Fans treated to a night of the happiest classics

On Saturday June 7th, hundreds of Gen-X music fans flooded 89 North to hear some of their favorite pop hits of all time. The Liverpool Shuffle, a tribute to The Beatles, and 45 RPM, the cheesiest ’70s cover band around, were ready to deliver energetic and downright fun sets to the room full of live music fans.

It’s always a treat to hear live music, but it’s especially cool when a tribute band provides an experience that you can’t get anywhere else. The Liverpool Shuffle almost (ALMOST!) could have been The Beatles, if you closed your eyes.

Some fans grabbed a craft beer and a table, but most weren’t missing this opportunity to dance around to songs that just aren’t that easy to come across live these days. The Liverpool Shuffle played for two hours straight, but time sure does fly when you’re having fun. The band soared through so many of the bands hits that fans could have wanted to hear. When paying tribute to a catalog so vast, it’s hard to hit every corner of it, but the band did so with ease.

The Beatles, being a very dynamic (not to mention esteemed) band, are a difficult band to do justice, but The Liverpool Shuffle seemed to have no problem performing the upbeat, poppy songs such as “Saw Her Standing There” as well as the deeper, rock croons such as “Oh, Darlin.”

Before the crowd knew it, The Liverpool Shuffle wrapped their long, but still too short, set up. The good news was that the night was only halfway over. The crowd used the brief intermission to grab a slice, grab a seat, or grab a conversation before 45 RPM hit the stage.

There was no room to be tired from the first epic set once the second one started. 45 RPM are naturally energizing, not to mention refreshing. Not your typical cover band, 45 RPM covers a variety of hits from the ’70s that are rarely, if ever, touched by other bands. Their set is always a nice trip down memory lane with a hell of a soundtrack.

As the band soared through often forgotten classics such as “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Captain and Tennille and “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee, the crowds memories stirred as they sang along to every word.

A highlight of any 45 RPM set is always when they soar through a medley of classic TV show theme songs, but this night was particularly heavy on The Partridge Family, with songs such as “I Think I Love You” and “I Woke Up In Love”. No matter the age of any audience member, they were sure to feel 16 again.

The musicality of 45 RPM only compliments their song selection, and it is especially a treat when female fronted jams such as “Venus” are sung by the drummer, without her missing a single beat.

All good things must come to an end, and 45 RPM closed the night out with an epic rendition of Steams “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”.

Check out the 89northmusic.com calendar to see when you can catch 45 RPM on our stage again!

89N Flashback: The first ever Mitch-A-Palooza brings great music for a better cause.

There are few communities that are more tight-knit than a music community. This can be large scale or small. The thing that makes any community of music fans special is the fact that they share a completely innocent common ground. Often, they grow with it and it becomes a part of them. As the music becomes a part of the fan, the fan becomes a part of the community. Whether it’s once a week, once a month, or every day, if you gather with your fellow fans, you know exactly what it feels like to be a part of it. It’s an indescribably escape and for many people, it makes life worth living.

“Mitchell A. Kraeling passed away this past October due to a long, 2 year battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer. Mitch has been more involved with this music scene longer than anyone I know and his legacy will live on with us forever.” – Nick Amalfitano

It was incredible to see friends and fellow-fans of Mitch come together for the first ever Mitch-A-Palooza at 89 North this Sunday. Anyone who has experienced a great loss, knows of the many low points that follow, typically forever. However, when a person lived a life where they changed other people for the better, those who miss them can be lucky to feel their joy again, in different ways.

In the case of Mitch, it was apparent that there was no other way to honor his legacy than to hold a concert where his favorite bands, friends, and family enjoyed music in his name, with all of the proceeds going to the Eleventh South Wing for pediatric cancer patients at Stony Brook Medical Center.

The first band to play was Tomahawk Chop, which includes members who attended same high school as Mitch. With the venue already full of people decked out in “Too weird to live. Too rare to die.” shirts, the atmosphere was thick with anticipation. Tomahawk Chop was the perfect band to kick the night off. Soon after, No Good News kept spirits high with an energetic and captivating set.

