For the last three years, my friends in Manayunk have hosted a University of Scranton Christmas party the Friday before Christmas break and every year for the last three years that same group takes the ride into Philly on Saturday to see the band Secret Service perform at Finnegan’s Wake.
If you’re from the Philly area or spend summers “down the shore” (specifically Sea Isle City, NJ) you’ve probably been acquainted with Secret Service; allegedly they’ve been around forever. . You can see their schedule here.
If you like bands that consider producing music a craft don’t bother with Secret Service. If you only respond to deep, meaningful lyrics, they probably aren’t for you. If watching groups of half-sloshed 20-something girls gyrating on state with band makes you roll your eyes, stay away. If none of these things have irritated you yet, you might be able to enjoy their brand of pure, stupid fun.
Secret Service has two members: Dom & Craig (I know this because several of my friends are on a first name basis with them)who are middle aged, bordering on old. They play only the guitar and keyboard and there’s speculation as to whether the majority of the music playing comes from a CD player (I think it does). Now this may sound very underwhelming, but what makes Secret Service great is their song choices, their enthusiastic interaction with the crowd, and the rabid, almost cult-like fan base they’ve acquired.
Secret Service plays at the Ocean Drive in Sea Isle City every Wednesday Night and every Sunday and the fans that see them there seem to follow them all over locations in the city. It’s fun to see people shout of their favorite songs and it seems that by their last set they’re playing only requests.
I’m a big music fan. I give everything (except anything where the singer screams more than sings) a shot. I also think there’s a big difference between good music and drinking music. There’s some really good music you just don’t want to hear when you’re out having a good time and some really terrible music you normally wouldn’t listen to but love after a few drinks: Secret Service capitalizes on this and plays the type of music you want to hear and shout the words along to after a cocktail or four. They play your standard “wedding music”(“Sweet Caroline”, “Shout”), oldies (“Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, “Jackie Wilson Says”), classics (“You May Be Right”, “Rosalita”)more contemporary hits (“Read My Mind”) and those songs you swear to your friends you hate, but know all the words to (“Party In the USA”).
What I believe they do best is rap music and their “medleys.” The rap music is hilarious b/c let’s face it watching two old white guys sing “Hypnotize” or “Miami” is amazing. The medleys include a Boy Band Medley and TV Theme Song Medley. Secret Service ends every performance with a cover of Toto’s “Africa.” If you’re in the Philly area and haven’t checked them out, do it—I suggest with a large group of friends after a good afternoon drinking session. These guys are synonymous with fun.