*This review was composed by Alyssa McKinley and edited by Erik van Rheenen
Each day of Today’s Mixtape Festival showed off its own iconic vibe, its own genres, and its own important representation of the current state of the Long Island music scene. The lineup for each day easily could have been bands on the respective mixtapes of three different people who may not have exchanged music with each other otherwise, but managed to be friends for a cohesive and epic weekend.
Day One of the fest was easily its most dynamic. With genres ranging from grunge to post-rock, and everything in between, Friday was full of genuinely talented musicians. No gimmicks. Nothing generic. Just pure, unadulterated rock and roll and the perfect audience to appreciate it.
A theme strewn throughout the day was that of keeping the Long Island scene alive and keeping the legends who made it what it is today in the memory of the younger generations. So it was only appropriate to have the day kick off with two local bands, Darby Switch and Cryptodira.
Darby Switch captured the attention of their modestly sized audience as soon as they began playing. It was immediately obvious that anyone who was going to Mixtape Fest was going not only to see their current favorite band play, but to discover their next obsession. Even the first and second bands of the fourteen-act day were well worth the attention they received.
After Cryptodira gave the crowd the only dose of metal they’d get that day, Modern Baseball took the stage and immediately proved themselves worthy of the hype they’ve been receiving. It was clear they were the reason anyone showed up in the early afternoon, and the still-humble crowd sang along to the melodic and mature vocals delivered by Brendan Lukens. The talents of the entire band were impossible to ignore, and with closed eyes it would have been hard to believe that the music coming from the stage was coming from such fresh faces.
Next up was a band with a sound as full as the crowd was: Prawn. For being one of only two post-rock bands on the bill, the group broke up the sets of the other openers intensely. Their high-pitched, soaring guitar riffs and honest vocals translated perfectly to the stage.
The tight schedule moved along with State Lines, whose energy was a progressive buildup from the start of their set to their anthemic closer. A set defined by clean harmonies and amazing chemistry between the crowd and band both contrasted and built up perfectly to Dads.
Needless to say, hearing a tight drummer provide powerful vocals simultaneously is an unreal experience. The talented two-piece proved that any pop would be saved for Day Two and their blend of indie and punk warranted the first stage divers of the weekend.