It was a nail-biter – but after the first two acts of LIC's Live at the Gantries were rescheduled due to rain, Brooklyn/Queens borderline rockers Pass Kontrol made the third time the charm and kicked off the annual Summer music series under clear skies.
The band played upwards of ten songs in Gantry Park last Tuesday, gliding into atmospheric instrumentals or rushing into fuller, more uptempo numbers with the frenetic charge of old school, stripped-down rock and roll. Some tracks were peppered with lyrics sung in a warm and effortlessly bluesy tone, while others were completely wordless, ringing out through the Gantries and floating off into the night. Either way, the glowing undertone to their music is a certain spirit of joy, which is why Pass Kontrol were a great choice for Long Island City's most glorious venue. They were versatile and gracious, filled the huge and scenic space with their expansive sound, and seemed genuinely enthused about what attendees know to be a Gantries signature: cheeky little kids who love to dance! At one point, the band even echoed a little boy racing around in front of them and called a "time out!" on their music, grinning and pausing until they received his signal to resume.
The children were part of a Live at the Gantries crowd that was, as always, all ages and relatively diverse – comprised of friends and fans, mellow bystanders, folks sitting at tables, dog-walking couples pausing to watch, and photographers snapping away. The audience filled out even more as the band's set went on, and it's no surprise – on a gorgeous Summer evening, Gantry Park is incomparable, especially when it comes to seeing live music.
Pass Kontrol lent themselves particularly well to the setting with their mix of rollicking rock, jangling guitars, driving beats, and shimmering electronics, all with a standout, easy-to-listen-to voice that melded perfectly with their sound. Their singer/guitarist and drummer also traded places in a humorously dubbed "dirty switcheroo" for some loose, punchier songs at certain points in their set. In a serendipitous way, Pass Kontrol's sound also seemed to invoke the many phases and feelings of the Summertime – laid-back and dreamy, nostalgic and bittersweet, boisterous and free – especially when soaked up in the golden light of LIC's picturesque waterfront. By the time the sun had nearly set, it was clear that the band originally intended to be Live at the Gantries' third act had ended up as its extremely fitting opener.
Welcome to Live at the Gantries!
Audrey Dimola is a born and raised Astoria/Long Island City gal. Best known around town for her work as Managing Editor of LIC-based arts/music/culture magazine, Ins&Outs, Audrey is now Project Manager of Dom & Tom, Inc., a NYC web and mobile development studio.
All photos by Arianys Wilson, view more on Flickr.
LICNotes interviews Justin Finley, founder of local organization Astoria Music & Arts (AM&A), to discuss the journey to their 3rd annual Astoria Music Now! music and arts festival in Astoria Park, and what's in store for the neighborhood on July 24th.
Shot & interviewed by Tom Tancredi; edited by Dominick Dimola.
Astoria Music Now! rocks & rolls Astoria Park from 11am-9pm on 7/24. Check out the lineup!
12.00 Tibetan Punks
1.15 The Little Creatures
2.00 RatTrap Bumpkin
2.45 The Missing Teens
4.15 The Jamies
5.00 Schaffer & the Darklords
7.00 Consider the Source
12.00 Devesh Chandra Duo
2.00 sweet magma
2.45 The Headlocks
5.00 Lancaster County Prison
6.00 Mainline Gypsy
12.00 Sam and Friends
12.30 Walking Upright
1.15 The Nico Blues
2.00 Erin and Her Cello
3.15 Noshir Mody
4.00 The Botz
4.45 Zion Judah
5.45 Blue Dog
6.45 Matthew Snow and the Way it Was
Just in case you didn't know, Warm Ups are PS 1's now-legendary Summer dance parties that take place in their outdoor courtyard, redesigned in the style of a new YAP winner each year. LIC residents get in FREE, and festivities usually kick off around the 4th of July and last all Summer into early September. This year, we've got a July 3rd kickoff date, and are eagerly awaiting the entertainment lineup. DJs, live bands, and lots of DANCING in a one of a kind, artsy setting – what more could you ask for on a Summer Saturday?
Keep a lookout for announcements – we'll post them here!
Are YOU looking forward to the Warm Ups? Have any favorite performances from Summers past?
Let us know!
