Great South Bay Music Fest kicks off with a Rock Revival

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Thursday was the kickoff the 12th Great South Bay Music Festival at Shorefront Park in Patchogue. Each day the festival features different musical genres, attracting different demographics and music lovers on Long Island. Thursday, the Long Island scene was brought back to life during a seven hour rock revival during the Great South Bay Music Festival.

Music fans that grew up going to shows in the budding Long Island rock scene in the late 90’s and early 00’s, were thrilled to see bands like Thrice, Envy on the Coast, and The Get Up Kids take the stage. Before the festival, began, Thrice fans lined up at Record Stop in Patchogue for a special in-store signing. It was like high school all over again. Fans waiting on line reminisced about shows, including when Thrice played at Sports Plus in April 2003 with The Used, My Chemical Romance and Story of the Year.

Unlike baby boomers, fans of this rock genre don’t like the oversaturation of cover bands on Long Island. They don’t want to spend money see terrible Blink182 and Green Day cover songs; they are thirsty for new music from the bands they grew up listening to.

Thrice returned from their hiatus during the spring and released their newest single “The Grey.” They’re releasing Palms, their tenth studio album on Epitaph on September 14th. In the Fall, Thrice is heading on a North American tour, unfortunately no Long Island or New York dates have been posted as of yet.

Besides Thrice, Long Islanders were also ecstatic to see Envy on the Coast perform. Between 2004 and 2010, Envy on the Coast made a big splash on the Long Island post-hardcore scene. Even though the original lineup has changed, they delivered a solid comeback performance. Singer Ryan Hunter stood in a cross legged stance belting out old hits like “The Gift of Paralysis” as well as tunes from the EP Ritual.

The Get Up Kids formed in 1995 and truly impacted the emo scene; they even influenced the band that played before them at Great South Bay Music Festival, Envy on the Coast. The Get Up Kids released their EP Kicker in June and embarked on an extensive US tour this summer.

It was like a Long Island scene reunion. Familiar faces from years ago came out to show support and rock out. Conversations included, “wow you have grey hair in your beard now” and “did you see Envy when they opened up for Angels and Airwaves in 06’?”

Envy on the Coast wasn’t the only band fighting to stay relevant. Eric Vivelo, bassist for the band NGHBRS, left the band to go to college to pursue a career in music education in 2014. When a member leaves the group, it can affect the entire dynamic of the band. There’s always a debate, is a band still the same band with new members? In 2015, front man Ian Kenny made a decision to form a new band, King Neptune. This band is made up of the existing NGHBRS line-up with two new bandmates, Steve Kupillas and Tom Costa. King Neptune took the stage on the Clamshell Bandshell, playing catchy songs with tongue and cheek lyrics, like their predecessor Brand New.

Newcomers, Staleworth, a melodic punk and post hardcore band from Islip, NY, are trying to carve out a niche in the Long Island punk scene. In March, they releases “That’s Not My Wallet” which will be on a two song split with Crash the Calm on August 11th.

There are still are three days left of Long Island’s biggest music festival. Bring your favorite lawn chair and spend a day down by the bay.

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