Family Fun at Trend

Some seasoned and soon-to-be seasoned performers bring equally talented family members to a packed event at Trend.

The inner family at Trend comes out.

No warnings of storm or rain kept any frequent Trend Coffee and Tea regular or newcomer from coming to enjoy the usual mixed bag of open mic sets, which were cut down to a two-piece limit, as opposed to the usual three-piece limit, due to the nearly-full house. The biggest contributors to that capacity were family members of some open mic staples, some who not only were audience members, but also performers.

Before the family “businesses” began, a newcomer to Trend and a new resident of the town of Montclair named Andrew performed two originals, “Soul” and “I’m not Here.” It is only fitting that he uses Trend as a musical springboard, considering he will be attending Montclair State University for the first time this fall as a music therapy major.

Another newcomer named Mike G, whose strong vocals are nearly akin to Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas, brought forth “Lady Guinevere” and “Take Me Far Away” on acoustic guitar.

The family fun started after Evan Bob and Cara Renee’s set, when Renee’s father James, who came up to visit from Florida, performed two songs on his acoustic guitar. Following James was Zach Halper’s father, Rob, performing Beatles covers, which were somewhat predominant that night, too, as Andy and Erica performed “Gonna Let You Down” and Meg and Mike W. performed a soulful, rootsy rendition of “Across the Universe.”

Ironically, Trend staple Zach was not in attendance last night.

family fun:Regular staple Cara Renee's father, James, on acoustic. Photo courtesy of Christine Byczkiewic.
Regular staple Cara Renee’s father, James, on acoustic. Photo courtesy of Christine Byczkiewic.

The rapidly popular keyboardist/singer Lee gave everything he had in his musical power with his covers of The Script’s “Breakeven (Falling to Pieces)” and James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain.”

Lee is already known for utilizing all of his musical power by including one new song and one classic in each of his sets. Last night, though, he invited his good friend and drummer Sam to present his share of gifts as well. Sam also shares the same passion in performance as Lee, which can lead some people to believe that they may be brothers— by blood. Adding to his support and joy were his grandparents being in attendance and enjoying every minute of the event. Directly after Lee finished his set, his cousin Mitch Radler stepped up to the mic and performed Cat Stevens covers. Although Lee and Mitch have vastly different performing styles, they do share an equal passion and appreciation for music in general.

Something to take out of these events, however, is the fact that owner Dmitri, host Greg, the Trend staff and all the performers and customers treat each other like family. Once anyone approaches Greg, they are pretty much considered family to him, as he playfully and lovingly welcomes them to, as he puts it, the “dysfunctional game.” It does not matter how packed the room is or how many blood relatives show up. The point is, what seems like a room of complete strangers really is an ever-growing extended family because of random, long conversations about shared interests and passions, as well as the delicious food served, all of which is always fresh and baked in-house.

Another factor of that warmth is all of the décor that is more of a cozy family room setting with comfortable chairs, tables, warm colors, local artwork and bay windows. Dmitri and staff work very hard to keep Trend Coffee and Tea a place of joy. For anyone else who goes to Trend, please keep the familial sense and respect in mind.

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