September 2, 2015 Today’s Mixtape Festival 2015 Rattles The Emporium Patchogue, NY 8-16-15 w/ Every Time I Die, Real Friends, & more
Established back in 2012, Today’s Mixtape Festival has been an ever growing entity raised right on Long Island, New York. Founded by Long Island native Jake Zimmerman, in only four years, the young, inspiring promoter has already built an impressive and successful track record of bringing the best in underground main stage talent to the Long Island scene. Also the founder of fast-rising concert promotion company East Coast Collective, Zimmerman’s Today’s Mixtape Festival has provided a great opportunity to both the unknown, up-and-coming, and established acts in the Punk, Metal, and Hardcore scene to gain exposure. Through the years the festival has featured everyone from Transit, to Senses Fail, to The Story So Far, and so many more, boasting a diverse lineup that guarantees attendees leave with a new favorite band. Returning in August of 2015 the festival moved from 89 North to The Emporium a block away in Patchogue, New York for the weekend of August 15th and 16th with a lineup that included The Movielife, Every Time I Die, Real Friends, Stray From The Path, and nineteen other bands from all over the country. Beginning in the early afternoon on Sunday the 16th, a lineup of fourteen bands in total gathered for a day the packed crowd at The Emporium would soon not forget.
Opening up the day at 12:30 PM was relatively new band, formed in 2014, Young Graves, from Allentown Pennsylvania. Coming out full of passion the band has made themselves quickly known after appearing on Today’s Mixtape Festival. Delving into the Melodic Harcore genre, Anthony Caronia, Chris DiBella, Hector Sabino, James Reilly, and Quinten Fernandez combine to deliver technical guitar work and angsty vocals that shakes the inner core of one’s being. Their five-track debut EP Temper is available now, and they had it on full display at Today’s Mixtape Festival. Fans of Counterparts, August Burns Red, Underoath, and such will want to keep and eye and ear out for this infectious band.
Next was local talents from East Islip, New York, formed in 2011, Shorebreak a little after 1 PM. Another unsigned band that created waves, Shorebreak consist of Nick Montanino (bass), Mike Scarola (vocals), Mike Cowdell (guitar, vocals), Joe Stewart (drums, vocals), and Tom Vecerina (guitar) come together to play fun, let-loose Pop Punk and Emo. Enticing the crowd to mosh, body and arms flew to the music. Possessing intense vocal delivery and thumping drums, with breakdowns to give one a moment to catch their breath, this band can fit comfortably in the realm of modern Emo. Their two EPs are available on Bandcamp and are worth a listen. Appreciative of their fans, they are in process to release another EP this Fall.
At around 1:40 PM the band known as Commonwealth were ready to keep the energy flowing. From Long Island, New York, this Emo band is comprised of Pat (vocals), Zach (guitar), Gianni (guitar), Dave (bass/vocals), and Ethan (drums). As an independent band, they have managed to fight the struggles of production and have turned out three EPs on their own: Shame (2014), Carrying Weight (2014), and newest Bold Print (2015). Their music is available for listening and purchase on Bandcamp. Commonwealth themselves describe their sound as “Sunny Day Real Estate meets Earth Crisis,” and displayed this whirlwind of sound at this event. Screaming lyrics and strong instrumentation had a few eyes checking out what they were all about. Commonwealth will be appearing at Amityville Music Hall on September 13th alongside Petal, Captain, We’re Sinking, Somerset Thrower, We Take Fire, as well as Crash The Calm, and will be joining up with Take One Car, Naughty, Abi Reimold, and CatLike at The Dolla Bill in Oneonta September 19th .
