MIDDLETOWN: FREE THE WEEKLINGS
Famed musicmakers Glen Burtnik and Bob Burger (aka Lefty and Zeek) Beatle-boot their band The Weeklings, for a free Tuesday night concert outside the Middletown Arts Center.
Let no man question the Beatle bona fides of Glen Burtnik — not when the Jersey music legend, hit songwriter, former member of Styx (and occasional fronter of the current version of ELO) boasts a resume highlighted by scores of performances as Paul McCartney, in the Broadway production of Beatlemania.
It’s a credential that could conceivably be hard to match — even by Bob Burger, the veteran singer-songwriter-guitarist and attorney who’s logged countless sets in the watering holes of the Jersey Shore, and collaborated with Burtnik on songs for Styx and others. But then, who else among us could top this little career highlight for pure Fab Four thrills?
All of which serves to confirm that Burtnik and Burger mean Beatle-booted business when it comes to delivering an authoritative sonic salute to the MopTops, as they did a few seasons back at the Middletown Arts Center. But when Glen and Bob return to the north lawn outside the MAC this Tuesday evening, August 8, they’ll be respectively answering to the names of Lefty and Zeek — the double-sided hitmakers of the band known as The Weeklings.
Part of a series of free outdoor concerts presented by Middletown Township Education Association, the 7 p.m. event showcases the recently minted combo formed by the two guitar-slinging vocalists, joined by bassist John “Rocky Weekling” Merjave and drummer Joe “Smokestack Weekling” Bellia. As an expression of the bandmates’ eternal debt to that most earth-shakingly inspirational of musical institutions, the project has allowed the members to explore the deepest corners of the Beatles body of work — including a number of oddball obscurities, and compositions “given away” to other artists — along with original tunes crafted in the spirit of the Liverpool masters.
It’s a frankly fab format that’s resulted in the band’s winning the coveted “Coolest Song in the World” competition two years running, as adjudicated by Little Steven’s Underground Garage program on SiriusXM. It’s also a way of life that reached its most perfect expression, when the band pond-hopped to the legendary Abbey Road Studios to record their 2016 full-length album Studio 2.
Just a few days after playing their free concert in Middletown, the band heads off to the Midwest, where among other things they’ll be appearing at a major Beatle fanfest in Illinois, and opening for Max Weinberg’s Jukebox at high-profile gigs in Minneapolis and Chicago (they’ll also tag along with Mighty Max when they return Shoreside to the Stone Pony on August 30). But catch them now, fully fab and absolutely free, mere minutes from Red Bank and just steps from the NJ Transit platform — bring your own blanket or lawn chair, plus refreshments, for the show — and park your car at the municipal lot across the street. In case of rain, the action moves indoors to the MAC auditorium; weather-related updates and other info can be had by calling (732)706-4100.