On Saturday night, dozens of locals gathered at the Fair Haven Dock to enjoy local music while watching a serene sunset over the scattered sailboats anchored in the Navesink River.
Organized by the Fair Haven Recreation Dept., the Sounds At Sunset Concert Series is celebrating its fourth year of showcasing local bands.
This year, the Peanutbutterflies showcased the best of the students in Fair Haven by volunteering to be the opening act for their first-ever outdoor performance.
Comprised of six teenage boys who graduated this month from Knollwood School and are entering freshman at Rumson-Fair Haven Region High School in the fall, the Peanutbutterflies enthused, excited, and impressed the crowd with their mature talent.
Playing a mix of rock music like the Black Keys “Little Black Submarine,” the boys set the standard for the evening, and enjoyed the recognition for their talent as many residents approached the band to commend them for a fantastic job and to admit disbelief at the amount of talent in such a young group.
The Peanutbutterflies consists of Calvin Bruno on drums, Daniel Quigley and Kevin Witterschein on guitar, leader singer Jake Rallo, keyboardist Leo Maita, and Karl Pfeil on bass.
Concerned about the band name being interpreted in “multiple ways,” the boys showed a hint of their inner future rock stars by adamantly insisting on spelling their band name as one word. Aside from fear of misinterpretation, the group could not contain their energy and pride in their performance that evening.
Quigley explained that his connections and friendship with the second act, popular local band Late4Lunch, earned the Peanutbutterflies their spot at the concert series, and that the group would continue to volunteer during the summer for other Fair Haven performances.
Late4Lunch, a local classic rock cover band, continued the festive atmosphere for the remainder of the evening as the crowds continued to take seats in front of the band or enjoy walking around the dock or beach right below. Covering songs from The Beatles to New Jersey favorite Bon Jovi, the band has Kathleen Agnostak and Gabby Kenny on vocals, Scott Finchler on drums, Thomas Goeddel on keyboard, Ted Myslinski on guitar and vocals, Sandeep on bass and vocals, and Thomas Mueller on guitar. Late4Lunch has played the Sounds At Sunset each year since it began, becoming a Fair Haven favorite, and also enjoys a local following at spring and summer festivals around the county.
Dana Muralt, a Fair Haven resident of 20 years, attended the event to support her friend Thomas Mueller in Late4Lunch as well as Calvin Bruno, Kevin Witterschein, and Karl Pfeil of The Peanutbutterflies, who are all Boy Scouts under her leadership in Fair Haven Troop 125. Muralt expressed her joy in supporting the musicians from her community while also enjoying such beautiful scenery.
“I love it!” Muralt said. “The boys played so amazingly well, and Late4Lunch is playing such great songs. It’s simply beautiful here, with the sun coming down on the water as we watch. This is why I come every year.”
Charlie Hoffmann, who has worked for the Recreation Department for five years has helped organize the event since its founding. He praised Late4Lunch as being a staple for the event and drawing the crowds in, while heaping praise on The Peanutbutterflies for using the concert as a way to showcase their talents for the first time to the residents of Fair Haven in a “supportive, relaxing” venue.
Hoffmann explained that he continues to help with the event because of the beauty of the family atmosphere.
“I love seeing the families coming out, with the kids playing in the water while their parents are dancing, or groups of teenagers; the whole family can come out together. People can come by boat and anchor close to hear the music. It’s a great night for everyone in Fair Haven to come by and enjoy,” Hoffman said.
More Sounds at Sunset Concerts this summer:
- July 12– The Lovely Lads
- August 9– The Lovely Lads
- August 16– Lakewood Jazz Trio
- August 23– The Wag