Despite punk-rockers for a cause, Hostage Calm, dropping off of the show due to personal circumstances, there was no shortage of amazing music at this show. Bellwether delivered a set that was clearly drenched with passion added on for their beloved friend.

After Bellwether, Vinnie Caruana treated the crowd to songs from the span of his career with bands like I Am The Avalanche, The Movielife, and most notably, his solo works. Songs from Caruana’s latest release, A City By The Sea, such as “Boy, You’re in Heaven” resonated especially deeply at a show with so much importance.

Last but not least, fans were  treated to a rare, unplugged set from Long Island legends, Crime In Stereo, whose hardcore songs were given an entirely new life in a venue so intimate and an acoustic touch.

 

The Lawn Boys bring the best of Phish to Long Island

There is no doubt that the south shore of Long Island loves to jam. There are no bedtimes when a good band comes out to show us a good time, and The Lawn Boys fit that ticket. On Friday, February 1st, the boys came for an awesome late-night party that started at ten and rocked through the night.

If one thing is certain about the Phish fanbase, it is that they like to stick to what they know. With three Phish tribute bands performing in an hours radius on the same night, fans had quite the decision to make. The packed house at 89 North proved that this was a no brainer. The Lawn Boys proved their name as the greatest Phish tribute on the East Coast (dare I say the best Phish tribute anywhere?).

With three sets, each of them close to an hour long, it should have been a wonder how the party went strong all night but with an unmatched energy and fierce musicality, The Lawn Boys made it easy.

Sticking to the traditions of Phish, each song The Lawn Boys played was unpredictable, ranging from Phish classics to bluegrass covers and awesome twists on contemporary and classic rock hits. Even if you aren’t a part of the phandom, it’s impossible to not jam to The Lawn Boys set.

The night kicked off with “Old Home Place” and flowed right into “Ya Mar”. The energy was inescapable in no time flat. With craft beers in hand, south shore patrons danced all night to the funky grooves that the band delivered. Set highlights included a jammed out rendition of “Simple” and insanely Phish-accurate versions of “Maze” and “Mike’s Song”.  The third and final set was not void of any aspect that the first two boasted, and The Lawn Boys carried 89 North through the night, closing it out with the epic “Character Zero”.

It is no wonder why The Lawn Boys keep Phish phans coming back.

 

Emily Kinney showcases her lesser known talent.

There are few people who are unaware of the hype surrounding AMC’s hit series, The Walking Dead, even if they’re not yet hooked on it themselves. Emily Kinney, ho plays Beth Greene, is known for the maternal character that she portrays on the show. However, when she took the stage at 89 North on Friday, February 1st, the walls of preconception were shattered. She was here as Emily Kinney, a young and talented musician with stars in her eyes. With support from a great friend of Emily’s, Alice Lee, and a soulful Long Island local, Christine Holt, girl power was in the house.

Fans of all ages came out to the show, some eager to enjoy music, and some interested in what else one of their favorite actresses has to offer. Emily treated lucky fans to a pre-show meet and greet and the atmosphere was as relaxed and warm as Emily herself.

Christine Holt kicked the show off with a mix of original songs, and covers of top 40′s hits with an original twist. Girl with a guitar has been done countless times over, but Christine’s mature voice and catchy songwriting bring something different to the table. With certain original songs boasting rapped verses paired with heartfelt choruses, and contemporary hits such as Lorde’s “Royals” performed with that Christine Holt twist, the crowd was properly warmed up for the rest of the night.

Alice Lee was up next with an energetic blend of pop and folk. Her music was attention demanding and just as quirky as her presence was. Upbeat and energetic, Alice’s set flew by and stole the ears of everyone in the room, whether they had heard of her before or not. There is no doubt that Alice gained a roomful of fans with her music and her charm.