Setting the tone for the rest of the festival acts as the first of the touring nationals was Virginia-based Broadside just after 2:15 PM. Formed in 2010 and recently signed to Victory Records, Broadside has been listed as one of the 100 Artists You Need To Know in 2015 by Alternative Press. Comprised of Ollie Baxxter (vocals), Niles Gibbs (guitar), Dorian Cooke (guitar), Josh Glupker (bass), and Andrew Dunton (drums), Broadside played a no-frills, up-tempo Pop-Punk and Rock set filled with cuts from their debut studio album Old Bones (2015 Victory Records) such as “Damaged Kids,” “Come & Go,” “Storyteller,” “Human Machines,” “Playing in Traffic,” and “Coffee Talk.” Broadside will be in action touring the US November through December as support for Handguns, Roam, as well as support act Sudden Suspicion.
Hailing frowm just the other side of the Hudson, New Jersey natives Gatherers brought what could be described simply as a wall of sound and fury for the late arrival festival attendees when they came out at 2:50 PM. With most songs off their Equal Vision Records debut Quiet World clocking in at a little under 2 minutes 30 seconds, Matt Popowski (bass), Adam Cichocki (drums), Austin Lipinski (guitar), Gianmarco Felix Guerra-Coletti (guitar), and Rich Weinberger (vocals) fused together Punk Rock and Post Hardcore in a way that oozed both aggression and emotion in their performance and in their songwriting. No tours are noted at this time.
Jumping onto the Today’s Mixtape Festival as part of the Common Vision Tour line-up that includes Gnarwolves, Counterparts, main support Real Friends and tour headliner Every Time I Die, South Carolina’s Brigades brought a refreshing bit of stage presence at 3:25 PM. As Darren Young (vocals, guitar), Charlie Jackson (guitars,vocals), Dylan Cobden (guitars), Frank Bryant (bass, vocals), and Damian Johnson (drums) commanded their portions of the stage, vocalist and guitarist traded harmonies and screams on some of the cuts from their latest disc Indefinite released July 24th via Pure Nose Records. They have just finished up Common Vision Tour and are gearing up for a tour with Hands Like Houses beginning in October in Australia along with supporting acts Lower Than Atlantis, I The Mighty, Too Close To Touch, and Far Away Stables.
Arguably the heaviest band, in terms of super-low tuning and tempo, Doomish Metal band Knocked Loose took their time getting into the swing of their set at 4 PM. Big, sustained chords dot the first two songs along with the scathing, screaming vocals. This 5 piece; consisting of Bryan Garris (vocals), Isaac Hale (guitar), Crutches (guitar), Kevin Otten (bass), and Pac Sun (drums); from Louisville, Kentucky were no one-trick pony. Switching gears mid-set, the first instances of stage diving and moshing was seen from a restless crowd eager to participate as the band broke into some of their more uptempo material. Giving one of the more tighter performances on the stage, Knocked Loose was the turning point in the late afternoon for the rest of the acts to follow. They are finishing up the West Coast Tour 2015 with Orthodox, Another Mistake, and Purgatory, wrapping up September 9th in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Speaking of tight performances, Long Island locals from Mt Sinai, the unsigned Cryptodira came out at around 4:30 PM. Having shared the stage with Between The Buried and Me at The Paramount in Huntington back in 2014 it is no wonder many would consider their sound in the same vein as the Prog Metal masters. Combing a song of avante-garde variety of Jazz, Fusion, and Metal, the band played a very dynamic set of original tunes. Featuring Scott Acquavella (guitar/vocals), Shane Kennedy (bass/vocals), Mike Monaco (guitar/vocals), and Matt Taibi (drums) they brought Tech Metal with spacey breaks in between moments of spastic riffs and chords. In a brief tribute to their Progressive roots, the band performed some of Rush’s “YYZ” as part of their final song, then unleash the most gnarly of breakdowns sending the audience into a frenzy of fists, feet, and applause. No future tour dates known as of now.
