I'm not a big festival guy. I guess it really depends on who is playing the festival, but when Sea Hear Now was first announced, I wasn't as stoked as others were.

I'm here to say "sorry"!

It was an absolutely awesome time. I got into Asbury around 2:30 on Saturday, and surprisingly found parking quick. I picked up my tickets at the Paramount Theatre, just as SOJA was taking the stage. I found some friends, hit one of the concession lines, then hung out on the boardwalk to watch The English Beat. About halfway through their set, I made my way down to the beach to find a spot to watch Blondie. Being as pale as I am, I luckily found a shady spot thanks to the huge sound booth.

blondie sea.hear.now

I've never been a huge Blondie fanatic, but they were awesome. Debbie Harry sounds fantastic, the band was tight, and the crowd was into it.

At this point there was a bit of a gap between bands I wanted to see, so I figured this was the time to get some food. A ton of food trucks were lined up along Ocean Avenue. Even though the wait was somewhat long, the people in line were friendly, and the food was good.

hydration station sea hear now

I hit up the Hydration Station and filled up my water, then headed back to meet up with some other friends, and hung back on the boardwalk to watch Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals. I went into this pretty much blind, but when Harper kicked off with a cover of my favorite Springsteen song, I was hooked.

At this point I went back down to the sand, worked my way up fairly close to the stage, and set up camp for the band I came to see: Incubus.

incubus sea hear now

I've never been disappointed seeing Incubus live, and they delivered a killer set, and I went home happy.

I wasn't able to make it on Sunday, which was a drag because I wanted to see Social Distortion. As soon as that band was confirmed, the buzz around the office was that they were the most likely candidate for a Bruce cameo. As Occam's Razor would have it, the most likely scenario was the correct one.

I think the real highlight of the entire experience was just the beauty of the setup. The big screens next to the stage would alternate between the performers and some incredible drone footage, and even a cameraman standing out in the ocean. Seeing the huge panorama of the beach, the crowds, Convention Hall in the background, the art on the walls of the buildings, it all just looked amazing.

sea hear now

My old complaint had mostly revolved around waiting all day to see the one band I like...but if every festival had a location like this, where I could just chill on the sand, watch the waves crash, smell the salt air, and just dig that vibe, I might become more of a 'festival guy'...already can't wait for Sea.Hear.Now 2019!

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