When someone says you’re making a scene, they might mean that you’re being too overdramatic in public for comfort. But here at Staten Island’s Overspray music venue, where the walls are as covered in artwork as most of the show-goers skins, a bunch of punks, rockers, hardcore kids and metalheads (including an eight-year-old who is most definitely cooler than you) came together for August 5th’s Summerfest to make a scene that’s about more than just being overly loud and in your face.
“The goal was exposing fans to a variety of bands and we did just that.”
What happens when a show gets cancelled? You turn it into an all day music festival instead. At least, that’s what Dean Santa, 23, of Staten Island did, and that decision has started to put some life into the local scene. Even if it was all by accident.
When you go to a date of a big headlining tour with hundreds of other people in the room and a stage yards away and above, you can have tons of fun. But spending a whole day in a small room of locals where everyone knows each other and bands and fans share the same graffitied floor is a different feeling altogether. You’re not there for a show anymore, you’re there because you’re a bunch of people who connect through loud sounds and spray painted walls.
Hawthorne Heights have been a band for about a decade now, and like many other bands their age have decided to mark the achievement with a 10 Year Anniversary Tour of the record that started it all. Unlike other bands in the emo, punk, or post-hardcore genres, however, we made them celebrate by dramatically reading TLC lyrics before the show. Ohio may be for lovers, but Staten Island is for interviewers who like to laugh at your expense. Watch the interview below to hear more from the band about DIY music making, whose first show was Nirvana and whose was New Kids On The Block, and why it’s all about the fans.
Hawthorne Heights took Staten Island for the first time in all their years as a band to play their first album, The Silence In Black And White, front to back. The band time traveled with this New York crowd back to 2004 with the record that sparked it all. Playing hits like “Niki FM” and “Silver Bullet” sent the room into an uproar of nostalgia, but the grand finale of “Ohio Is For Lovers” was what did away with the line between stage and floor.
Check out the live photos from last night’s show at the Hashtag Bar in the gallery below.
All photos by Natasha Van Duser.
Last night the five guys in Awake At Last took to the stage at Staten Island’s premiere venue Hashtag Bar. A real punk gem in the making, Hashtag Bar hosts everything from a killer sound system to a snake habitat, and even has its own defunct air hockey table. But no one last night was there for snakes or games, just real up close and personal rock ‘n’ roll. Check out the gallery below to see some of our favorite snap shots from Awake At Last’s performance.
All photos by Taylor Markarian.