Long Island Happenings: December 2016

As winter comes by, music things slow down a little bit, only to culturally explode (in a good way) later in the spring. But Long Island saw some truly fantastic and unique shows this November, and here’s the three best:

Earlier in the month, Philly-based loud fuzz rock band The Superweaks played the Amityville Music Hall with their dynamic and synth-y and straight-up overpowering sound. The double lead vocal song-per-song dynamic showed Long Island why they’re a band to be reckoned with in the near future. Their Long Island appearance marked the start of a headlining tour for the new record, Better Havens. While there was a criminally low amount of people watching them, they had one of the best sounding headlining sets that the Hall has seen in a long time.

The next day, Yellowcard played The Paramount as a part of their 20-year anniversary/goodbye tour, as the band has decided to call it quits and is doing tours all over the world to say farewell.

But the Long Island concert was different for a very special reason. Having just played Manhattan the night before, Yellowcard decided that they would use their nearby Long Island show to play their breakout album, Ocean Avenue, in order and in full. The night sold out pretty quickly and Yellowcard frontman noted that people had traveled all the way from Brazil to attend this literal once in a lifetime performance.

After all of the Ocean Avenue songs were done, Yellowcard came out to do a quick set of eight more songs that spanned the rest of the albums that came out after Ocean Avenue. Even singer Ryan Key remarked that the album was kind of a peak for them, as while they still maintained a solid fanbase throughout their career, they never really saw the success that they did while they were on the cycle for their most popular record.

Without a doubt, there’s no other way I would want to see Yellowcard go than with a collection of their best material.

Speaking of full albums, another early 2000s mega band came to a small venue on Long Island to play an album of theirs in full for its 20th anniversary.

Less Than Jake near instantly sold out Revolution to play Losing Streak in full, another album that boosted them to levels of popularity punk had never seen before in mainstream circles. Ska itself is a divisive subgenre that’s loved by many and hated by even more. But Less Than Jake is notorious for the level of pure fun and energy that they bring to their live set.

While making their way through Losing Streak, they had their mascot naturally throw out beach balls and t-shirts into the crowd, had their crew use leaf blowers modified to shoot toilet paper into the crowd and had dozens of Less Than Jake-branded balloons thrown into the older, yet energetic, packed-out Revolution crowd.

Early into the set, I was even summoned onto the stage to take photos of half the band doing fun poses for some reason. And while it was only slightly embarrassing, it was by miles the most fun that I’ve ever had covering an event while doing photography, as I tend to stay away from the crowd while doing my work.

While I thought all three of these shows were remarkable in one way or another, I really have to say that the energy and sound that Less Than Jake still brings as a live band stands out so much more than any other band and to see them in a venue as small as Revolution really was a privilege.


Up Next for Long Island:


Incendiary at Amityville Music Hall – December 16 – The best metal/hardcore band from Long Island possibly ever is back at it with their third annual holiday show at the classic Amityville Music Hall. 100 percent of the proceeds are going to the FREE Drum Corps, meant to help people on the island with mental handicaps and disabilities. The night also doubles as the Crusade re-issue record release, so you can count on some old songs surprising you. There are no advanced tickets. Just show up with a $10 bill if you want to celebrate the holiday season in the heaviest way possible.

The Sleeping at The Paramount – December 23 – The Sleeping has been sleeping since 2012. But now, they’re back for one more original lineup performance at The Paramount right before Christmas. Tickets range from $20-$40 and floor tickets are $25, all of which are still available on Ticketmaster right now.

Merauder at Amityville Music Hall – December 30 – Merauder are winding down operations, but not without a ton of touring beforehand. They’re going to be playing their masterful Master Killer, arguably one of the best metalcore albums ever, front-to-back at a very special and very small Long Island appearance. Similar to Incendiary, there are no advanced tickets. Show up around 8 p.m. with $14 in hand when doors open to make sure that you get in.