"Warm Up is MoMAPS1's critically acclaimed music series and has become one NYC's most anticipated summer events. The series is housed within the architectural installation created by the winner of the annual MoMAPS1 and MoMA organized Young Architects Program. Together, the music, architecture and exhibition program provide a unique multi-sensory experience for music fans, artists, and families alike.
Highlights from the series include a stellar group of international DJs and live music ensembles: LCD Soundsystem, DJ Harvey, Groove Collective, Lovebug Starski, Afrika Bambaataa, Prins Thomas & Hans-Peter Lindstrom, Mad Professor, Richie Hawtin, Danny Krivit, Trevor Jackson, Francois K, DJ Craze, Charlie Dark, Vikter Duplaix, Fischerspooner, Frederic Galliano, Kid Koala, Arto Lindsay, The Scissor Sisters, Ursula Rucker, Derrick May, Swayzak, Luke Vibert, XPress 2, Danny Wang, and many more."
* Photo: 'Pole Dance' rendering courtesy ArchDaily
Summer has come to Long Island City again and with it arrives the start of Live at the Gantries, a weekly spectacle with free outdoor performances to attend and enjoy! Beginning this Sunday, June 13th at 7:00 p.m. and continuing each Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. until August 17th, local musicians and bands will entertain the crowds under the historic gantries. There is never a shortage of different styles of music to make sure that everyone gets a taste of something they'll enjoy, no matter what age!
Located at Gantry Plaza State Park, a 10-acre site along the East River between 49th and 50th Avenues, Live at the Gantries is sure to once again prove to be a successful summertime staple in Long Island City. Opening the 2010 season is the LIC Jazz Alliance, a new group formed by Jazz musicians and lovers living in Long Island City. It will be their first concert together, so make sure to come out and support them.
The 2010 Live at the Gantries Performance List:
June 13th: LIC Jazz Alliance [rescheduled due to rain; NEW DATE: AUGUST 24 @ 8pm!]
June 22: Opera Collective [rescheduled due to rain; NEW DATE: AUGUST 24 @ 6:30pm!]
June 29: Pass Kontrol
July 6: Jia-Yi He
July 13: DB Rielly [rescheduled due to rain; NEW DATE: AUGUST 31 @ 7pm!]
July 20: Mundo Clave
July 27: Andy Statman
August 3: St. Paul AME Mass Church Choir
August 10: Hiromi Suda
August 17: Mission: on Mars
Live at the Gantries
Live at the Gantries on Facebook
Live at the Gantries on Twitter
Shows that happen in the open air, under the sun or beneath the stars. In the summertime us New Yorkers can't get enough of em.
The LIC Music Scene takes great pride in the way our neighborhood can use its often thrilling visual and scenic splendor as a backdrop for some really cool concerts.
Legendary is the only word to describe the PS1 WARM UP, an all day live music event that is one of the most popular in all of NYC. Their website at the date of this writing does not have the 2010 schedule up yet, but we are watching with great anticipation.
The spectacular LIVE AT THE GANTRIES outdoor concert series continues to gain more and more momentum each year. They have just announced the 2010 lineup (but not the full schedule yet). The Long Island City Jazz Alliance, a "super-group" of great LIC Jazz musicians kicks off the series with a special concert June 13th @ 7pm!
For live outdoor music in a more intimate setting LIC BAR'S popular SUMMER SERIES promises to dazzle the neighborhood with concerts and festivals beginning June 6th. There are Sunday afternoon shows, and also outdoor shows Monday & Wednesday evenings. The full schedule can be seen at the bar's website.
Also we'll be on the lookout for live music at WATER TAXI BEACH, STUDIO SQUARE & THE BOHEMIAN BEER HALL. Also worth mentioning is the huge ASTORIA MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL in Astoria Park. Over 50 local bands will be performing July 24th.
From the desk of Silbin Sandovar
PS1 WARM UP
22-25 Jackson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
LIC BAR'S GARDEN PATIO
45-58 Vernon Blvd
Long Island City, New York 11101
WATER TAXI BEACH
2 Borden Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
LIVE AT THE GANTRIES
Gantry Plaza State Park
49th Avenue and Center Blvd
Long Island City, NY
35-33 36th St
Long Island City, New York 11106
BOHEMIAN BEER HALL
2919 24th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11102-1129
ASTORIA MUSIC & ARTS
Astoria Music Now! Festival
Astoria Park, Astoria, NY