Best Venues to Watch Local Bands in Asbury Park


Even before Bruce Springsteen became a household name, Asbury Park was a hot spot to listen to some great music. The Paramount Theater and the neighboring Convention Hall set up shop in the Jersey Shore resort town back in the 1920s. In their heyday, they welcomed some of top musical acts including The Who, the Rolling Stones and Frank Sinatra. Today, both places still rock whenever they can, hosting unique events and concerts like Darleen Love and La Bamba and the Hubcaps.

Even during the town's troubled times, Asbury Park still rocked on with legendary Jersey boys Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi cutting their musical teeth in clubs just steps away from the weathered planks of the boardwalk. These days, Asbury Park is enjoying a resurgence. It's now one of the Garden State's trendiest places to eat and shop. However, one thing that has always remained the same is the music, baby!

Here are the best spots to catch some up and coming bands or take a walk down memory lane with some tried and true favorites.

Stone Pony

The Stone Pony is famous for being the place where the Boss stepped up to the microphone and would rock the house until the wee hours of the morning. He still does on occasion for some lucky folks that happen to be watching another artist. Music lovers can catch an eclectic mix of local artists and longtime rockers like John Eddie and Glen Burtnik at the Pony. There is also an outdoor theater as well that's a great spot to hear some music when the temperatures allow.

Wonder Bar

Like the nearby Stone Pony, the Wonder Bar has a long history of being a rockin' Jersey Shore bar. They play host to a wealth of up and coming acts and those like Tiffany and the Smithereens that are still celebrating the twilight of their careers. Yes, you remember Tiffany. She did the popular cover of Tommy James and the Shondells' "I Think We're Alone Now" back in the day. The Wonder Bar even has a dog-friendly outdoor patio. So, bring the pooch and rock out.

The House of the Independents

This treasure on Cookman Avenue is another gem that features a mix of music, theater, comedy, dance and film. There is always something cool going on here all year long. They often showcase local favs like John Caspi and the First Gun. Unlike the Stone Pony and the Wonder Bar, the House of the Independents is newer, opening their doors back in 2015. However, in the rocking words of Stevie Ray Vaughan, " if the house is a rockin', don't bother knockin'." Come in; with tickets of course.

Asbury Park Yacht Club

Like the House of the Independents, the Asbury Park Yacht Club is part of the influx of new clubs and bars in Asbury Park. They don't have the history of older venues, but they have the music. The atmosphere is a bit more laid back and the APYC features views of the ocean. Stop by here to pick up some surfer gear, have a bite to eat and catch some live music; all in one stop.

Dawn Miller is a freelance writer and mystery author. She lives in New Jersey.