POZ Gallery: Skate And Surf Festival
Features: Fall Out Boy, A Day To Remember, Leathermouth, Transit, Balance & Composure, Crown The Empire, Bayside, Tyler Carter, Glassjaw, Of Mice & Men
Location: Six Flags Great Adventure - Jackson, NJ
Photos By: Maysa Askar
POZ Gallery: Skate And Surf Festival
Many of us reflect back on the early 2000’s as a true golden age for the music that we love the most - the term “emo” hadn’t yet been bastardized by the mainstream, Drive-Thru Records was putting out release after release of foundational pop-punk, and no one had really thought yet to dress up a metalcore breakdown in guyliner. The Skate And Surf Festival, an annual celebration of these acts and genres, leveraged its way into legend status after only three full years of activity by compiling lineups of the best and most important bands of the time, many of which were in their heyday.
Some of those bands have created longstanding and solid careers, and to see a few of the groups that helped to shape such a noteworthy festival of great lore slotted to appear at it’s return is a really cool thing. We’ve selected some of the returners and highlighted their careers in the context of the Skate And Surf Festival’s existence to celebrate the permanence of our scene and reflect with a bit of nostalgia on what exactly some of our favorite bands were doing 10+ years ago.
Fall Out Boy, by Adrienne Fisher
2003: First appearance at Skate & Surf (April 25), release of Take This To Your Grave (Fueled by Ramen, May 6), finalize future signing to Island Records (mid-2003)
2004: Second appearance at Skate & Surf (April 18), release of My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue (Fueled by Ramen, May 18), first appearance on Warped Tour
2005-2008: Stupid amounts of commercial success, release of From Under the Cork Tree (Island Records, May 30, 2005), Infinity on High (Island Records, Feb 5, 2007), and Folie a Deux (Island Records, Dec 16, 2008)
2013: Prodigal return from hiatus, release of Save Rock and Roll (Island Records, April 16)
“Comeback of the year” is the catchphrase of FOB in 2013. Plenty has been spoken, ruminated, yelled, theorized, and waxed about the much-adored pop (punk) act’s return to the fold, and their prodigal return to a festival also making its prodigal return seems nothing short of harmonic. When FOB played Skate & Surf in 2003, Take This To Your Grave was still 2 weeks away from release and and their buzz was only beginning to increase in volume. By 2004, following a tour supporting Mest and Matchbook Romance, the band was still close enough to the underground to be flush with love from every kid involved in the scene, making the festival - once-exclusive to punk and emo - a perfect setting for them before their popularity began to expand outside the boundaries of those genres. Now, their appeal is as widespread as the lineup of this year’s Skate & Surf, making their headlining slot completely appropriate in both homage to the original festival and a salute to it’s current incarnation.
Bayside, by Adrienne Fisher
2001-2003: Formation, release of demos/split with Name Taken, sign to Victory Records (2003)
2004: Release of Sirens and Condolences (Victory Records, Jan 24), appearance at Skate & Surf (Apr 16)
2005: Appearance at Bamboozle (May 1), release of Bayside (Victory Records, Sep 1), passing of drummer John Holohan (October)
2006 - 2013: Release of many, many full-length records - The Walking Wounded (Victory Records, Feb 6, 2007), Shudder (Victory Records, Sept 20, 2008), Killing Time (Wind Up Records, Feb 22, 2011) - as well as splits, comps, Warped Tour stints, and a covers album
To state the obvious, Bayside’s been around for a long time by now. Hailing from Queens and siphoning off a little bit of that Long Island “scene” momentum, these New York natives were just starting to get their footing when Skate & Surf was operating back in the early 2000s. Their signing to Victory Records (which was totally not a bad thing back then) can probably be likened to their leg-up into the ranks of golden-era bands of the time, and their gradual entry into popularity fell very shortly after the heels of the old, golden-era bands. However, the momentum they began to create in 2004 with the release of their first full length hasn’t diminished in the last 10+ years - Bayside’s band trajectory is punctuated by consistent releases, frequent touring and oodles of high profile Warped Tour and festival appearances. They’ve created for themselves quite the legacy - and their slot at Skate & Surf can function as both a celebration of their beginnings as well as the continuation of a solid career.