Although the night soared by, there was no doubt that the audience was anxiously awaiting the final act of the night. Emily Kinney replaced Alice Lee on stage, while the rest of the band remained the same, and ready to perform more. With a voice that can only be described as angelic, Kinney effortlessly delivered a show worth swooning over. Kinney’s performance was laced with sultry, personal ballads, and uplifting, entertaining tracks. The mix was dynamic enough to keep the crowd entertained, but Emily’s contagious personality kept the crowd even more captivated. She provided anecdotes for nearly every song that she performed, providing a personal touch and proving just how attached to her music she is. It is easier to fall in love with what an artist presents, when they are already in love with it themselves. Emily soared through tracks from “Julie” to “Blue Toothbrush” and closed out the night with the incredible “Masterpiece”.

Any member of the 89 North crowd left undoubtedly impressed and more-than-content after three performances, one sweeter than the next. It is exciting to wonder what the careers of these three ladies holds in the future, and with music as impressive as her acting, Emily Kinney proved that we should expect the unexpected.

The Front Bottoms bring an explosive night to 89N

With the right music, any night of the year can feel like a Saturday in the middle of the summer and there is no up and coming band other than The Front Bottoms who would be better suited to turn a Thursday night show in January into the sweatiest dance party of the year. In two short years, I’ve seen this band go from playing for dozens of people to hundreds of people, and I am positive that the number will soon be in the thousands. Anyone who was lucky enough to make it into Thursday nights sold-out show knows what I mean, but we will save that for later.

The opening acts for this show were perfectly selected, and kept the anxious crowd more than satisfied as they waited for their favorite, quirky, New Jersey outfit to take the stage. Long Island locals, State Lines kicked the show off with an energetic pop-punk performance. Each song in their set was drenched with a wide array of influences. Some songs made me feel like I was watching a young Taking Back Sunday, and others, a young Green Day. Regardless, this band has it together and it will be exciting to see them grow into a sound that is completely their own.

Next up was You Blew It!, a band that has garnered tons of recent blogosphere hype with their own contributions to the so-called #emorevival. With their performance, they proved themselves worthy of every positive mention that they’ve received. This Florida ticket fits right in on Long Island, where emo never really left. Their set had faithful fans singing along, and newcomers falling in love with their rough-around-the-edges blend of indie and punk that demands to be heard. If it weren’t for the fact that The Front Bottoms were taking the stage next, I would have been happy to keep falling in love forever. You Blew It! played an eight song set that felt entirely too short and included songs from Medal of Honor to You & Me & Me, giving an equal amount of play time to each of their releases.

Finally it was time for The Front Bottoms to take the stage. The space was dense with sweat and anticipation in the time between sets. Everyone was ready. They kicked off their set with “Skeleton”, an unexpected but brilliant choice of an opener. With a backdrop made of a spraypainted sheet, an inflatable snowman, and overall disheveled appearance, The Front Bottoms live presence was as random and relaxed as the music itself. Nobody does not giving a damn quite as perfectly as these guys. As the band cruised through songs from both of their major releases, frontman Brian Sella provided the audience with several hilariously zany anecdotes throughout the set. Each song in the setlist provided a change in momentum. From dark and steady “Swimming Pool” to upbeat and schizophrenic “The Feud”, the start of every track brought something new to be excited about. Before long, The Front Bottoms were playing the last song of their set, “Flashlight” the iconic single off of their self-titled album. Of course, nobody was ready for the show to be over and the crowd begged for one more song, but got three. With “Twelve Feet Deep”, “Maps”, and “Twin Size Mattress”, The Front Bottoms gave the crowd a taste of the oldest, older, and most recent versions of the band, ending the night with as much momentum as it started with.

I consider myself lucky to have been at this incredible show at 89 North, because I wholeheartedly believe that The Front Bottoms shows are only going to get less and less intimate as time goes on. I also know that no matter how much well-deserved recognition this band gets, and no matter how old I get, seeing them play will always feel like attending the best high-school house party ever.

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New Piracy treats Long Island to a rare set.

