Atlantic City closed out April with a bang! If you drove through the 48 blocks this weekend, chances are you encountered some traffic, maybe a full parking lot, and lots of uniquely dressed pedestrians in town for a secret, pop-up EDM festival.
Resorts Casino & Hotel’s Superstar Theater was home to a jampacked show Saturday night, “A Night at the 500 Club: Dave Damiani & Friends” featuring Haley Rinehart, Renee Olstead, Landau Murphy Jr., and The No Vacancy Orchestra. The show transported its audience back to oldschool Atlantic City, highlighting the American Songbook and its home at Paul “Skinny” D’Amato’s 500 Club. The songs spanned the decades from the 40s to present day, covering artists such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Jack Sheldon, Frankie Valli, Amy Winehouse, and my personal favorite, Landau Murphy Jr.’s rendition of Bruce Hornsby’s “The Way It Is”
Atlantic City’s mayor Don Guardian introduced the show with a brief history of Resorts, the Superstar Theater, and the 500 club. Haley Rinehart, of Postmodern Jukebox and the recently-gold cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love”, earned some excited hollers from the audience with her version of Sharon Jones’ “100 Days, 100 Nights”. Her performance of Radiohead’s “Creep” is what gave me goosebumps!
Renee Olstead crooned the crowd with a few ballads and was joined on stage by Rinehart for an Amy Winehouse duet. Rinehart and Damiani paid homage to the warm weather with “Summer Wind”, and all four closed the show with crowd favorite, “That’s Life”, which had most everyone singing and clapping along.
Hands down, the best part of the evening for me was when Damiani revealed that he and Alex Frank, bassist and No Vacancy Orchestra’s musical director, wrote a song especially for Atlantic City, entitled, “This Is AC”. It was the perfect way to bring together the new and the old Atlantic City and show respect for its landmarks, businesses, and establishments that are the heartbeat of the community. Skinny D’Amato’s daughter, Paula Jane, was in the front row and acknowledged the song with a standing ovation followed by the rest of the audience.
You can watch the video by following ThisIsAC on social media or viewing this article online.