August 8, 2017 Fuel Rock Huntington, NY 7-30-17 w/ Marcy Playground, Dishwalla, & Alien Ant Farm
The summer time is a time for the beach, family vacations, and, yes, road trips! For good measure, hard rockers Fuel have teamed up this summer season with their friends in Dishwalla, Marcy Playground, and Alien Ant Farm on select dates to proffer an assortment of musical gems from their repertoire of classic hits. Dubbing the run the Rockin’ Road Trip ’17 Tour, it is time to pack the old truckster, hit the road, and be ready to follow the emerald signs that lead the way to an unforgettable adventure for those about to rock! Oh, and be sure to observe the speed limit!
Nearly 2 months into the journey, after stops in many other cities across the USA, here is the dish on what went down on the starry night at The Paramount in Huntington, New York on Sunday, July 30th. Four top notch Rock acts assembled under one roof ready to show Long Islanders what was in store at the Rockin’ Road Trip ’17 Tour. There was die-hard Fuelies, Dishwallas, Alien Ant Farmers, Marcy Playgroundites, and recent converts finding common ground inside the walls of the venue eager to satisfy their insatiable sweet tooth for Alternative Rock while enjoying a few hours of uninterrupted musical entertainment.
On this particular summer evening, a collective hush came over the crowd as excitement electrified the room and all those within as penetrating eyes were riveted to the stage as the first act strode purposefully onto it. That band, Alien Ant Farm, one with a name only that captures your attention as well as curiosity! Consisting of Vocalist Dryden Mitchell, Drummer Mike Cosgrove, Guitarist Terry Corso, and Bassist Timmy Pee, Alien Ant Farm has been around since 1995, earning a Grammy nomination as well as 4 top 10 singles under their ant hill over time. Returning in 2015 with Always and Forever, their first full-length album in nearly a decade, the band is touring as hard as ever and everyone was eager to welcome them back to The Paramount for the first time since 2013.
Recently coming off the 15th anniversary of their breakout major label debut album, ANThology, they started off with “Courage,” a song with sharp-edged Heavy Metal sound. Then, they tackled other fan-favorites including “Movies” and “Wish,” while mixing in other tracks including “What I Feel Is Mine.” Energetic all the way through, paying tribute to a fellow rocker, they dedicated “Attitude” in memory of Chester Bennington from Linkin Park, ending it with the sounds of “In The End.” An emotional moment for all, soon after came “Sticks and Stones” and then their famous cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.” After thanking everyone for their support, the members ambled offstage, leaving a lasting memory in their long overdue return to the venue.
Once onstage, Dishwalla wasted no time in getting right down to business with the edgy Middle Eastern flavored track of “Sirens,” the opener of the aforementioned Juniper Road. A track which is imaginatively put together, Fox’s singing was soothingly melodic and alternated between a slow drawn out vocal and steadily increasing the pace for the choral portion. Then, the melodious “Mazelike Gardens” made one tingle from head to toe like the vibration of a tuning fork before older tune “Once in a While.” Having the room in the palm of their hands, the easy listening, ever recognizable “Counting Blue Cars” rendition rocked the house before they closed with the eerie melody of “Moisture.” Matched with a strong percussive beat of Pendergast, it glistens on the mind like sweat accumulation after a hot summer day.
All in all, Dishwalla’s set was greeted with enthusiasm and sounds of appreciation. Putting on a great show, each band member was animated, while the light show was kaleidoscopic thrilling fans as they watched the stage swathed in vibrant color. In addition, Fox himself was zig-zagging all over the stage like he was Mick Jagger gripping the mic and proved to be a great frontman. For those who have yet to check out Dishwalla since Fox joined a fold a few years back, do not hesitate, get out and see them now.
Getting right to business, they opened with a track directly from that album, the loud and energetic “Poppies.” Punctuated by Wozniak’s guitar work, “Devil Woman” was up next with an interesting play of riffs that were brought together in a freewheeling manner. Then came fan-favorite “Rock and Roll Heroes” inspiring the crowd to sing-a-long thanks in part to the easy going beat with a reflective tone. Continuing to relate with the audience, the melancholy “Saint Joe on the School Bus” was followed by “Wave Motion Gun,” a track dealing with the issue of drug addiction. A very personal track, with deeply felt emotion, it certainly grabbed the hearts of all listening.
As the set came to an end, once the first few notes identified the song as “Sex and Candy,” the crowd went wild, as they sang the lyrics right along with the band. A bold moment of the night, Marcy Playground closed out with “Star Baby,” an enjoyable and feel good song off their last studio album, 2009’s Leaving Wonderland…in a fit of rage. Quite entertaining, Marcy Playground were awarded with a round of hearty applause and cheers all around, thus priming for the arrival of Fuel.
Also no stranger to the Long Island area, having played in and around clubs for years, Fuel were eager to revisit The Paramount. They hit that stage like a bolt of lightning and they showered the crowd with an amazing lineup of songs ranging throughout the band’s history. Lighting up the room with verve, a bit of attitude and their signature music style, Scallions and company had The Paramount locked in with a sonic grip of steel.
Always inspiring a positive response, the Fuelie feeding frenzy began as the band dived into their acoustical palette, starting with “Last Time” followed by “Jesus or a Gun.” Keeping it heavy, “Empty Spaces” and the newer “Headache” followed soon after. Dispersing their hits evenly, first came the easily relatable “Bad Day,” the soothing “Sunburn,” and the heartfelt “Falls on Me,” which was good and forceful! In addition to their own classics, Fuel sprinkled in great renditions of Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like an Eagle” as well as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” before tossing “Shimmer and “Bittersweet” out to the crowd to devour.
A quite complete performance to this point, “Puppet Strings” was a thought-provoking piece about control that kept the crowd engaged. Finally, their famous “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)” started off with a broken chord before telling the tale of how love can wreck havoc on the heart. Matching that emotion, Scallion delivered the words strongly for this and each song that came before.
Simply put, Fuel is a force to be reckoned with and a blast to see in person. As people turned to exit The Paramount, you could see the hearts in their eyes as they remained under the spell of each of these great bands. A short but satisfying escape from the cares of the modern world, each band, who have been around for years now, are seasoned musicians and have been diligently working hard to cement their reputation on the scene. They have certainly earned their merit badges and have their signature rubber stamp inked onto the parchment of music notables. Word out – this is the concert to see to wrap up your summer adventures. So, road trip anyone?
Photos by: Aintellin Photography