    Friday, January 25th was an epic night for metal and hard-rock fans of Long Island. Fans flooded the floor of 89 North immediately at the 7:30 door call, eager for a night of rock and roll. The nights entertainment would be two heavyweights of the local scene, Year of the Locust and New Piracy. Whether it was fireball, jack, or a bud in hand, every person in the room spent the hour before the music began to get amped for the show in the company of the tight-knit community that they are a part of. There is an indescribable engage in a room full of people who can enjoy the same music together countless times over countless years.

    Year of the Locust took the stage promptly at 8:30. Their set filled the room with an intense blend of grunge, metal, and hardcore. With years of experience under their belt, it was clear that Year of the Locust has perfected the combination of heavy and melodic. With strong vocals backed by an equally as strong band, their performance was captivating even to those who didn’t know who they were, though it was obvious that most people did.

    Shortly after Year of the Locust’s set ended, New Piracy began theirs, with just as demanding of a presence. Not long into the first song, a pit broke out in the center of the dance floor, hardcore fans filling the room with moshing, surrounded by others who were singing along to every word. It was apparent that although Year of the Locust has not had the most consistent presence throughout the career, these Patchogue natives have made a serious impact on their hometown. It could have been the fact that they haven’t been around in a while, but something tells me that it was the bands amazing musicality that brought such an energy to the room. Their blend of progressive metal was so clearly influenced by the Long Island scene early 2000’s, but held up today as just as exciting. New Piracy are what Long Island sounds like to me, and there was no better place to discover their corner of the music scene than 89 North.

    While metal fans have had their fair share of fun at 89 North in the form of tribute bands, it was refreshing to the most awesome extent to have a reminder that our hometown breeds some of the most awesome metal and hardcore acts that are out there. I’m sure that anyone who caught Friday’s show would agree.

Long Island locals bring the heat.

The Long Island local scene proved that it knows how to party last Friday, January 11th. Maybe they were celebrating the end of the Polar Vortex, or maybe they were just excited to see four incredible acts from right outside their doors performing, but the house packed out for This Damn Universe, Aqua Cherry, Dune Local, and The Warden And Fame.

The show kicked off with the electro act, This Damn Universe. Their high-energy set and enthusiastic front man made it easy for the growing crowd to get excited for the rest of the night. Combining old school synthesizing effects with pop-rock like vocals, This Damn Universe provided an electronic set that was a nice contrast to the typical EDM scene of today.

Next up was Aqua Cherry with a funky rock and roll set. Although a drastic genre departure from the electro-beats of  This Damn Universe, Aqua Cherry did have something else in common with the opening act-fun. Their set got the crowd moving with a unique blend of reggae-infused funk that was nothing short of exciting.

Halfway through the show, it was apparent that leaving home in the sub-zero temperatures was worth it to warm up with great craft-beer and even greater music. The third act of the night confirmed this. Dune Local provided an unbelievable set, defined by the sultry and sweet lead vocals backed up by a groovy band. Claiming that they draw influence from the likes of Sublime and the Black Keys, the band delivered a musically on-point set which spanned genres from blues to reggae to punk.

To close out the incredible show were the legends of the local hip-hop scene, The Warden and Fame. To the surprise of nobody, this outfit delivered a blast of face melting reggae, a perfect end to the night. The Warden and Fame have bounced around Long Island and national festivals for the better part of the past few years, but their performance at 89 North proved that they are anything but stale. Combining hip-hop with reggae and rock was the perfect way to tie the ends of this show, which showcased the best of Long Island over a span of different genres.

It was an incredible night to realize that music of all kinds can come together in the same place and be appreciated by the same people. We’re all just looking for a good time, and that is exactly what live-music provided for the fans at 89 North on this Saturday.

Rockfest at 89 North Music Venue

rockfest

New, original music is fantastic, to say the least, and there’s no doubt about it. However, sometimes music fans want to jam out to their classic favorites with a little twist. Familiarity and innovation met on the 89 North stage on Friday, October 18th for Rockfest! a night packed with the quirkiest cover bands, and undeniable fun.

