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Pat DiNizio At Page One

Mike Perciaccante By

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Pat DiNizio
Page One
Glen Cove, NY
April 27, 2014

Pat DiNizio achieved public recognition as the lead singer and principal songwriter of the Carteret, NJ-based the Smithereens. The band achieved success by writing and playing catchy 1960s-influenced power pop. The group gained its first taste of success when its song "Blood and Roses" was included on the soundtrack as the theme song of the movie Dangerously Close, and the video got airplay on MTV. The Smithereens were the final band to perform at the fabled Bleecker Street nightclub Kenny's Castaways, in New York's Greenwich Village, on its closing evening in October 2012. In 2013, DiNizio and the Smithereens toured with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

A modified version of DiNizio's hit Las Vegas show Confessions of A Rock Star touched down in Glen Cove, Long Island on Sunday, April 27. The Smithereens front man shared his one-of-a-kind experiences through a casual and intimate evening of music and rock 'n' roll stories with fans as part of the new "Friends of My Father's Place" shows at a sold-out Page One restaurant. In addition to the Confessions of A Rock Star portion of the evening, the show was billed as a sort of WLIR-FM reunion. The audience was littered with many of the seminal modern rock station's former staff members, so the phrase "remember when" and "back in the day at WLIR" resonated through the crowd as if the evening's festivities were as much a WLIR Tribute as a Pat DiNizio show.

The night started with a bluesy acoustic set by former Sam Moore, Willy DeVille and Sam The Sham & The Pharoahs sideman Mark Newman that was highlighted by his originals "Fire On The Water," "Hard In The Rain" (which he noted was his melody with lyrics provided by Domingo Samudio, aka Sam the Sham), "Dead Man's Shoes" and the cover of It's A Beautiful Day's "White Bird," featuring Naomi Margolin. His short set also featured "Under the Sun, "Must Be A Pony" and the set closer, a thought provoking song about the Underground Railroad called "Goin' Underground."

After a short intermission, during which Newman's guitars and equipment was cleared and replaced by DiNizio's, former WLIR air personality and Michael "Eppy" Epstein (the proprietor of the late great Long Island music venue, My Father's Place) introduced DiNizio. Acoustic guitar in hand, he did not disappoint. Wasting no time, he launched into "Behind The Wall of Sleep" and his performance was off to a flying start.

The evening's performance included "Somewhere Down The Line," "Blue Period" (which DiNizio explained was originally written for Belinda Carlisle from the Go Go's. "She couldn't record it," he explained, "but did us a great favor and sang background on it on Smithereens 11 (Enigma/Capitol, 1989)."

DiNizio asked the audience to not be bashful and join in on other Smithereens hits such as "Only A Memory," and "Especially For You." As the performance continued, he explained the genesis of the evening's festivities and how he "did a variation of the show at the Riviera in Las Vegas for six nights a week in 2012." He introduced "She's Got a Way All Her Own" from 1999's God Save The Smithereens (Velvel/Koch Entertainment) as having been written for his daughter and how he had recently taken her to Brooklyn's Barclay's Center to see Black Sabbath. While at that show DiNizio said, "She turned to me and said, 'Dude, they're awesome, ' so now I'm not Dad, I'm Dude."

Other highlights of the music and laughter-filled evening were "I'd Like To Say I'm Sorry But I Won't," "Since You Went Away" (which he dedicated to his late father), "Kiss Your Tears Away," and "Blood And Roses" (which was preceded with a story about walking down Sunset Boulevard feeling really good about himself and the success that the band was enjoying. DiNizio explained that a beautiful girl stopped him and asked if he was Pat DiNizio from the Smithereens. "When I said 'yes I am," she told me that she loved my song 'Guns And Roses.'"). They also performed "No Love Lost" from his first solo offering Songs and Sounds (Velvel Records, 1997), Buddy Holly's "Well Alright," and what DiNizio characterized as his favorite Beatles song, "I'll Be Back," punctuated by the story about how his lifelong love affair with the Fab Four was born in December 1964 when his mother bought him a copy of Beatles 65 (Capitol Records, 1964).

The show ended with, what is arguably the Smithereens' best-known hit, "A Girl Like You," and a standing ovation from the audience. After leaving the stage to towel off and get a cold drink, a refreshed and jovial DiNizio returned to the merchandise table to greet fans, shake hands and sign CDs. When last seen he was sharing stories and remembrances with some new and long-time fans.

Photo Credit
Christine Connallon (view concert photos)
[Additional article contributions by Christine Connallon].

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