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Vacationer @ Haddon Lake Park with Melissa Menago.

June 30, 2016


Vacationer threw a very chill party under the stars and surrounded by trees last night in Haddon Heights as part of the neighborhood’s Sundown Series in Haddon Lake Park.

The host for the evening introduced Vacationer to the crowd of around 300 people by saying, “I’ve never heard of this band but I heard them during sound check and you’re in for a treat.”

The sedate but appreciative crowd swayed along as the band from Chilladelphia grooved with their beachy sounds and dreamy lyrics.

Midway through their 75-minute set, frontman Kenny Vasoli said, “For this next song, we want you all to get up and dance!”

He received blank stares in response – many in the crowd were older and even the younger folks seemed reluctant to be the first to stand up.

“I’m just kidding,” Vasoli continued. “You’ve probably been working all day. You don’t have to dance.”

His banter was often met with simple, quiet applause. It was so peaceful that at one point, he had a little conversation from the stage with his dog, who was sitting next to Vasoli’s girlfriend in the crowd.

When the band performed “Trip,” you could see a healthy contingency singing along. One fan was especially vocal, belting out lyrics and hooting between songs all evening. He bounced up and down the whole set until finally, Vasoli acknowledged him, saying, “Hey, what’s up, Fitzy?”

It was a lovely night to sit in lawn chairs and drink beers in red cups, listening to the gentle sounds from Vacationer as lightning bugs flew around.

The Sundown Series has, apparently, been in existence for 16 years. They run a very professional operation, with great sound and lighting. Lisa Loeb performed the previous week.

Melissa Menago opened last night with a short set made up of songs she played on her ukelele. Her debut solo album drops in July and she’ll celebrate with a show at World Cafe Live on July 22.

Menago, who also fronts June Divided, performed a few original tracks, as well as an acoustic version of June Divided’s “Other Side of You.” She also sang a blend of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Under The Sea,” which was absolutely delightful.

After the show, fans met with Menago while others took pictures with the guys from Vacationer. The Vacationer guys whipped out a birthday cake for guitarist Greg Altman, who will perform tonight at The Barbary with his other band, Ratkicker.

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