April 24, 2024

New Fury Media

Music. Gaming. Nostalgia. Culture.

Review: Spring Mixtape Fest

Text by Nick Zimmer

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Revolution Music Hall

Amityville, NY

Last year I learned about Today’s Mixtape Festival while I was out on tour with From The Embrace.  We were in Almeda, CA the same day that Mixtape took over Oakland.  A week later my (now) fiance attended the East Coast portion of the festival in Patchogue, NY.  Little did I know at the time that just one year later I would be flying from Nashville to Long Island to cover the festival. 

This lineup was stacked and afforded me the opportunity to see and shoot one of the few bands I have left on my musical bucket list, Bane.  We’ll get to that.  I started my day halfway through the opening band, Soda Bomb, and made my way to the front of the crowd after dropping my camera bag off towards the side of the stage.  I was only able to snap a few shots of the band, but I was excited to start my day.  High Card took the stage next and as kids started coming into the venue the energy started to pick up.

I never thought the most memorable performance of the day would come so early, but Hotel Books completely exceeded my expectations.  I don’t think I have ever been moved so much by the words of a frontman before. Cam Smith and his story of love and acceptance is something everyone should experience at least once.  Give and Capital followed up the Hotel Books performance and the room was back to dancing and piling on top of each other.

Superheaven is a band that I hadn’t seen since their name change (not that that’s really all that important) and this is where the day started to get really interesting, at least for me.  About halfway through the bands set, someone front flipped off the stage and kicked the flash on my camera and completely destroyed it.  It’s a risk to shoot from the crowd, I know this, but sometimes kids go out of their way to aim for the photographer and it can be obnoxious.  Superheaven were as solid as ever and its always great to hear how Taylor Madison interacts with the crowd.

I had never been able to catch Defeater outside of shooting Warped Tour so it was great to finally catch them in an intimate setting.  Seeing how far Derek has come since having to have his hip replaced was nothing short of amazing.  The band seemed to be better than ever and ripped through songs from their entire catalog.

Somehow in my decade plus of attending hardcore shows I managed to never see Bane.  After announcing that they were no longer going to be a touring band I knew that I had to do everything I could to see and shoot them at least once.  The performance Bane put on ran circles around every young hardcore band I have ever seen and the crowd reacted to that.  There wasn’t a moment where people weren’t stage diving and climbing on top of each other and it really reminded me of why I love hardcore so much.  The entire set was a positive experience, there were no fights, no one trying to prove they’re more hardcore than anyone else, just a large group of people having the time of their life watching one of the most important hardcore bands to ever exist.

Another cool thing about this festival was that it allowed me to see a few bands for the second time that week.  I was able to catch Pianos Become The Teeth in Nashville the night before flying to New York and saw Title Fight the night before Mixtape in New York City.  Both bands were great both times and seeing Title Fight go from a sell out crowd of 1500 to a sold out 500 cap room was absolutely insane.

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