December 19, 2014 Alien Ant Farm & Stars in Stereo rock Revolution Bar & Music Hall Amityville, NY 11-30-14
Back in 2001, Southern Californian band Alien Ant Farm rose to fame in the Rock scene with a sound full of energy and passion. Originally formed in 1995, the band’s major label debut ANThology rocketed up charts and went platinum both in the USA and Canada. Since then, they have released two more studio albums, sustained a strong fan base, and lead singer Dryden Mitchell, lead guitarist Terry Corso and drummer Mikhave Cosgrove continue to entertain worldwide alongside new bassist, Tim Peugh, who joined the band earlier this year. With followers eager for new material from the band, they announced their first album in nine years, titled Always and Forever, would be released in January of 2015. Raising the ante, no pun intended, Alien Ant Farm came back to Long Island, New York for the first time in a year when they stopped at Revolution Bar and Music Hall in Amityville on “Black Friday,” November 30th. With a bill of five different opening acts, it was a night people were ready to dig into after their Thanksgiving celebration the day prior.
Opening the show was a band by the name of Bad Mary. Finding their own niche, Bad Mary can best be described by what they refer to as “high-energy, danceable pop-punk that’s fast, loud and fun.” Formed in 2010, Long Island natives Bad Mary have already garnered some attention with three first-round ballot Grammy nominations in 2014, including Best Rock Song “Ninja” and Best Rock Performance for both “Ninja” and “Forget About It.” Those that attending the NBA finals last season were also treated to hearing their tracks “Forget About It” and “Don’t Know Where The Line Is.” Amanda Mac (Vocals), Mike Staub (Bass, Vocals), Bill Mac (Drums) and David Henderson (Guitar) all added to the frenzy as the band performed songs off of their debut album, Better Days. Showing their personality through such pieces as the out-there “Space Girl,” a cover of the Pokemon theme song, and the entertaining “Forget About It,” the band created an energy on the stage that set the bar high for the night. Using the song “Ninja” as an excuse to throw stickers with the band’s logo into the crowd as if they were ninja stars, Mac had everyone’s attention until the last note. Bad Mary is a fun band to listen to and see live. Currently working on their second album, the band will be touring through the UK in the summer of 2015.
Second to the stage would be local favorites I Ignite. As the band would allude prior to the show on their Facebook page, it would not be their typical set, as drummer James Miller fell ill. Rather than cancel, the band opted to strip things down to themselves and acoustic guitars. Dedicated to putting on a top-notch show, one would never guess it was a last minute decision as Eddie Raccioppi (Vocals), Stefen Milana (Guitar) and Corey Crucci (Guitar) worked together to put on a very moving set in front of the Revolution crowd. Emotional and full of vitality, Raccioppi and Company prove why they are one of Long Island’s hottest original Hard Rock acts.
After I Ignite cleared the stage, it was time for Act of Falling. Clearly drawing influence from bands such as A Perfect Circle, yet having their own sound at the same time, Act of Falling added a new layer to the night with their sound. Going through a few vocalists before joining with the incredibly talented Bobby Miller, John Braga (Lead Guitar), John Reimers (Acoustic Guitar), Keven Coleman (Bass Guitar) and Tommy Nohs (Drums) come together to form a band who is unique sound and stage presence will surely boost the band to great heights.
Following Act of Falling, the aptly named Joy Ride hit the stage. Hailing from Clifton, New Jersey, Joy Ride came out to offer the audience songs from their debut album What About Tomorrow. Established in the summer of 2012, CJ Mueller (Vocals), Alex Codella (Guitar), Zack Zayas (Guitar), Ashley Philhower (Bass), and Jsticks Caprio (drums) energized the crowd like few bands can. As quoted on their band’s Facebook page, “Leaving our show smiling with a handful of memories and happiness is all we ever want for our fans, were not in this for money, or power, we just want to have a good time, THIS IS WHAT WE LIVE FOR.” This mantra shows in every single note, drum beat, and word of Joy Ride’s music. With catchy tracks such as “Little Did He Know,” “Alive,” and “Climbing a Mountain,” Joy Ride had the crowd jumping and dancing. Joy Ride is a band that is everything they advertise themselves to be and then some. Curious music lovers can catch them in upcoming New Jersey shows, with new music on the way as well.
Before Alien Ant Farm would go on, the crowd was treated to one more band, Stars in Stereo. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Bec Hollcraft (Vocals), Jordan McGraw (Guitar), Frogs McCormack (Bass), and Drew Langan (Drums) come together to prove one simple thing: Rock is not dead. Road warriors, this band has spent ample time touring amongst some of the scene’s biggest heavyweights, including Drowning Pool, P.O.D., Flyleaf, and Halestorm, to name a few. Wasting no time to follow up their 2013 self-titled debut album, the band returned with their latest efforts, Leave Your Mark, in the earlier part of 2014. Certainly living up to the statement in the album title, Stars in Stereo had a buzz flowing through the room as fans gathered closer to the stage to get a good look at the band.
From the moment they first beat hit, one thing was certainly clear – Rock is far from dead. It is alive and well and fully embodied in Stars in Stereo. With some seductive overtones, Hollcraft took time away from showing off her amazing vocals to engage the crowd in a playful matter. With such tracks as “The Broken,” “Every Last Thing,” and the incredibly powerful “Leave Your Mark,” the band would prove to be another important piece of the night’s show. Making the most of the space they were provided, it was safe to say Revolution could not contain the force of adrenaline this band provided. Be sure to check them out when they hit the road with Bush in 2015.
At least, headliner Alien Ant Farm came out to ignite a frenzy in the audience. As each member took their spot on the stage, they launched into ANThology’s “Wish” before going into “Forgive & Forget,” and “Movies.” Keeping the crowd entertained while mixing nostalgic hits with music off of their forthcoming album, Always & Forever, the band conquered the room in a fantastic fashion.. While Dryden played to the crowd, newcomer Peugh did not miss a beat and the band would quickly recess for another surprise. That surprise would come when, halfway through their set, a crowd member was invited onto the stage. After conversing with the crowd and Dryden for a few moments, something magical happened as the crowd member proposed to his girlfriend. She said yes, much to the jubilation of Alien Ant Farm and the crowd. In a night that truly felt like it had something for everyone, this gave Revolution Bar & Music Hall one more reason to celebrate.
Alien Ant Farm would continue their performance with newly released song “Homage” before playing fan-favorites “Sticks and Stones” and “Dirty Bomb.” As would be expected, Alien Ant Farm went on to close the show with unforgettable cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” with the crowd singing along with every word. It would end up being a night that had everybody leaving with a number of bands to talk about and an experience with Alien Ant Farm that they will soon not forget.