Courtesy of Chipster PR

Sea of Tranquility Sees Vanilla Fudge, Epic Tantrum, & More at Eccentric Poughkeepsie Fest

An indoor festival in Poughkeepsie with acts that range from sixties pop-rockers to modern progressive metalheads? We’ll be there… and so should you.

Do away with genres and ages and backgrounds and sounds at Sea of Tranquility. This Chance Theater festival is one afternoon and evening of music for everyone, truly. It’s lineup is broad, the music is high quality, and the timing is right. It’s interesting, unique, and eclectic – a Saturday sure to be well spent on October 1. Epic Tantrum’s bassist Greg, agrees, and in conversation with us, Carmine Appice, of Vanilla Fudge fame and a drummer extraordinaire for some-six decades, concurs. Since the triumphant return of live music in the last year or so, audience members have had more energy and excitement than ever, and this intimate festival elevates that with something for every music lovers in attendance.

“It’s gonna be a lot of fun,” Carmine Appice tells us. ” I played The Chance a few times, and I noticed on the bill this time around that [there are] people who are friends of mine. I always love playing with other groups that are friends because we always reminisce and have a good time. Usually at the gig, or at least sometimes, we jam together, too!”

The beauty of this festival is the people it’s bringing together – on stage and off. For Epic Tantrum, they’re thrilled to be part of the show, but also one with the audience as they take their debut record from 2020 to the masses for the first real and true time. “Live, it’s a little bit more raw and energetic,” Greg shares about the band’s record. “There’s a different feel to it.” Therefore, playing it for fans and music lovers alike will evoke something even bigger, newer, and bolder – something we’re all excited to experience on the first of October. “Obviously with how the crowd is, there’s that sort of ebb and flow of [energy] that you don’t get in the studio, which makes playing music live so exciting. Hopefully that all comes off, especially being that i’s really cool to be playing with bands like Nektar and Vanilla Fudge and so on. This fest has a very cool lineup.”

Given the inklings of true fall weather filling the air, everyone who attends will be indoors as The Chance Theater is a wonderful indoor space and venue for all kinds of artists. Being inside for a festival “is gonna be an experience alone,” admits Appice. “I’ve played festivals with [estimated] 600,000 people. I played the Atlanta Pop Festival, which was 20 or even 50 thousand. Seattle Pop Festival? 100,000 people. I’ve never done a festival or something called a festival inside, you know? I’ve done gigs with like four bands on it where we do a tour, like the Hippie Fest tour Vanilla Fudge did overseas for some two dozen shows. That was just four bands on a bill – not a festival. Festivals – to me – are outdoors. This will be an interesting experience, and it’s just a one off, which we’ve done a few of these before, like I just mentioned, as opposed to a weekend or traveling tour as I just mentioned. It’s going to really be different and I like different… it’s what we do.”

Our new friend Greg concurs – no matter the different nuances and seasonal aspects of the Poughkeepsie show, it’s one that will be worthwhile. “This is a concert that where we feel like all of the bands kind of come from a similar mindset. It’s about musicianship, it’s about writing challenging, but interesting material, and it’s about playing it live for the fans who will appreciate it. [Sea of Tranquility] just feels like it could – and will – have a really great vibe the whole night.”

Epic Tantrum has been in on the Sea of Tranquility details for awhile, though, and shares in its differences with equal parts excitement. Greg says that “the foundations of the Fest came from a virtual concert that we did in 2020. I approached Pete Parto and said, ‘We’re all locked up, we’re bored, so why don’t we do a virtual concert?’ I had been involved in a couple of others, and so we put together Sea Tranquility Virtual Fest, and it was a really great experience. Even though it was virtual and it was online, the community that came out in the comments was great. They were going on during the show, both in chat rooms and message boards, and it was really heartwarming at a time when we were all looking for something to feel better about. […] For us as a band, that was the first time we had really gotten together in over six months because of the pandemic. We all showed up to play our song and we had masks on. We set up our equipment and took the masks off as we filmed our videos and then quickly threw the masks back on. It’s come a long way to be able to do this live, you know, two plus years later!”

Sea of Tranquility Fest is all about that sense of community. Bands like Vanilla Fudge draw a much different crowd than that of Epic Tantrum, but that’s the beauty of the event. “I just think that getting different generations of people together, if they like styles of rock music, is a good idea. I think they’re gonna have a good time,” VF’s drummer shares. With decades of live shows, music, and history under his belt, for him to tour the night and the crowd it is sure to draw is something special. We here at The Aquarian can’t wait to hear what songs they take to the stage. There’s a legacy to Vanilla Fudge and it’s continuing on, making them an exhilarating headliner.

“When it comes to Vanilla Fudge,” Carmine Appice explains,”There are these original members who are playing and fans who have grown up with us and this music. It makes you feel good. Still, the problem with The Fudge is because we [started] so long ago, a lot of the fans are getting too old to go out. The original fans are dying off ’cause they’re old, but their families come and it’s kind of cool. That’s actually why it’s cool to do these cross-generational gigs because people get to see what Vanilla Fudge was all about. […] Not to mention we have three out of four members and we released a new song last year which had all four members of the band on it before Tim Boga passed away.”

The band has been layering sounds and making songs that are already beloved even more interesting to listen to for practically a lifetime. This is something that can be understood as number one appeal for all ages of fans when it comes to songs they love and bands they gravitate towards – and to translate that on stage to praise is yet another reason to tune in, attend, and appreciate what’s being done. Like them, Epic Tantrum has intricately crafted and thought-provoking tracks to put forward in the world… but rather than a nostalgic, decades-old pop rock band, they’re an über-modern progressive metal outfit just on-the-rise.

“Part of the problem with writing music like we do is these are not easy songs to play. It’s one of the challenges that we always have being a band who has day jobs and families and lives outside of the band. We have to just keep playing these songs to keep them sounding good and at a level that we’re happy with. It takes a while and we’ve got to rehearse a bunch to get them to that a level because we’re kind of sticklers in regard to hearing that a song is just not working live,” Greg is honest about telling us.

However, this shines a light on the fact that what fans do get to experience in Poughkeepsie in a couple of weeks is utter perfection – practiced and prepped to a T for the right kind of rock-loving, open-minded, age-defying people. “We realize that we are not making music for the masses. We realize that we’re appealing to a sort of niche audience and we’re fine with that. But sometimes trying to find that audience is hard. We know there are people out there that would like our music, but in a town like Syracuse, it’s not always easy to find those people and to book shows and play around and in front of those fans. This show gives us the opportunity to play in front of people that would appreciate the type of music that we make.”

The bassist also highlighted the fact that this show, this festival that we’re all looking forward to, marks Epic Tantrum’s first big jump out of their hometown. (Pandemic problems… we all had ’em.) “Strangely, it’s the first time we’re playing outside of Syracuse,” Greg begins. “We had so many plans when the album was coming out in January 2020, but everything got scuttled by the pandemic. [This will be] the first time we’re playing outside of our hometown, which we’re all thrilled with.”

“Although, you know, none of us are looking forward to the drive home after,” he adds with a laugh.