Well I hope you all had a good labor day. As the long weekend full of fun in the sun, beer in the cooler and meat on the grill reminds us how great it is to be young and in NYC, it also sadly signifies the beginning of the end for our dear summer. Fear not however, there’s still a few weeks left! A few weeks to get those Brooklyn backyard BBQs going. A few weeks left to gather your friends on your rooftop overlooking the city reminiscing about who had the best summer with the craziest stories. A few weeks left to hit the Rockaways and probably get bitten by a shark, because apparently around this area that’s a thing now.
Hopefully you’ve made it out to some really good shows over the past couple months as well, because there have been some awesome ones. Ah seems like just yesterday I was this close to passing out from dehydration and sun poisoning at GovBall. Enjoy what’s left of it now, because no one likes having to go to a packed show in the dead of winter only to have to wear your coat in the venue and be a gross sweaty mess, or being forced to juggle it in your arms with your beer the whole night. Fuck, winter sucks. At least there are still a few good weeks shows left before Jack Frost comes out of hiding and skull fucks us like he did last year. One of those shows will be Escape Music Festival! Which makes its debut in Red Hook this October! In its inaugural year the two-day festival will bring New Yorkers a wide range of artists to warm things up as fall kicks into gear.
Yes, Red Hook is a total pain in the ass to get to, but don’t worry, the recently announced full lineup will make your trip well worth it. Out of the thirty acts that will be taking the stage the weekend of October 10-11th, I’ve gone ahead and picked the ones you really shouldn’t miss for one reason or another. I didn’t list Moby because I mean come on.. it’s Moby. If he doesn’t play ‘Extreme Ways’ and let me get my Jason Bourne on there’s going to be hell to pay. Check it:
Ra Ra Riot – This alt-rock group has a very modern sound mixed with really cool retro rhythms that will give you great dancing material throughout their entire set. If you give their 2013 album Beta Love a listen you’ll hear really catchy pop-friendly tunes in ‘Beta Love’, ‘Angel, Please’, and ‘That Much’. They’re really a more retro-version of Maroon 5 without all the terrible singing of Adam Levine.
Placebo – This British rock band has been around for twenty years now and is still able to staying current in their style of songwriting to allow kids today to turn their music up and let loose. Singer/guitarist Brian Molko’s piercing voice allows the music to launch into orbit, as he sets the tone with its natural energy and signature attitude. For a band that formed at the end of the 90s grunge era and built its foundation in the 90s rock scene, they’ve been able to bring their 90s alt-rock roots with them into the 2010s. Their 2013 album Loud Like Love is a record that captures the bands aged to perfection chemistry and sound. My favorite song off that album, ‘Loud Like Love’ has everything you want from a veteran rock band- great vocal lines, strong guitar, and a great rockin beat you can dance to.
Boris – I LOVE this Japanese rock band. They bring such an energetic contrast to the electronic bands and DJs that make up the majority of this festivals lineup. They are hard, edgy, and fast. Although the loud, distorted guitars, epic drums, and stadium anthem choruses rattle your core, they wont you feel like you stepped into Ozzfest. Think more like Metric or The Naked & Famous in their ability to turn great guitar rock into the style you could remix really well into a club mix. They are however a hard rock band.. so get ready to enter the pit with nothing held back.
Tesla – This electronic/new-wave band is everything you loved about Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories but with some more classic influences and ingredients. Think of if The Smiths and Bowie got to add their own fuel to the RAM fire and you’ve got this bands 2013 album, The Universe is Made of Darkness. I love their song ‘Undetected’ as is has that slow and sexy rhythm made up with instrumentation from Africa’s ‘Toto’. They take that step from 80s new-wave pop to 90s house music in the appropriately titled‘1991’. These guys are going to bring some great throwback dance tunes to a modern sounding festival.
The Joy Formidable – Think Lucius meets Shiny Toy Guns, meete Ume? Yeah this band just flat out fucking rocks. Lead by Ritzy Bryan on guitars and vox, this alt rock band might be the most rock-based band of the festival. I’m really pumped to see if their live show can capture as much energy as their 2013 album Wolf’s Law captures. They’re pure in your face modern alt-rock and you’ll love the songs they rip through like ‘Little Blimp’, ‘Forest Serenade’, ‘The Hurdle’, and ‘Cholla’.
Article by Tom Shackleford