambiance have made it a favorite of both music fans and locals. It has also helped to establish Glassboro as a center for local music and culture.
The Riviera’s success can be credited to the hard work and dedication of its members. The Riviera members have poured their hearts and souls into making the event a success, from setting up the stage to coordinating the bands and publicizing it. They have not only given artists a stage to play on, but have also established a welcoming and inclusive community for everyone to enjoy.
Make no mistake, Frankie Mermaid has stated that they will continue to perform in Glassboro in many other concert venues around campus after they graduate. However, the housemates feel the days that go by and understand that they come closer and closer to their last concert at the Riviera and closer to the day that they will no longer call the place home.
“Right now it seems like our last show is going to be in late April. As we’re winding down, it sinks in more and more. It’s like, ‘oh this is one of the last ones we’re doing,’” said Stypa. “Obviously, it will be a little bit harder because we’re not all under the same roof, but from what I know between talks I’ve had with everyone like we’re all still very much invested in it [their band]. We’re hoping to actually get back in the studio during this semester and have some stuff to release throughout the summer.”
Although Riviera’s future is uncertain, one can only hope that it will continue to provide a venue for rising artists to display their abilities and develop a feeling of community in the local music scene. The Riviera has been an important component of Glassboro’s cultural scene for many years, and its legacy will undoubtedly be felt for many years to come.
Finally, the Riviera’s basement event on March 3 was a huge success, with all four bands providing outstanding performances. While the venue’s future is unknown, it has been an important part of the Glassboro community and will be missed if it closes. We can only hope that the Riviera’s legacy lives on and is passed down to a new generation of hosts capable of providing a platform for local musicians to display their ability and interact with music for many years to come.
To stay up to date with future concerts hosted by the Riviera then follow them on Instagram @the_riviera_nj and to get more information about Shark Earrings’ new music and upcoming tour follow them @sharkearringsnj.
Cadalay, Dummy Pass, Super Jack and Shark Earrings rocked the house at Riviera’s March 3 show. – Contributing Photographer / Kafka Andrade
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