As summer tours wind down, August becomes a bit of an awkward/slow month for music. College-aged young bands are preparing to go back to school and older bands are wrapping up their summer tours. This August was a little slow for music on Long Island, so we’ll be highlighting two smaller shows to bring attention to aspects of the music scene that are often ignored.
Early in the month was the Hangman record release and the Jukai tour return to Long Island, fresh off their dates with rising Florida metalcore stars Blistered. Hangman triumphantly represented what Long Island Hardcore embodies. They were angry, they were loud and they had the perfect blend of fast and heavy that’s making them one of the best hardcore bands to come out of Long Island in a very long time.
Jukai, on the other hand, made me remember why I enjoyed heavy music in the first place. They were catchy, loud and earth-shatteringly heavy. Along with Blistered, the metalcore revival is going exactly where it should be. Bands that gave the genre an awful name, synonymous with skinny jeans, synth parts, Hot Topic and powerpop singing parts in their songs are fading into the past and bands that can encompass the glory of Indecision and Vision Of Disorder are making a return. If the future is going to be Jukai, it’s a future I like.
The other show I went to was in a garage in Uniondale and at times it was a party for friends and at other times, it was a showcase for some great up-and-coming acts. The highlights of this marathon, nine-act day were a stripped down version of the best thing to come out of Long Beach, New York, ever, Oso Oso. They played as a double guitar duo and mostly picked newer songs from their catalogue that can be compared to what Third Eye Blind should have sounded like.
The headlining and touring bands, Pictures Of Vernon and Prince Daddy & The Hyena, take two ends of a spectrum of the “emo-revival” and showed the future of rock. Pictures of Vernon played “party emo” songs that are poppy, but with complex, math-y guitar parts that took the audience for a loop.
Prince Daddy, on the other hand, sounds like the child of Weezer and Bomb The Music Industry!, which is incredible in and of itself. They party in a much different way, but managed to get a crowd of at least 40 moving around in a sweaty garage.
But the lesson to take away here isn’t that cool music can happen in a garage, it’s the importance of community on Long Island that allows for touring acts from across the East Coast to have the shows of their lives in a little garage because of the friendships that alternative music on Long Island can bring.
Up Next for Long Island:
Spirit Night at Stony Brook University – Sept. 19 – Admittedly some shameless self-promotion here. I’ve booked Spirit Night, which is the solo project of the fourth guitarist of famed indie rock/post-emo revival band, The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, to play a solo set. Check the Spirit Night Facebook page for the event page for this quasi-secret show and bring three to five dollars for a donation.
Ben Folds at The Space at Westbury – Sept. 20 – Simply put, one of the greatest and smartest musicians of all time bringing his continually fantastic solo work to Long Island. Everything about Ben Folds is just so intelligent that it would be a crime to culture to not at least consider going to his concerts. Tickets are up now on Ticketmaster for $35.
The Vox Populi Tour at The Paramount – Oct. 1 – It’s been a long, long time since Bad Religion set foot on Long Island. But what’s even better is that they’re bringing Against Me! with them, whose headlining show in 2014 was one of the most memorable in recent Long Island history. It might as well be called the “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Tour,” but that would invoke feelings of nostalgia. But who needs nostalgia when Against Me! is the best they’ve ever been? Tickets are up on Ticketmaster ranging from $25 to $75.
Taking Back Sunday at Revolution – Oct. 4 – These Long Island legends are playing one of their smallest hometown full-band gigs in support of their new record, Tidal Wave. The only opening band is the fantastic You Blew It! and Taking Back Sunday said that the sets are going to be “long.” There’s no way this isn’t going to be a night to remember. Tickets have been long sold out and nobody is selling tickets on the event page, but maybe if you’re looking through, you might get lucky.