On Broken Wings
Massachusetts Metalcore veterans On Broken Wings showed no signs of slowing down despite being one of the more mature acts on the second day of Today’s Mixtape Festival when they jumped out just after 5 PM. Formed in 2001, On Broken Wings is often credited with pioneering the sound, and coining the term, “moshcore.” Part of the Eulogy Recordings family, the band has released five studio albums since their inception, the latest being Summer Solstice. The band is currently made up of Johnathon Blake (vocals), Mike McMillen (guitar), Burke Medeiros (guitar), Jerome McBride (bass), and Kevin Garvin (drums). The use of a sampler pad triggered by the drummer added some diversity to their sound; at one point breaking into a Hip-Hop beat, which allowed Blake to show-off his actually impressive Rap flow. The band switched gears back into their Metal forte’, leaving the crowd astounded at the beating they just survived. No other tour dates are available now, but after this set, there is sure to be more on the horizon.
Another Pure Noise Records artist, Canada’s Counterparts were up next at 6 PM. Playing a super-energetic upbeat brand of Punk and Hardcore, the band was formed in 2007 up in Hamilton, Ontario, consisting of Brendan B Murphy (vocals), Jesse Doreen (guitar), Kelly Bilan (drums), Adrian Lee (guitar), as well as Brian Kaczmarczyk (bass). To their credit they possess one EP and four studio albums with the last being the brand new Tragedy Will Find Us, which charted No. 116 on Billboard 200. Still reeling from the On Broken Wings set, the crowd ate up Counterparts’ set, which bounced between the aforementioned new release and their 2013 The Difference Between Hell and Home, attaining spots at No. 49 on US Billboard Indie and No. 7 on US Billboard Heatseekers. Off of The Difference Between Hell and Home, they played tracks such as “Ghost,” “Debris,” “Outlier,” and “Compass.” Celebrating their new release, they featured “Stillborn,” “Stranger,” “Choke, ” and “Burn.” They even threw in “The Disconnect” from 2011’s The Current Will Carry Us. Counterparts will be setting off for the Tragedy Will Find Us EU/UK 2015 tour with Senses Fail and Capsize beginning September 25th in France and wrapping up October 17th in England.
Making their first appearance at Today’s Mixtape Festival, Albany New York’s State Champs, along with support headliner Real Friends, define the new sound of heart-felt Pop Punk. Coming on just around 6:45 PM this band was formed in 2010, and is comprised of Derek DiScanio (lead vocals), Tyler Szalkowski (guitars, backing vocals), Ryan Scott Graham (bass, backing vocals), Tony “Rival” Diaz (guitars), along with Evan Ambrosio (drums). Also part of the Pure Noise Records family, they have released four EPs and one studio album, and their second, 2015’s Around the World and Back, available for pre-order. Playing almost every track off of 2013’s The Finer Things, the band sprinkled in new songs “Secrets” and “Losing Myself” from the upcoming album alongside “If I’m Lucky.” Although there was a considerably less amount of moshing, the audience seemed to be saving what energy they had left for the remaining acts. September 15th will find this crew in Ireland and throughout UK and Europe until October where they will be returning home to the US for a coast to coast tour that ends late November.
Stray From The Path
Debuting their latest release Subliminal Criminals, released two priors via Sumerian Records, scene veterans Stray From The Path were more than ready to give a hometown performance of a life-time at around 7:30 PM. Formed in 2001 on Long Island, New York, Vocalist Andrew “Drew York” Dijorio is joined by Thomas Williams (guitars), Dan Bourke (drums), and Anthony “Dragon Neck” Altamura (bass, vocals). Drew, loud and in charge, commanded everyone within earshot. Sounding extremely well-rehearsed for a CD-release party, Stray From the Path’s Alternative Hardcore had hints of Hip-Hop, Hardcore, and Punk – particularly their latest material, which echoes a lot suburban street youth anti-sentiment towards the authorities. With such a discography at hand, the band displayed a setlist covering six years of Stray From The Path. Such highlights included “Outbreak,” “D.I.E.P.I.G.,” “Badge & a Bullet Part II,” and “First World Problem Child” off Subliminal Criminals and “Scissor Hands” as well as “Badge & a Bullet” of Anonymous (2013). Other standouts were tracks “Death Beds” off Rising Sun (2011), “Negative and Violent” from Make Your Own History (2009), and “Damien” featured on Make Your Own History (2009). They will be on a month-long US/Canada tour beginning in September before heading overseas for another month-long European tour.
