The Early November / Mercy Union / T. Gunn & The Semantics – Mountain Creek -Vernon, NJ – 2/29/20

Mountain Creek, which is a four season resort that has something for everyone anytime of the year, put on their free winter concert featuring three New Jersey bands, Early November, Mercy Union, and T. Gunn & The Semantics.  For a resort that doesn’t specialize in concerts, the lineup was one of the best and the sound was better than most venues.  Fun fact, Mountain Creek sits on top of the infamous Action Park, brush up on your Weird N.J. knowledge if you aren’t familiar with Action Park lore.  Local musician T. Gunn opened the show, but it wasn’t his acoustic side that played the show but louder music featuring the Semantics.  Composed of a three piece T. Gunn and the Semantics ripped through a handful of songs that reminisce of other early 2000’s New Jersey bands like the June Spirit and Tokyo Rose.  They ended their set playing a song from their other band Died Out which was heavier, but fit in their set and the crowd enjoyed just as much.

Mercy Union came out of four guys that were in four other bands, some much bigger than the others, that wanted to create music to just create music and it shows.  Going about it their own way to just play music and have a good time, Mercy Union excels at this and being one of the best bands out there currently.  Playing eight songs, Mercy Union played songs off their latest release The Quarry and also Jared Hart’s solo songs that as Mercy Union give them a whole new life.  For “The Leo”, Casey Macalush added beautiful backing vocals and a cover of Strike Anywhere’s “Infrared” was also added into the setlist.  If you enjoy any of the members’ previous work you will love Mercy Union just the same, and if you just like good rock and roll you too will love Mercy Union.

The Early November closed the night out with one of their best sets.  Opening with Ace Enders playing “Ever So Sweet” solo, the crowd at this point was packed in and singing as loud as they could.  From there the rest of the members took the stage and Early November bounced from one era to the other.  Nothing was held back.  Songs were played from each album, but never in sequence. If they played a song from For All of This the next song was going to be from their latest release Lilac.  For any Early November fan, this was the show to be at, the energy from the band and the crowd was constant and felt never ending.  For an one off show at a ski resort this was probably one of their best shows, not just for the setlist, but it was a fairly intimate show and free to the public!  Not sure how many times Mountain Creek does things like this, but they should keep them coming.

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