Streetlight Manifesto, by Erik van Rheenen
2003: Everything Goes Numb is released, the band’s lineup changes start once their four song demo is recorded.
2004: Streetlight plays Skate & Surf with headliners Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, and Yellowcard.
2006: Catch-22’s Keasbey Nights (Victory Records) gets a Streetlight makeover, about which Kalnoky said, “We wanted to get it right for once.”
2007: Somewhere in the Between (Victory Records) comes out.
2010: Streetlight releases the first volume of their ambitious cover project, 99 Songs of Revolution (Victory Records). We’re still waiting on the next 88.
2013: Victory torpedoes Toh Kay’s The Hand That Thieves record, but Streetlight’s pre-hiatus swan song The Hands That Thieve sees daylight after label struggles kept it from coming out in 2012.
Skate And Surf Festival is three days away, and we hope you’re all as excited as we are for an incredible weekend at Six Flags in Jackson, NJ. We posted POZ’s Must See Bands And Acts for the first day of Skate yesterday, and we’re back today with day two! Check out ticket/lineup information for the festival here, our list below, and reblog to let us know who we need to see while we’re at Skate this weekend!
POZ Skate And Surf Preview: Our Must-See Bands And Acts (Day 1)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, by Sydney Gore
I have already had the pleasure of watching this dynamic duo perform live, so from my own personal experience, I can assure that they know how to show a crowd a good time. There’s so much more to the Seattle based rapper and producer than meets the eye—the same men who made the catchy, lighthearted tracks like “Thrift Shop” and “And We Danced” also speak out about social issues, such as marriage equality, in “Same Love.” The Heist was one of the most anticipated albums of the year, and since its release back in November, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have earned themselves quite a supportive following. Believe the hype, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis dish out lyrical poetry that does not disappoint.
Glassjaw, by Jesse Richman
Elusive post-hardcore veterans Glassjaw tend to keep a low profile these days; it’s been over a decade since the band released their last LP (though they continue to quietly release the occasional EP), and nearly as long since they played anything approaching a full-time touring schedule. Not that the infrequency of their performances shows in their stage work — ask anyone who’s had the luck to catch them in the last few years, and they’ll gladly let you know that Daryl Palumbo remains as dynamic a frontman as ever. These veterans of the original Skate And Surfs may be fighting an uphill battle against a crowd primed for Macklemore and A Day To Remember and too young to remember the band’s glory years, but Glassjaw are nothing if not fighters. Hopefully the crowd will understand what a rare treat they’re getting when the band takes the stage.
Rx Bandits, by Erik van Rheenen
Ten years after releasing The Resignation,the Drive-Thru standouts are putting the kibosh on their one-year hiatus with a return to Jersey. Nearly four years removed from their stellar full-length Mandala, the progressive rockers will shake off the rust and be back to their old proggy tricks. The elusive veterans haven’t played North American shows in more than a year, and in a day packed with nostalgia, (Glassjaw and Saves The Day, for starters) Rx Bandits will rock the Skate And Surf stage like it’s 2009.
MOD SUN, by Sydney Gore
Selecting two hip-hop artists from the lineup was a happy coincidence, but MOD SUN is definitely one of my favorites. The hippy-hop artist is all about being happy, spreading posi vibes, and living life to the fullest— or the highest. I guarantee that you’ll leave his set with a huge smile on your face and a fresher perspective on life. Anyone who wants to immerse themselves in a fun atmosphere needs to let MOD SUN be their guide.
