Sunday, November 29, 2020, two 80’s rock bands, Asylum Choir and Union, shared the stage at Cooper’s Riverview Restaurant for a night of fresh food and live music.

From 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the two groups played alternating sets of classic rock and metal music that attracted long-time fans of both ensembles. According to the lead singer of the band Union, Guy Stasik, the joint performance was a happy accident.

“[Cooper’s Riverview] knew that they were going to do a hard rock thing last night and they decided to do a showcase tonight with us because both of us play here and we have our own individual audiences,” said Stasik. “We’re trying to maximize our audience.”

Guy Stasik singing for Union rock band on Sunday, November 29, 2020.

According to Stasik, both groups are familiar with each other and even perform with the same drummer, Armando “Monty” Caprio. Stasik said, “We’re actually all friends, but we’ve never played together before.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been difficult for both Asylum Choir and Union to book steady gigs this year. “All the gigs right now are last minute,” said Stasik. “Nobody’s scheduling anything.”

In February, Union had 40 gigs lined up to play throughout the year of 2020. However, after the pandemic hit, almost all of the shows were canceled. “We’ve played maybe five [gigs] since March,” said Stasik. “It’s the way it is.”

Despite the setbacks for both ensembles this year, the bands were both quite happy with the turn-out of Sunday’s show. Caprio said, “Considering what’s going on, I’ll take it.”

Armando “Monty” Caprio drumming for Asylum Choir in their second set on Sunday, November 29, 2020.

For Stasik, Cooper’s Riverview in Trenton consistently offers local support for live music, a trend that he does not see back in his home town. “I come from the Pennsylvania area…the support right over on this side of the bridge in Trenton and Hamilton is so much greater than it is over there,” said Stasik. “There’s very big support for local music around here.”

As the global pandemic continues to affect the entertainment industry and the way we consume live music, both Union and Asylum Choir will continue to play every show like it’s their last.

“With what’s going on, let’s just all come together and do a good thing,” said Caprio.