Concerts and Long Island have always been a great match. From chart-busting, A-list stars to big names still on the circuit to up-and-coming locals, one can find a show almost any night of the week. But somehow, as that invisible-yet-definable barrier that has always separated the city from the suburbs still stands, there are things happening in music that don’t make the same splash in Nassau and Suffolk that are going gangbusters only a short trip away in NYC.
In neighborhoods like Williamsburg in Brooklyn and Manhattan’s Lower East Side, on a nightly basis dozens of bands – some from the Metro area, others from elsewhere in the USA or even beyond – perform without the benefit of major commercial record label backing. These artists may work in genres like pop, rock, country, electronic and others, but often they are small operations, using social media to spread the word and get their music heard while playing venues that are dwarfed by Madison Square Garden – not to mention much smaller than the Nassau Coliseum, the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater and the 1,500+ capacity found at The Paramount in Huntington.
These independently-powered groups (aka “indie”) may not have the worldwide presence of Adele, Nickelback or Lil Wayne, but in the circles of musical aficionados, indie groups are frequently of interest and their new sounds and cutting-edge styles are well received. Unfortunately, Long Island hasn’t yet made as big an overture toward these acts that the city has, but for those who would like to sample the sound of a popular indie band, Crystal Stilts will be playing at Stony Brook University as part of the ongoing “Stony Brooklyn” concert series on Thursday, April 12.
Based in Brooklyn, the Stilts offer a noisy-yet-dreamy sort of garage pop that recalls such artists as Joy Division and She Wants Revenge. Their last show (at the Knitting Factory: 361 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, 347-529-6696, bk.knittingfactory.com) was a sellout, so a packed house isn’t out of the question. Doors open at 8 p.m. for no cover (21-and-over only) with Long Island band Slothbear opening the evening.