During summer 2016, bands from across Long Island shared their original songs, and thousands of votes by fans and Newsday readers narrowed the competition to the Top 10.
Then, a panel of music industry judges chose from the finalists (the 10 bands with the most votes) to crown the greatest music group rocking Nassau and Suffolk. Get to know the finalists below, and click here to find out who won.
Where they're from: Dix Hills
Members: Lexy Cassell, Robbie Rosen, Andrew Cohen
From the band: "** Our song Original has a cool message, just be yourself. ** UBU! We really enjoyed shooting this in a beautiful Long Island Marina & hope we "ROCKED YOUR MIND!"
Oak & Ash
Where they're from: New Hyde Park
Members: Rich Tuorto, Chris Tuorto, Paul Gramigna, Bryan Garbe
From the band: "Everyone in this industry knows, to be a successful musician it takes more than just talent and good songwriting... it also takes an incredible amount of patience, determination, hard work, and even a bit of luck to achieve your goals. After countless shows, an incredible amount of practice, and two independently produced EP's, our group has displayed that patience and determination and we are ready for a bit of good fortune. The talent is there, the songs are there, and it will only take the right platform to get us where we want to go."
Where they're from: East Setauket
Members: Zibo Gao, Nick Greene, Bruce Young, Sias Merkling, Marco Starger
From the band: "A mere four months after the members of EVELINE found each other during their freshman year at Columbia University, the band debuted at the Columbia University Battle of the Bands, with entirely original music, and won. The band has since written twelve original songs and has self-produced four of them. EVELINE opened for Rae Sremmurd at the 2016 Bacchanal Music Festival, and has also been actively gigging at venues around Manhattan including Rockwood Music Hall. The dedicated members have worked hard and have made a name for EVELINE in just a few months, all while keeping up with schoolwork."
Versus the Wake
Where they're from: Lynbrook
Members: Andrew Canle, Kevin Keane
From the band: "Versus The Wake is an acoustic duo from a small town in Long Island. Born from the rubble and ash in which life's hardships and obstacles leave one with, VTW seeks to help and inspire all to achieve personal bests in confidence, determination, grit, and passion. The fear of failure should not deter one from attempting to be their best self. In a world devoid of a reset button for which broken souls seek, VTW's music aims to provide the solace those hearts and minds may crave."
Samurai Pizza Cats
Where they're from: Melville
Members: Travis Ryan, Frank Stark, L.T. Christie, Timmy Diaz, Kevin Peterson, Michael Alvarez, Dan Maccarone, James Hayes
From the band: "Samurai Pizza Cats are a Ska-Punk Reggae-Funk band that screams diversity and creativity, something that very directly describes that of Long Island and it's inhabitants. The members are all equal writers and owners of the music, giving a democratic approach to the world of music writing and performing, giving them a very unique and enjoyable sound. It's for this reason that SPC gets so much attention from a wide variety of age range with most shows typically packed with fans ages 18-70! On top of that, they're all from Long Island! That sounds pretty Long Island to me."
Amity & 12th
Where they're from: East Meadow
Members: Alexandra Joachim, Alexander Leicht, Tino Forneris, Joe Mrnarevic
From the band: "Our debut EP, "Beauty in the Chaos," has been well-received across Long Island and NYC. The EP features acclaimed vocalist Alexandra Joachim, who possesses one of the region's most powerful voices. Her songs have been enhanced by ambient soundscapes from guitarist Tino Forneris and producer Scot Stewart. Please listen to "Invincible," "Angel's City," and "Beauty and the Chaos" on Soundcloud to experience this powerful music, which led to Amity and 12th being selected as a Reverb Nation featured artist on their homepage. Additionally, the band has consistently scored high ratings on Radio Airplay."
Phil Firetog Trio
Where they're from: Patchogue
Members: Phil Firetog, Liam Gordon, Jake Bergaglio
From the band: "As a group of musicians, we are more dedicated to our craft as anyone else. We know that our songs are great, and the next great media we need is a really high quality-well produced studio music video. Long Island is our home and we love it, and we just want the rest of Long Island to experience our music and message. Newsday's music video contest is the perfect medium for our goals, and we know that we're the perfect fit. We're family friendly, happy guys who love doing what we do, and we hope you can see that."
Where they're from: Setauket
Members: Julianna Gape (vocals), Zack Silverberg (guitar), Jager Soss (drums), Matt Vicari (bass), Nick Barone (keys and trumpet), Blake Carey
From the band: "We should win the Newsday Battle of the Bands because we are a very talented, hard working band. We are all very dedicated to what we do and try our best to put on great shows. Every member loves performing on stage and playing music together, we would love to continue doing it for the rest of our lives. We put our hearts and souls into our original songs and would love to show the world our music."
Where they're from: Saint James
Members: Michael Reinhart (acoustic guitar, vocals, harmonica), Ryan Mcaddam (bass), Jarrod Byer (drums), Billy Hanley (saxophone, background vocals), Adam Sklar (lead guitar)
From the band: "We absolutely loved being featured in your paper once before by Glenn Gamboa! Two notable acts we've opened for is Edgar Winter and Robbie Krieger from The Doors. We played at the Montauk Music Festival this year and it was amazing how well the crowd vibed with our music. Same thing when we played at "The Bitter End" in Manhattan which we will be returning there with the headliner slot on July 23rd! Were on an upwards trend with new fans and bigger and better shows. Could definitely make for one epic article in the paper."
Where they're from: Sayville
Members: Conor Riccomini, Tyler Tuskan, Nick Riedel, Alex Worrell, Billy Sesack
From the band: "This band has been together for so far about 5 years. We have been through so much while growing and we work extremely hard. We practice every week and enjoy doing it too. Our main goal is to let everybody enjoy some classic rock every once in a while. This band has been an opportunity for all of us to do what we love for other people, and we couldn't ask for anything more. Winning this competition would help us out immensely in trying to put ourselves out into the already giant world of music."