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Secondhand City at PM Church- Gloucester City, NJ

What’s a holiday party without a private performance from a Dead cover band? The monthly Wharf Rat group of South Jersey and Philly hosted the usual crew plus some invites from around the area. People I hadn’t seen since 2016 Phish summer tour showed up. People who swear they can never make it out there, down there, or over there showed up. Word of pot-luck dinner and dancing must have spread wide and far. That or the excitement of the holiday season, or that it wasn’t just a bunch of old drug addicts sitting around.

Secondhand City is a local band playing covers and some originals. For this night, the setlist was Dead. They took the stage of the PM church,

Secondhand City

which now serves as a practice space, and played through the Saturday night to 40 – 50 people. Some of the kids slept on couches and pews, other folk caught up with each other over samples from the huge spread of food as the rest danced.

The vibe was more like a college party than some club gig. Everyone knew each other and had fun catching up. Some others hadn’t connected in a while either. I for one haven’t been down this way in months and missed my friends in the area. Luckily, Island Girl drove with Hair-tie and his lady in the back. They are an hour from me and I’m 90 minutes from this venue. I was surprised they wanted to go home after but it was for the best.

We danced to songs that we all know better than some relatives. We laughed and talked and ate up a storm, the real meaning of the holidays right? Mostly, this was a reminder that the year was close to ending. A feeling I’ll fight and struggle to adjust too in the coming weeks. In the moment though, and in the memories since, it was all smiles. This crew is full of gratitude, joy, and love for life. We share our pain and help our friends through the fire. We connect through our love of music, dancing, and the freedom they bring. Forget about the year, life is short. I’m grateful to be with this family. That’s a pure perspective for the season.

Shine your #lovelight on me. #hannukah #52showsayear

A post shared by Aaron Mandelbaum (@aaronmstagram) on

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