By Sally Monkemeier
By 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, every seat in the Rathskeller was taken by fans eager to see Ace Enders perform, along with his sister, Robin Gazarra, at a free College Union Board concert, part of the CUB Rat Concert Series.
Earlier on Friday morning, Enders tweeted: “Playing an acoustic show tonight at tcnj with @RobinGazzara it’s gonna be wild.”
When Enders began his acoustic solo set at 6:30 p.m., he said, “Before I start playing, I just want to thank my little my little man over there,” referring to his young son in the audience, whose second birthday happened to be the following day, Sept. 10.
Enders started with new material, playing the title track of “Gold Rush,” his group I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business’s fourth album, released May 5, 2011. The song has bittersweet lyrics: “It’s tough being copper when all of your friends are gold.”
Enders told the audience he planned to “wing it tonight! Play a bunch of stuff,” and asked the crowd for requests. At one point, he even asked his son for an opinion, calling out, “Which one, Arthur?”
Enders is no stranger to the College — not only has he been a frequent performer, but his wife is a 2005 alumna.
In an interview, Enders said over the years he has played so many times at the College that it has “paid for my wife’s tuition.”
“My wife went to (the College). I used to come here all the time. Wild, wild stuff. You know… college,” Enders told the audience.
Enders, who did not go to college like his wife, explained to the audience that he still feels “fresh out of high school, man. Frozen in 2002.”
He went on to joke about fatherhood, saying, “Where did this child come from? I don’t know.”
Enders concluded with thoughts about some of his bigger life changes, saying, “People do graduate and move on with their lives … Makes me feel sad.” He then joked, “I’m getting over emotional ‘cause I’m ‘emo.’”
In addition to music and humor, Enders offered his audience some personal advice. He told a story about a recording situation he had been in which made him feel uncomfortable because he had limited control over his material.
“Sometimes you just have to trust your gut,” he said.
The night’s entertainment began with Gazarra, who played the keyboard and sung. Gazarra also demonstrated her guitar playing skills in the third song she played, which she said was a cover of “A Waltz” from the movie “Before Sunrise.”
“I just recorded a song with my brother, Ace. It’s here for free,” Gazarra told the audience. The song, “In My Hands,” was Gazarra’s sixth and second-to-last track that night.
Gazarra’s Web site, RobinGazarra.com, features a free download of the CD.
Sept. 10 brought the first of two reunion concerts by Enders’ former band, The Early November. The first concert was held at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia, and the second reunion show will be at the Starland Ballroom