It was all about the quality, not the quantity. And by any measure, it was a quality show.
With minimal time available to promote the event and with the town wilting under near-record heat, a mid-sized enthusiastic crowd Saturday night greeted Scott Patterson and his band Gordon. They performed an energy-laced concert at the Bill and Nancy Hughes Performing Arts Center at Ocean City High School.
Patterson, the male lead in the popular TV show the Gilmore Girls, and an actor in the “Saw” horror film franchise, put on his rock star hat and it fit comfortably. The five-man band, named after Patterson’s middle name, served up a hard-driving variety of blues and good old fashioned rock ’n roll.
About three songs into it, Patterson took the show to a new level. The personable Haddonfield, NJ native jumped off the stage, ran into the crowd and began pulling women out of their seats and dancing with them in the aisles. He continued to urge entire groups to leave their seats and before long the whole crowd was in front of the stage and in the aisles, dancing and singing along.
Patterson, who said in an earlier interview “we aren’t a cover band,” performed 14 original songs. Despite their previous unfamiliarity with the tunes, audience members proved a quick study and sang along to most of the choruses.
In between the songs, Patterson discussed different aspects of the band, including what inspires his songwriting: “love, heartbreak, youth, and the pains in life” of the human experience. This made for a more intimate experience for the concert-goers. The show attendees were predominantly female, ranging in age from teens through 60-something. The males in the audience also seemed to have a great time.
Speaking of intimacy, Patterson performed a separate acoustic show prior to the main concert, in a smaller meeting room. This performance was just Scott, his guitar and a small audience. Patterson played several songs he considered to be “works in progress” and asked audience members to give a thumbs up or down for the main show. Most received a positive reaction.
During the main concert, Patterson seemed to be enjoying himself nearly as much as his audience. Scott’s band was tight, well-rehearsed and the songs contained catch hooks along with the meaningful lyrics. Some of the songs included references to his New Jersey up-bringing. “Going back to Jersey to see my baby tonight,” Patterson sang. The grit, pain and passion of some of the songs were what one would expect to hear in a blues club and not a high school auditorium. But it worked. The melodies were evocative of the Rolling Stones, mashed up with the Black Crows.
At the concert’s conclusion, Patterson mingled with the crowd. A meet-and-greet then took place in which audience members received an autograph and had the opportunity to take a selfie with Patterson.
All in all it was a great evening of rock ‘n roll, blues, and accessibility of a affable artist.
A portion of the show’s proceeds were to go to OCNJ CARE. The charity is best known the support that it gave and continues to give the victims of Super Storm Sandy. What many people do not know is that OCNJ CARE also helps families facing other challenges. Any proceeds donated from the show will go to help local families in need.