The 12th edition of the Great South Bay Music Festival kicked off Thursday with a mix of Long Island’s rich rock history and its near future.
Those willing to rush between the two stages at Shorefront Park in Patchogue were treated to nearly seven hours of rock that put Long Island on the musical map and up-and-coming bands that will keep it there.
It centered on the anticipated comeback of Envy on the Coast, who came of age in the heyday of the Long Island music scene of the Aughts. “We’re super-honored to be here with this great lineup,” said Envy singer Ryan Hunter. “I’m very happy to be here.”
The band’s energetic 40-minute set included songs from last year’s comeback EP “Ritual,” as well as older material, culminating in a scream-along and a bit of a moshpit for “The Gift of Paralysis.”
Hunter had said before the show how Envy on the Coast has been influenced by bands like Kansas’ The Get Up Kids, who followed them on the main stage. Get Up Kids singer Matt Pryor told the crowd how his band used to play The Dublin Pub and Long Island VFW halls, as he introduced “Shorty,” which showcased the two-singer sound adopted by bands like Taking Back Sunday and Brand New.
Newcomers Bohemians kicked off the day with songs influenced by the synth pop popularized in the '80s on WLIR, including the new single “Grow.”
“It feels so good to be part of the Long Island scene this way,” said singer Luke Lotardo of Manorville.
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Long Island pride was also on display from both the bands and the crowd.
“We’re from Long Island,” said King Neptune singer Ian Kenny, drawing screams from the audience, as the band rolled out its infectious power-pop like “Everyone’s Falling in Love.” Islip’s Staleworth offered some potent Taking Back Sunday-tinged indie rock, while a thunderous set from Thrice and headliners The Front Bottoms showed the latest developments of that style.
Festival producer Jim Faith said VIP tickets for the Friday and Sunday shows if the four-day festival are sold out, though a limited number of general-admission tickets remain for the rest of the festival. Sublime with Rome headlines the Friday show, with Umphrey’s McGee topping the Saturday slate. The Dickey Betts Band, paying tribute to the late Gregg Allman, will close out the festival on Sunday.