Pollak Theatre - 8 PM
The band from Southern California (by way of Illinois) makes a rare coastal New Jersey appearance fronted by singer-guitarist-pianist and primary composer Dan Layus; with a revamped lineup, a new record label, and a new leg of tour dates behind their well-received 2014 release, Life Imitating Life. The whispery vocal verses and Coldplay-inspired ivories of the band’s early singles “Boston” and follow-ups “Sweet and Low” and “Hey Now” vaulted to the Top 10 at AAA Radio. Then in 2011, for the band’s self titled album on Epic, Layus had a major surprise with a punchier, more immediate sound that carried melodic currents of Soul Asylum, Tom Petty, Chris Isaak and Bruce Springsteen. Now the new album reconciles the various facets of the Augustana sounds through a succinct rhythmic attack and crisp production — with bright radio-ready anthems like “Ash and Ember” sharing the ride with introspective plaints like “Remember Me,” under the flag of Layus’s unerring pop instincts. Opening the show will be Jim and Sam.