In Focus: Fred Norris sells out Arlene’s Grocery

On a January Wednesday, Fred Norris played a sold out show with his band at Arlene’s Grocery in the lower east side of Manhattan.  Fred is best known for his role on The Howard Stern Show where he has been a writer, producer and sound effects genius for over 30 years. The new line up of his band includes Fred on lead vocals and guitar, Steve Goulding on drums, Graham Parker on guitar and Mekons on bass. Opening for The Fred Norris Band was Steve Addabbo and Megan Reilly. 

Fred and his band sounded great and they didn’t even get to do a proper sound check before their set. They played for over an hour and performed 12 original bluesy rock songs including “Get In Line,” “Sense of Pretending” and “Lost in the Ether.”  Fred then welcomed singer/songwriter Erica Smith to join the band for the melodious “How Long.”  What was also very much enjoyable was Fred talking about each song and what inspired him to write them. Some of the songs were about his daughter Tess, while others were about current social issues such as greed, corruption and the threat of war. You can see the full setlist below. 

Arlene’s Grocery used to be a bodega/grocery store which was turned into a bar in 1995. It is mostly a venue for local punk and hard rock bands.  Other notable performances include Arcadia Fire, Jeff Buckley and Lady Gaga.


Setlist: Get in Line, Uptown One, Cool Surface, Sense of Pretending, How Long, Lost in the Ether, The End, There Goes The Show, The War Within, Paradise
Encore: The Impatient One, Ballina

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