May is usually a slow month. Spring tours are wrapping up, generally in bigger markets, summer tours have been announced, but aren’t quite in the “anticipated for summer concert” range, and amphitheater season is nearly within reach.
To counter this, the first annual “Wild Fest” in honor of the late Rob McAllister went down May 20 and 21 at the Amityville Music Hall. The two-day spectacle—running well past midnight each day—will go down as one of the most important musical events in recent Long Island history.
May 20 had performances from Pushing Sides, Thirsty! and Incendiary, as well as reunions from Fatal Erection, Thieves & Assassins and rare performances from Take My Chances and Mind Over Matter. But the most important set of the weekend was the last Capital show, a band McAllister played guitar for before he passed. In his place and in the spirit of the band’s birthplace, five of Lindenhurst’s best guitarists, including members of Backtrack and Hangman, played different songs in the setlist perfectly. Concluding with two Silent Majority songs, played with Silent Majority’s guitarist (Capital’s singer Tommy Corrigan sang in Silent Majority before Capital formed), and “On A Mission,” Capital’s ode to growing up a punk on Long Island, the entire room was consistently a frenzy in the most positive way. It was easily one of the best sets I’ve seen in my history of watching Long Island bands play hometown shows.
May 21 saw Mouth, Broadcaster, After The Fall, Fellow Project, Crime In Stereo, Iron Chic and reunions from Sister Kisser and Agent. It was a small hometown show, filled with older songs from Crime In Stereo, which instantly had the older crowd moving around. Iron Chic, another band McAllister had previously played guitar for, had another emotional set in his honor to a packed out room. But, it was the Agent reunion that took the day by miles. As a Welshman I overheard on my way home said, “I’m shocked they never got big. They should have got big.” It wasn’t the most special performance on paper, but they just sounded incredible. After their set, a guitarist in Crime In Stereo remarked that they should still be making music, although they sadly aren’t.
Overall, Wild Fest wasn’t just a celebration of a music man that’s impacted so many lives on our relatively secluded island. Wild Fest was everything that makes growing up on Long Island great. It was a sense of community that just isn’t found in a city. It was the relationships you form in being a weirdo trapped in suburbia and realizing that when you’re financially able, you don’t want to leave.
Up Next for Long Island:
Old Wounds at the Amityville Music Hall – June 9 – This New Jersey metalcore group will be taking their destructive and inspiring music to Long Island in early June with Jukai and Sanction, the two best Long Island bands making heavy music right now. Heavens Die from West Virginia and Purgatory from Nebraska are also playing. Tickets are $12 on Ticketfly
Silent Majority at Revolution – June 10 and 11 – As mentioned in the last column, the most important show for Long Island this decade. Tickets are still very sold out, but some may pop up on the Facebook event page in the days ahead.
H2O at the Amityville Music Hall – June 12 – A classic Sunday matinee from these New York hardcore greats with support from Wisdom In Chains. It’s an afternoon show so you’ll have your whole night to do whatever you need when it ends. H2O is the one older band that hasn’t dropped in quality at all as the years have gone by. Tickets are $17 on Brown Paper Tickets.
The Taste Of Chaos Tour at Jones Beach – June 18 – Probably the coolest “fest”-like tour in recent memory. Headlined by Dashboard Confessional with support from local superstars Taking Back Sunday, the first Saosin downstate performance since Anthony Green rejoined the band, The Early November and a special set from Motion City Soundtrack as a part of their farewell tour. Outdoor concerts are the best kind. Tickets range from $31 to $89 on Ticketmaster.
Turnover at the Amityville Music Hall – June 18 – If early 2000s alternative isn’t your thing, the next big indie rock band is playing at a small venue. Their new downtrodden songs from Peripheral Vision and the Humblest Pleasures 7” are infectiously catchy. The show is sold out, but you may get lucky with a resale on the Facebook event page in the days leading up.
Vinnie Caruana at the Amityville Music Hall – June 19 – This Long Island local is coming back with a full band featuring members of The Movielife, Rx Bandits and I Am The Avalanche to support his debut solo full-length, Survivor’s Guilt. Rob Ragosta of This Good Robot is opening with an acoustic set. Tickets are $12 on Ticketfly.
All Out War at Shakers Pub – June 25 – Bound to be the wildest Long Island has seen in a minute. Support from Everybody Get Hurts, Detriment and Internal Bleeding. It’s going to be just as hectic as the lineup sounds. If you’re not a coward, you’ll come to the gig. Tickets are $20 at the door. It will sell out, so get there early if you want to witness this.
Porches at The Surf Lodge – June 25 – If heavy music isn’t your thing, the best electronic-based artist of this century is playing a free outdoors show on the water in Montauk. Fresh off of Pool, Porches is here to take Long Island by storm. Montauk may be far, but it can be a great end to a weekend trip to the East End.
Whittled Down at the Amityville Music Hall – June 26 – This one is for people that aren’t afraid of trying something new. Whittled Down is a newer local Long Island band coming home from their first real tour. They fit in the vein of melodic screamo/hardcore with Touché Amoré and Defeater with a mix of bands like Nothing and Frameworks. Tickets are $12 on Ticketfly.
Weezer at Jones Beach – June 30 – Weezer is “back to their roots” every time they release a new album. But I actually like The White Album more than any album since Pinkerton. Weezer is a classic at this point and with support from Panic! At The Disco and Andrew McMahon, it’s bound to be one of the best concerts at Jones Beach this summer. There are very, very few tickets left in the upper seats on Ticketmaster ranging from $65 to $75.
The B-List at East Islip Lanes – July 1 – The key here isn’t the actual music. It’s the unlimited bowling and shoe rental for just $12 from 7 p.m. to close. It’s a great night out that a few pretty cool Long Island bands just happen to be playing.
Cayetana at the Amityville Music Hall – July 2 – This spectacular Philadelphia-based alternative group has been making waves recently. They’re doing a few Northeast shows, with a Long Island date being one of the stops. Tickets are the standard $12 on Ticketfly.
The Vans Warped Tour at Jones Beach – July 9 – For the second year in a row, Warped Tour is at the beach parking lot again. This lineup has a little something for everybody, as it tends to every year. Some of the bigger names this year are Four Year Strong, Less Than Jake, New Found Glory, Reel Big Fish, Sum 41, We The Kings, Yellowcard, Real Friends, Sleeping With Sirens, State Champs, The Maine and The Story So Far, just to name a few. Tickets are $44 on Ticketmaster for the all-day outdoor fest.