Date: May 31st 2013
Bands: The Suicide Machines, Pilfers, Murphy’s Law, Metro Stylee, Inspecter 7, What’s Your Problem Brian, The Fad
I’ve been saying for awhile that New York City hasn’t had a decent ska or punk music festival in a long time. Thanks to the folks at Asbestos Records, Live Nation and others who worked hard to bring this amazing two day ska fest to Irving Plaza. The lineup for both days was superb and if you missed these shows, well I guess there’s always next year. Apple Stomp was a big success in my mind and hopefully this is a big thing every year now.
Friday night show featured The Suicide Machines, Pilfers, Murphy’s Law, Metro Stylee, Inspecter 7, What’s Your Problem Brian and The Fad. I’m not sure if Friday night’s show was sold out but it was still pretty damn packed inside. Starting things off were The Fad from Long Island. I never heard of the Fad but was impressed with their hectic ska punk style and energy on stage. I couldn’t tell you what was played but most bands played for half hour so I’d imagine they played songs people knew. The Fad certainly kicked things off to a great start!
What’s Your Problem, Brian were one of the many bands to resurface for this fest (I think they played a few one-off shows though). I remember seeing What’s Your Problem, Brian at The Chance a bunch of times, since a lot of the members hailed from Poughkeepsie. Adam, who plays bass in the band, was one of the people who worked hard to make this fest a reality and he needs a tap on the shoulder for it. The band played well and were having a fun time up there.
Inspecter 7 played third and were a highlight for me on both nights. The theme to Clockwork Orange came on like it sometimes does, and the the band went into “The Game.” Their live show is always excellent and memorable. I just always like the rowdy, fast-paced singing from Guiseppe and Travis. They played a lot of their old stuff (“Hub City Stompers,” “Sharky 17,” “Sleeping with the Enemy”) but also some from their new album as well (“Sea Hag,” “Fresh Cut”). Towards the end of their set, they surprised me with an awesome cover of “Goggles and Binders,” which is by their fellow Droogies The Skoidats. It’s been awhile since hearing a Skoidats song played live! They finished the set with “Agent 86” I believe.
Making their 13 year comeback Friday night was Metro Stylee, who admitted during the first song that they had some nerves. The soulful ska band did just fine and a lot of people were happy with their set. Halfway through their set, Coolie Ranx came out and sang a few notes with the band for “Back Again” and it was just all smiles on everybody’s faces. By the time the set was over, Metro Stylee said they were just getting warmed up and didn’t want to get off the stage. They ended up playing last minute show after at Otto’s Shrunken Head. Guess they didn’t want things over just yet.
And now for something completely different….Murphy’s Law played a ska fest which is a bit odd in my opinion despite them having a ska song, smoke lots of weed, and have a horn section. While I don’t mind that Murphy’s Law isn’t a ska band and do like their music, I kind of wish another band was picked that was actually ska/ska-punk and not one that plays 1 or 2 ska influence songs (“Ska Song”). I grew up on the song “Sit Home and Rot” before I even knew it was Murphys Law so I’m not taking digs at the band. They were still a lot of fun to see and take pictures of and they fit in for the most part with Suicide Machines style. Jimmy Gestapo didn’t want to be on the stage the entire set and was by the security gate most of the set. People were smoking weed right on stage, Jimmy was passing liquor out to the crowd which I’m sure the club and bouncers just loved haha. After their set, let’s just say I really wanted some food.
Next time were my buddies in the Pilfers featuring the new lineup with a special guest later in the set. The band started off with their newest song “Easy Man,” which sounds great and be downloaded at their Bandcamp page. Next was “Yakuza” and I always can’t help sing along in the photo pit, and Coolie usually gives me a line to sing. Thankfully I didn’t mess it up like I have done in the past haha. Other songs they played included “Climbing,” “Show No Fear” and a newer one “Done Nothing Wrong.” The special guest that came on stage was actually Vinny Nobile, and he played 2 songs with the group. I was really hoping for at least Vinny to come back to play a song or two with the new guys. It was a great moment, and a genuine moment after the songs when Coolie and Vinny hugged it out. Towards the end of the set, Coolie wanted to continue but they were running slow on time so they finished with “Shits Up in the Air” and “Chawaleng.”
The Suicide Machines were the last act of Friday’s show and Jay was already fighting with the bouncers before the set even started. He wanted his little step thing from the stage and the bouncers didn’t want it there. Then he was making digs at Irving Plaza since they banned them back in the 90s and to never come back. After all that, the band were a blast to watch and played mostly tracks from their first two albums. They played songs like “New Girl,” “Break The Glass,” “Too Much,” “No Face,” “Give” and loads of others. Since they were headliners they played the most out of everybody.
I saw them a few years ago with Descendents and H20 at Roseland, but I thought they played better here. Jay even commented about that and said sorry since he was drunk. I thought they played well then too but I just think Friday’s performance was a lot better. During the encore, Vinny Nobile came out to play t-bone on tracks he’s played on before…”Van’s Song” and then “Hey.” I was waiting for that moment the entire set and they saved it to the very end which makes sense. I was sleepy and headed out the door as soon as the set was over though.
First great night of Apple Stomp! I thankfully got some much needed sleep and heavy dosage of Advil before heading back out for Day 2.
All the photos will be posted at my photography site SkaPunkPhotos.com throughout the week but first have to get this review up!