As though the scheduled act Dropbox wasn't enough, Sully Erna, lead singer of the multi-platinum, nationally-touring, Grammy nominated band Godsmack, jumped up on stage and belted out a couple of tunes.
This stuff doesn't happen every day. It was why Teflon from Wu Tang Clan and Il Nino came to watch the show. Rock and roll came to visit Hoboken, and the Current was there.
Dropbox is a five-piece straight forward rock and roll band with a metal edge reminiscent of Alice in Chains. They're local boys. Singer John Kosco, who's cousin Ken Kosco owns the bar, is from Teaneck, guitarist Joey Wilkinson is from Paterson, drummer Bobby Jenkins is from Hawthorne, and bass player Jimmy Preziosa is from Elizabeth. Guitarist/vocalist Lee Richards, formerly of Godsmack himself, is from Massachusetts. Saturday night, they played their first ever acoustic show in a rare local appearance. They performed after just two rehearsals.
"We're just going up there real loose and playing some of the songs on the record and a couple of songs we never recorded officially," said Kosco. "We're doing it acoustic because we felt like doing it acoustically."
And it's a good thing that they were playing acoustic, because if they plugged in, they would have blown the roof off of the place.
The front of the crowd was packed with gorgeous women, and the room was full of walk-ins and longtime fans, all of whom had a favorite song off Dropbox's self titled album.
Michael McHugh from Hawthorne knows the band as friends of friends and has partied with them before. "They're fun," he said with a nod, eliciting laughter from the two girls he was with. "They're all out to have a good time."
A rare event
The Dropbox show was a rarity at O'Donoghue's on First Street, which typically packs the house using local cover bands. The local show was a rarity for Dropbox as well - their first tour was when they opened on Godsmack's national Full Bells and Whistles tour, followed by a tour supporting Drowning Pool, a promotional tour with Metallica and Godsmack, and another go-around with Godsmack on their acoustic tour. During that last tour, Kosco and Richards played three songs with Godsmack.
Since getting off tour, they rarely play locally except for shows at the Stone Pony, the Starland Ballroom, Connections, and Dingbatz, all of which are in New Jersey. They have never even played in New York City. "Our first tour, they threw us on an arena tour with Godsmack," said Kosco. "It was great. We played in front of an average of 7,000 people a night."
Kosco said he loves both large venues and more intimate shows, and is ready to do both at any time. "I'll do more stretching before an arena gig, and less smoking during a bar gig," he said.
Opening act Eddie Blue used to be in the cover band Majestic 12 with Jenkins. He played a solo acoustic set of his own songs and some originals before Dropbox took the stage at 10 p.m.
The band parked themselves in chairs, but the show didn't feel unplugged; it blazed with power and energy. Kosco's vocals filled up the room - just one indication of talent of the band, and Richards's harmonies are unwavering.
The crowd was excited for this rare opportunity to see the band in action. Up front, girls rocked to the beat and sang along, at one point an excited female fan flashed for the band.
When Kosco introduced Erna, it seemed like a natural happening - buddies from different bands jamming together. Which is what it was, but let's get a little perspective.
Erna's band, Godsmack, is a multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated group that sells out 7,000 seat venues headlining, and held down the opening slot for the latest 100 Metallica show which sold out across the country. Their hit "Whatever" off their self-titled album zoomed to the top of the charts.
Yet Saturday night, it was perfectly easy to get within six feet of the musicians in a neighborhood bar that hosts weekly open mics. In fact, you couldn't make it into the back bar without getting within 10 feet.
Dropbox's performance ended with a jam of Jazz Gillum's Reefer Head Woman (also covered by Aerosmith) shortly before midnight. It may be months before Dropbox plays again, so visit www.dropboxmusic.com to find out more.