Author

James Grottola

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Last year, we saw Pinegrove headline Brooklyn’s Market Hotel, concluding that their swift rise to DIY stardom was just getting started and would accelerate at an exponential pace. Eight months later, it seems we were right. Last night, the world’s biggest littlest family band, merging punk, emo, folk and country in a way that nobody else seems to know how to do, headlined a sold out show in Manhattan’s Bowery Ballroom. Tickets went on sale at noon and were gone by five. Hovvdy and Lomelda were support and although both bands sounded great, it was very clear by the hundreds of voices singing in unison to every released Pinegrove song that they played that Pinegrove was the main draw of the evening. With their next NYC-area show being the “east coast Coachella” at the Panorama festival supporting Tame Impala, Pinegrove shows absolutely zero signs of slowing down any time soon.…

Last night, Matt Pryor of The Get Up Kids played an acoustic co-headlining set with Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio at Amityville Music Hall. For those not up-to-date with the underrated emo/pop-punkers of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Pryor is the Get Up Kid who wasn’t in My Chemical Romance and Andriano is the Alkaline who isn’t replacing Tom in Blink-182. Both artists played solo sets which mixed in solo material with heavily sung-along-to hits of their careers in their full time bands. At one point, Pryor’s daughter, Lily, also came to play some songs with him. She also opened the show with some impressive original songs, as well as covers from Pinegrove and Julien Baker. This all culminated in Pryor joining Andriano at the end of his set on stage for an energetic duo of The Get Up Kids’ “Mass Pike.” Both singers had impressive sets and masterful…

Last night, Sheer Mag played Revolution in Amityville and brought their new twist on classic rock to Long Island. No band has been able to replicate the distinct 1970’s sound that bands like Led Zeppelin pioneered in a way that can earn them proper critical respect and praise. But Sheer Mag may change that. They blasted through bangers from their first three EPs, as well as some new songs. Each one sounded like a powerpop and punk fusion version of Led Zeppelin or the Jackson 5, but to compare Sheer Mag to any other previous band would be an injustice to their distinct and innovative sound. Iron Chic, the local “best band of all time” (author’s opinion) opened the show. Though the crowd wasn’t as big or as loud as it should have been, and the stage wasn’t anything fancy, both bands carried the show with their impressive technical, skill…

Run the Jewels is my favorite rap group of all time. This is not a slight to the revolutionary virtues of N.W.A or Public Enemy, nor to the empowering intellect and attitude of the Wu-Tang Clan or A Tribe Called Quest, but a testament to the raw strength of this decade’s catchiest hooks and one-liners, as seen in the lyrics and production of Killer Mike and El-P. At the end of February, I had the pleasure of going to their second of four sold-out New York shows, at the behemoth of a venue known as Terminal 5. Although we’re only three months in, I can say with complete certainty that this will go down as my favorite live performance of 2017. Run the Jewels brought a level of energy, empowerment and straight-up fun that I’ve rarely seen in live performance and have never seen at a rap show before. Although…

Last week, Foxing brought their explosive and expansive live performance to the new Brooklyn Night Bazaar. While it wasn’t the most packed show of all time, their zealous fans reacted like they have at every other Foxing show since they started gaining steam: with energetic sing-a-longs and a few stage dives along the way. Supporting Foxing were two members of Orchid Tapes and a solo set from Snail Mail of Baltimore. Foxes in Fiction played a solo set that stretched the limits of the sounds that a guitar’s pedalboard could make. He included the song, “Ontario Gothic,” which by all rights should be a modern synthpop classic. He then went on to play in the full band version of Yohuna. Yohuna’s Patientness is easily one of the most underrated records of last year. With sweeping, poppy and dreamy melodies, all matched with Johanne Swanson’s soft vocal arrangements, their music and…

Last night Every Time I Die played a sold out show at Revolution. But it was unlike any other sold out show that’s ever graced Revolution. What happened for an hour and 15 minutes on a Friday night could only be described as an absolute madhouse, filled with stage dives, sing-a-longs and enough sweat to make a swimming pool. While the openers, Eternal Sleep, Harm’s Way and Knocked Loose clearly had some hype from the younger half of the crowd in the form of a mosh pit and a few pile ons for Knocked Loose’s hits, it was very clear that 90 percent of the crowd was there just for the energetic performance that Every Time I Die can give. It might be a cliché, but Every Time I Die’s performance was so crazy that it really only can be seen in pictures. Thankfully, we took some and you can…

Last week, AFI brought their “The Blood Tour” to Terminal 5. To a sold out crowd of 3,000 people, AFI jammed through 17 songs that covered the entirety of their discography, illuminated with an array of dazzling lights. No matter what the current popular consensus on the relevance of AFI is, it’s hard to deny the near religious chanting of their fans in between each song, as well as the booming sing-a-longs to the choruses of even their less popular songs. Opening were Souvenirs from California, who just released a new record that features a guest vocal spot from Davey Havok, AFI’s frontman, and Nothing from Pennsylvania. While Souvenirs’ crisp and swaying melodies sounded incredible over giant speakers, Nothing’s mix sounded like nothing but pure noise. While this may have been an issue on the production end of the venue, it was disappointing considering how excellent both of Nothing’s full…

Last week, East 11th Street turned back the clocks and took us to a time where pop punk reigned. A time when the world wasn’t divided between shoegaze-influences and twinkle-influences. A time where it was okay to write catchy songs with breakdowns about girls, heartbreak and drinking smoothies in the summer. A fabled time known as 2011. Well, not quite. What actually took place was a fun-filled “easycore” throwback in the sold-out middle room of Webster Hall, featuring the once-thought-dead heavy hitters of the time– Set Your Goals and Misser. Set Your Goals played their 2006 breakout record Mutiny in full, celebrating its tenth anniversary, along with some of their other hits from across their discography. Misser was direct support, playing their first shows since a brief winter tour in the very beginning of 2014. The nonstop hit-after-hit pace of the songs on Mutiny brought the first neon shirt stage…

Stony Brook University’s Graduate Student Organization brought in rockers Speedy Ortiz and Rick from Pile earlier this month for the first Stony Brooklyn show of the semester. Rick from Pile opened the show at the LDS Center with a great solo set performing some of Pile’s best cuts and some new solo material. Speedy Ortiz headlined the show and played a powerful hard rock set with songs like “Dvrk World” and “Tiger Tank” from their past two albums Foil Deer and Major Arcana. After a great show we were fortunate enough to get a chance to sit down with Sadie Dupis of Speedy Ortiz with our friends at WUSB. You can check out the interview and pictures below. Question: For making Foil Deer, you locked yourself up for like a month in your mom’s house, apparently? Sadie: And it wasn’t like a dungeon set. I did go visit my…