Vans Warped Tour is a summer staple. Every year you know that you will most likely spend at least one day with this traveling summer camp. A special little part of that is the Acoustic Basement Tent. Led by Brian Marquis, it's a little quieter part of the Warped Tour that features fan favorites and new acts.
After Warped Tour ends, Marquis brings the Acoustic Basement Tour on the road for a winter run. On Friday night, the tour stopped by The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ. The lineup always changes, but this particular run was led by Boston's own, Transit.
Opening up the show was Jake McElfresh- better known as Front Porch Step. This was his first real tour, but he clearly had fans in attendance. You could see the front row singing along to every word. With his honest, raw lyrics, he was reminiscent of a young Chris Carrabba.
Brian Marquis used to play guitar in the post-hardcore band Therefore I Am, but these days he is focused on his own brand of singer/songwriter. One of the nicest guys I have had the pleasure of getting to know, it is always a treat when I get to see him play. With his acoustic guitar, vocals, and sometimes harmonica, he crafts beautiful stories and clearly loves playing his songs live.
Next up was Nick Thompson, playing stripped down versions of his band Hit The Lights' songs. Thompson was able to take the songs his pop-punk band made known, and play them in a completely different way. On the tour, it was all on Thompson, and he met the challenge head on.
Last up on this special night was Transit. I have photographed them many times, so it was fantastic to see them play in this more intimate setting. The set consisted of a good mix of all of their albums, with backing vocals from everyone in the crowd.
It was a really special night for everyone in attendance. Everyone from all the respective acts spent a lot of time hanging out with the crowd before and after the set. It was a chance for them to see some incredible versions of these songs, and to get to know the bands a bit as well.
The Acoustic Basement Tour is heading to the UK soon, and then back to their home on the Vans Warped Tour. This summer when you are at Warped, be sure to stop by the tent and give Brian Marquis a sweaty hug.