PHOTOS: Julius and Sonar Lights Rock the Roadhouse

Before taking the plunge into full Musikfest mode, we had one final stop on the road to the nation’s largest free outdoor music festival — and that stop took us to American Spirits Roadhouse in Asbury, NJ for a show that was months in the making.

Earlier this year, we were contacted by management for Sonar Lights, a rock trio out of Texas. They were routing their tour through the Northeast, stumbled upon us, and asked if we could help them get a gig in our neck of the woods. We happily obliged, setting a date for Sunday, July 30.

Of course, being Lehigh Valley Underground, we had to find one of our own to share in the evening’s festivities. Enter Julius, our friend and a local singer-songwriter who, with his band, have written a healthy number of original tunes on their way toward their first, still-forthcoming album.

Knowing that we had quite a bill on our hands, we announced the show earlier this month, and couldn’t be more thrilled with how things went. We led off with Julius, whose band sounded tight despite recent lineup changes, and whose hour-plus of original material has evolved to have more of a jam band-meets-Tom Petty kind of feel, a direction that frontman W. Julius Meyer was excited to share with listeners on Sunday night.

After Julius, it soon came time for Sonar Lights to take the stage. The trio, currently embarking on their “Fall of Babel” tour in support of their scorching new album, “Babelonia,” amazed the crowd at American Spirits Roadhouse equally with their originals and covers like The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and Soundgarden’s “Spoonman” (the latter being a tribute to late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell). The band’s powerful sound and technical prowess got a lot of people talking, and surely earned them a few new fans in our neck of the woods.

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