September was a weak month for Long Island. Well, not for the scene, but I didn’t go to a show all month and that’s nobody’s fault but my own. But on the very first of October, I attended what is easily one of the best punk tours to grace Long Island in recent years. Earlier this month, the “Vox Populi” Tour, which was as cool as its name, hit The Paramount and brought thousands of crust punks, both young and old, to the village.
Bad Religion headlined the evening, with support from Against Me! and Dave Hause.
As an opener, Dave Hause was everything I could have wanted. He sang melodic stripped down songs that were unmistakably in the vein of Bruce Springsteen. He also meshed well with the crowd in a way that I’ve never seen from a (kinda) solo act. Most importantly, the crowd of what I assumed would be apathetic Bad Religion die-hards really seemed to love him and it set a great tone for the rest of the show.
Now, my review of the Against Me! set is going to be quite a bit biased, as I’ve been dying to see them since I was around 14 years old. It would almost definitely take a complete bomb of a set for me to not rave about them. Regardless, Against Me! was absolutely perfect. Laura Jane Grace’s vocal chords were incredible despite her suffering from a back injury that she said happened on the first day of the tour the night before.
Despite the much calmer set than expected, the band was just very on point with all of their songs. Sadly, they only played for around 40 minutes, most likely due to the back injury. But even with a shorter set, it’s hard to deny the raw power that Against Me!’s aggressive punk anthems have.
And finally, Bad Religion had a crowd of 1,000+ people going absolutely wild judging by the middle-aged couple dancing their hearts out next to me in the back. With a very long 28-song set, Bad Religion covered all of their bases across their 300-plus-song discography and even played some songs that they had never played live before, despite being a band for over 35 years.
Even in their relatively old age, they still have all of the energy of the young punks they were many years ago, a spirit that carried to a show where the youngest person in the crowd was no older than 14, and the oldest could very well be in their 60s.
Up next for Long Island:
Like Pacific at Amityville Music Hall – October 14 – Pop punk is a dying art. It’s one of those subgenres where there was a brief revival, but nobody’s seemed to do anything interesting unique with it for the past year or two. But for what it currently is, Like Pacific is killing it. One of the last good bands out of the pop punk revival of the beginning of this decade. You can see them on their first real headlining tour right here in October. Tickets are up on Ticketfly for $13
Jeff Rosenstock at Vinyl Paradise – October 19 – The hero of punk rock and the founder of “pay what you want” and free music is going to play a rare hometown show this month and it’s probably going to be one of the best things of all time. It’s a solo performance in a very small record store and to get in, all you have to do is pre-order Jeff Rosenstock’s new solo record from the store.
Latterman at Revolution – October 21 – Another local heroic punk rock band is reuniting for the first time in years for a practice show on their way down to the Fest and they’re starting things off in their hometown with a show at Revolution. Surprisingly, the show isn’t sold out yet and since you should absolutely go, you can find tickets for $18 on Ticketweb.
Kevin Devine at Looney Tunes – October 22 – Somehow, Looney Tunes manages to get an incredible in-store for what seems like every month of the year. In support of his new record, Instigator, Kevin Devine will do what is now a rare solo set at Looney Tunes, where he previously recorded and released his only live LP. You can get in by pre-ordering a copy of Instigator through Looney Tunes on either CD or vinyl.
Knocked Loose at Amityville Music Hall – October 30 – Much like pop punk, metalcore is an art that’s getting ever increasingly difficult to be original in. But Knocked Loose is a genre-defying band and one of the most interesting heavy bands to come out in the last 10 years. They’re playing an intimate show on Long Island after their tour with Stick To Your Guns ends and it’s sure to be one of their last small performances before they inevitably blow up. Tickets are up right now on Ticketfly for just $10.