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.


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.