In main supporting roll for the day, Pop-Punkers Real Friends rolled out on stage, all sporting gym shorts and t-shirt, the classic look of a very busy, yet road-weary band at around 8:30 PM. Formed in 2010 and part of the Fearless Records family, Real Friends is comprised of Brian Blake (drums), Kyle Fasel (bass), Dave Knox (guitar), Dan Lambton (vocals), as well as Eric Haines (guitar). One Studio album, a compilation, and seven EPs, Real Friends’ setlist danced around a year of several releases. Featuring three of their releases, off of Maybe This Place Is the Same and We’re Just Changing (2014), tracks “Loose Ends,” “Cover You Up,” “Spread Me All Over Illinois,” and “I Don’t Love You Anymore” were heard. From their 2013 EP Put Yourself Back Together, highlights such as “Dirty Water,” “Lost Boy,” “Late Nights in My Car,” and “Skin Deep” were performed. Off of the 2013 EP Everyone That Dragged You Here, they presented “Anchor Down” and “Home for Fall.” Lampton meandered about the stage, at one point taking a tumble over a stage monitor and making a full recovery. Ecstatic fans took turns jumping on and off the stage, most of them stopping briefly to whip out their mobile phone and take a “selfie” with band members before diving back into the writhing abyss that was now the at-capacity dance floor. The road warriors they are, they will begin a two month long US tour as of September 11th.
Every Time I Die
Closing out the long exciting was was the one and only Every Time I Die at 9:30 PM. Having more than made a name for themselves in their almost seventeen-year run as a band, Every Time I Die are one which have toured with the best of them and remain leaders of their own style. From Buffalo, New York and signed with Epitaph Records, the band consists of Keith Buckley (vocals), Andrew Williams (guitar), Jordan Buckley (guitar), Steve Micciche (bass), and Daniel Davison (drums). Definitely keeping busy in their career, they have attained 3 EPs, a slew of compilations and DVDs, and seven studio albums, with the latest being 2014’s From Parts Unknown. Featuring odd-meter riffs and breakdowns with a touch of southern Metal, and a penchant for sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek lyrics – Every Time I Die was the perfect way to wrap-up Today’s Mixtape Festival 2015.
With such an arsenal, their setlist fired through thirteen years of Every Time I Die tunes. Wasting no time, they blast out with all the anger and panic of a stuck pig, beginning with “Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space” off 2012’s Ex Lives,”Bored Stiff” off 2005’s Gutter Phenomenon, and “Decayin’ With the Boys” as well as “El Dorado” off From Parts Unknown. Keith addressed the crowd regularly between songs, keeping a great rapport with fans and making new ones while brother and rhythm-guitarist Jordan headbutts and trashes stage set-pieces, at one point scaling his guitar cabinets and waving their stage-scrim like a battle flag, as well as invited eager fans on stage, even helping them up while still playing guitar.
Powering through “We’rewolf,” “Roman Holiday,” “Thirst,” “Floater,” “Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Battery,” “The Marvelous Slut,” and “No Son of Mine,” they surprised with a cover of Nirvana’s “Tourette’s.” Continuing to mix it up with older and newer cuts “Idiot,” “The New Black,” as well as “Ebolarama”rattled The Emporium before “Moor” ended their performance. Without a doubt, Every Time I Die brought the party to the normally quiet village of Patchogue and did not disappoint. The band will be at Riot Fest on September 11th in Chicago before heading overseas November 6th for the United Kingdom Tour 2015 with Superheaven and Muck to spread their unhinged stage show internationally.
With another Today’s Mixtape Festival in the books, fans are sure to be impatient to see what next Summer will have in store. Steadily growing in leaps and bounds from the humble beginnings in 2012, this could soon challenge as one of the best Punk/Metal festivals in the country. Be sure to check out what East Coast Collective has in store for the Fall of 2015 on Long Island, in the meantime, there is bound to be something for everyone.Photos by Aint tellin Photography/ reporting by Joe Meyer