Fans poured into the venue at the start of the 7 p.m. door opening, eager to hear what was in store for them. With the first band starting at 8 p.m., music lovers had a chance to enjoy the calm before the storm, in the form of an ambient venue and their favorite craft beers. Some chose to pair their crisp beer with the last remaining crisp fall air under the festive lights of the outdoor patio, while others sat near the bar and enjoyed the company of each other and their friendly bartenders. Regardless of their location choice, it was clear that those in attendance were in good spirits and ready for the energetic night that would follow.

Lazy Bunny, Tradewinds, Alice In Coverland, and No Excuses would be the entertainment for the night, each of them sharing one common trait – they would play a medley of fan favorites – but that’s just about the only thing that they shared.

The Lazy Bunny Ukulele trio started promptly at 8 p.m. with The Clash’s “Rudie Can’t Fail”, and the audience was immediately captivated. It was shocking to hear a sound so full coming from a stage clad with only three ukulele’s and a drum kit. The band cruised through classics like “Psycho Killer” by The Talking Heads and A-Ha’s “Take On Me” all with their upbeat, and almost tropical, twist, proving that the best covers are those that don’t try to recreate a song, but change them into an entirely new experience. The band inserted some snark into their set by prefacing Pink Floyd’s “Time” by saying “The rule of the night – if you don’t recognize a song, it’s an original.” There is no doubt that every person in the venue heard at least one of their all time favorites at some point during the Lazy Bunny Ukulele Trio’s set.

Tradewinds kept the energy flowing by taking the stage with “Love Shack” and didn’t slow down until their set was over.  The powerful voices of Tradewinds’ frontwomen met the harmonies provided by their bandmates with vigor and everyone from the sax player to the lead guitarist had an undeniable enthusiasm. The crowd loved Tradewinds as much as Tradewinds loved the crowd, and the chemistry was entrancing as the band played party favorites such as “Come On Eileen” and “Lady Marmelade”. By the time the band moved onto their cover of “You Should Be Dancing” by The BeeGees, the only people standing still were the one’s waiting patiently at the bar for their next round. Even the rhythmically challenged gave their own imitations of the bands synchronized dance moves to The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” a shot. Tradewinds ended their set with the ever appropriate “Play That Funky Music (White Boy)”.

The amount of energy that filled the room at only the halfway point of Rockfest! was incredible, and most of the crowd took the break between bands to take a seat or grab a slice of pizza from the back corner to recharge their batteries.

Alice In Coverland picked up right where Tradewinds left off, playing classic party hits such as The Jackson 5’s “ABC” but eventually transitioning into more contemporary hits. The crowd went crazy for current top 40 jams such as Rhianna’s “We Found Love” and Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger”. The band even managed to turn  “Starships” by rapper  Nicki Minaj into an intense rock anthem. The highlight of Alice In Coverland’s set was easily their rendition of “Locked Out Of Heaven” by Bruno Mars. The band wrapped their set up with more classic rock covers.  The crowd was so hyped up by the energy of Alice In Coverland that they begged for an encore.

The night had to go on, and although Alice In Coverland did not provide the crowd with the encore they wanted, the show was far from over. Shortly after Alice In Coverland ended their set, No Excuses took the stage with Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy”, an immediate reminder of how great of an era the ‘90s were for alternative rock.  The trip down memory lane continued with hits originally by Harvey Danger and The Offspring, with the powerful musicianship of the No Excuses band members doing every moment of them justice. With a strong lead male and lead female vocalist, the band was able to cover all of the ‘90s rock bases, from girl jams like Hole’s “Oh Take Me Over” and Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” to “Drive” by Incubus” and “If You Could Only See” by Tonic.  They even brought out the megaphone for an accurate and fierce rendition of Bush’s “Machinehead”.  The crowd fed off of the energy from the band who so clearly loved the music they were playing, and the night ended as an anthematic sing along.

All in all, Rockfest! lived up to its name. Fans filed (or stumbled) out of 89 North Music Venue wholly satisfied by a night of great beer, great food, great company, and of course, great music.