Saves The Day, by Erik van Rheenen
We the fans can be big complainers. “This band didn’t play all the songs I wanted to hear.” “Where’s that obscure B-side from 2005?” “You guys always play the same set.” So Saves The Day cut out the middleman and had fans vote on the setlist, so even if they don’t play “Sell My Old Clothes, I’m Off To Heaven,” you at least had some say. A collection of fan favorites and deep cuts should be more than enough to pack the pit for Chris Conley and company — who knows? Maybe we’ll get a taste of some new tunes, too.
Sources of PropertyOfZack have continued to hint that Glassjaw will be playing the 2013 Skate And Surf Festival. We’ve been told an announcement should be coming by or on Christmas for a ticket bundle sale. More info should be coming soon.
For up-and-coming bands, the CMJ New Music Marathon — the annual music convention which gathers together more than 100,000 performing artists, industry professionals, hopeful students and hangers-on in New York City for a veritable orgy of shows — is a chance to “get discovered”. For legacy artists, it’s an opportunity to reintroduce themselves to a younger generation, and re-establish cred. But this Thursday’s series of showcases seemed to highlight a third, less likely, group: familiar faces in new places.
The yearly gathering overruns virtually every venue in the city with five days of near-nonstop music, and while there’s a heavy focus on indie rock (CMJ did, after all, begin as a conference of college radio programmers and DJs), it has now grown to the point where virtually every genre under the sun is represented. And so, in one of those “only at CMJ” pairings, Color Film, the wildly experimental new project by Glassjaw and Head Automatica frontman Daryl Palumbo, found themselves making their live debut at Irving Plaza on the undercard of a bill headlined by rap heavyweights GZA and Killer Mike.
It might have not been the best pairing; the band’s eclectic, aggressively atonal, often bewildering blitzkrieg of a set seemed lost on much of the crowd, a situation that wasn’t helped by the room’s muddy sound which unfortunately rendered the announcement of a few track titles unintelligible. Not that the band seemed fazed in the least. Palumbo, nattily dressed in a sport coat and red plaid flannel shirt, hair neatly parted, quickly shed his outerwear and his restraint, working himself slowly into a frenzy over the course of the 7-ish song. Those tracks ran the gamut sonically; the band’s set veered between slow, darkly atmospheric burners, mid tempo jams full of rolling toms and jagged guitars, and stuttering dance-punk, with spiky, complex, proggy guitar courtesy of Richard Penzone, of dance act Men Women and Children.
Above it all, Palumbo roved from mumbly lows to his trademark strained high howl, and even talk-rapped his way through most of one track. Color Film have only released two tracks to date (one a remix), and it would be a stretch to call them at all representative of the band’s intense, sprawling live set; then again, considering the sizeable range the band displayed, it’s hard to imagine any one track encapsulating the band’s sound.
But Color Film weren’t the only new act featuring an established artist to make their debut on Thursday. Schematic, the new project from Mae leader Dave Elkins, is more a concept than a band, with a recording studio, internet presence and a network of like-minded creative folks gathered together under one umbrella, with a mission of empowering artists to establish, grow and sustain their own careers. To that end, Elkins opted to curate an entire night full of performances by friends and collaborators.
Still, it was clear that the most anticipated moment of the Schematic showcase at Sullivan Hall was the debut of Elkins’ band of the same name. Timed to coincide with the release of the band’s debut EP, the performance saw the Elkins-fronted quintet (including a keyboardist whose bag of tricks included an Hammond organ and a keytar) dive through a half-hour’s worth of complex, 90’s-informed indie rock. While hints of Mae’s lush pop peeked through on occasion, the majority of the set focused on less-immediate pleasures, at times twisting and contorting those bits of bright melody through intricate and (at times) hard to follow chord changes, at others abandoning melody entirely (the band’s closing track featured an extended two-chord guitar drone). Elkins’ vocals tended toward his lower register, less consciously pretty than in his past work; instrumentally, guitars and keyboards added not just texture but dissonance. To an audience less inclined toward acceptance it might have proved off-putting, but the small crowd that remained (the band didn’t hit the stage ‘til half past midnight) were clearly excited and enthusiastic just to be a part of what was clearly a special night for Elkins.
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