Paul Baribeau and Ginger Alford - live in New Brunswick (Cover Artwork)

Paul Baribeau and Ginger Alford

live in New Brunswick (2009)

live show

The city of New Brunswick is usually never kind to me when it comes to proper navigation and trying to find a house on this brisk March night was no different. Upset but undeterred, when I found out that I completely missed Fid and Lauren of the Measure [SA]'s acoustic set, I finally got into The Parlor during Paul Baribeau and Ginger Alford's first song, "Atlantic City."

The Bruce Springsteen song? Why yes! This is the second installment of Darkness at the Edge of Your Town, an acoustic tour where those two Plan-It-X stalwarts play songs of The Boss with a folk-punk mentality.

Even though they were mourning the loss of their saxophone player who left the tour the night before, their spirits seemed high as they went through 10 classic Springsteen tracks without the unneeded aid of mics or amps. "Bobby Jean" was an early rave-up that got a great reception while "Thunder Road" was a mid-set highlight that had the evening's loudest sing-along.

Mr. Baribeau played lead guitar and Ginger was the more vocally strong of the two. She seemed to have the songs down pat while Paul was sometimes comically forgetful. They kept the in-between song banter light, making jokes and talking to the crowd almost as long as they actually played during their 45-minute set. Ginger thanked New Jersey for simultaneously being one of the few stops that gave them enough room to play on the floor and for actually knowing the lyrics to Bruce Springsteen songs (Florida was frequently referenced as a place with little Boss enthusiasm). There were a few shots at the Gaslight Anthem; Paul said "No surrender, my Bobby Jean" a few times before Ginger responded with "They probably know everyone here, we're gonna get killed!" A little later in the set, when the crowd repeatedly called for "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" (a sprawling seven-minute epic), they teased us by playing the opening chords, then saying "Seven minutes later!" and hitting the last note triumphantly.

After a few requests for "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?" and overall confusion if the title was 52nd street, 56th street or 82nd street, the crowd was happy to be treated to the lone cover from Springsteen's first record, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.. After playing the legendary "Born to Run," Paul warded off requests for "No Surrender" and they ended the set with "I'm on Fire."

We all would have hoped for more songs but you can't really complain at a free show. Truth be told, I may have liked the show a little more than I normally would have thanks to standing next to Mikey Erg, him essentially singing harmony for many of the songs in my left ear.

Set list:

  1. Atlantic City
  2. Bobby Jean
  3. Hungry Heart
  4. Pink Cadillac
  5. Thunder Road
  6. The Promised Land
  7. The Ties That Bind
  8. Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?
  9. Born to Run
  10. I'm on Fire