By Ohad Amram Staff Writer
Saturday, April 6 Long Island held its semiannual “Today’s Mixtape Festival” at the 89 North Music Venue in Patchogue, NY. The three-day event featured bands from the pop-punk to hardcore genres. Headliners for Saturday’s show included pop-punk prodigies Transit, Man Overboard and The Story So Far. Opening acts included Hostage Calm and Locals, Bellwether, and many others. Fans flocked to the stage in anticipation and enthusiasm, in unity and friendship, truly defining pop-punk. One of Hofstra’s very own, senior Andrew Bilder, is bassist and backing singer for the band Bellwether. Bellwether’s new EP, “But I Have To,” was the hot item at the merchandise sales table. Since their formation in the summer of 2010, Bellwether has garnered the success that any local would strive to acquire in just three years’ time. Bilder recounted the events that occurred when his band graced the stage “It was absolutely mind-blowing that so many kids knew the words to songs that have been out for less than a week,” Bilder said. Hostage Calm, of Connecticut, gave the show a feeling of versatility—their music doesn’t quite fall under the category of pop-punk, but is more of an experimental alternative to it. Fans recited lyrics in approval and sang in unison to songs such as “The M word” and “Woke up Next to a Body.” Despite minor technical difficulties, Hostage Calm posed as one of the more interesting acts as they incorporated acoustic guitars and songs sung solely by their vocalist. Boston pop-punk apparatus, Transit, was the first of the headlining acts to play. In headlining, they were granted a set of 35 minutes as opposed to the 20 minute set offered to the opening acts. The front man for the band, Joe Boynton, thanked fans for their commitment. The celebration for music continued throughout their performance. “Thank you so much for being here,” Boynton said. “We’re all here for one thing and that’s music--that’s what this is all about.” The second to last headlining band was a pop-punk veteran, and could quite possibly be the only band allowed to get away with the “more poppy than punk” lyrics they write. They are none other than Man Overboard, the New Jersey five-piece, currently signed to Rise Records. Man Overboard, otherwise known as “Man-O,” are held in high regards in this genre, and it should come as no surprise that their fans are the most loyal, just as Man Overboard are the most loyal to their fans. Their set made for an interesting and unusual scene as it captured the soft side to all of the “tough guys” moshing and stage diving while chanting lyrics. At approximately 10:30 that night, The Story So Far championed the stage, channeling their raw angst in every line they deliver. Playing fan favorites such as “Roam” and “Empty Space,” The Story So Far clearly felt the fans high expectations after they’d stood for a nearing 10 hours and knew the show they were obligated to put on. Following through on their plans, the band gave it their all and “ended” their set with hit single “Quicksand,” only to return to the audiences’ assurance, for an encore. Jake Zimmerman, coordinator for Long Island East Coast Collective made the entire event possible as he reached out to all of the bands and management for scheduling. In fact Zimmerman at East Coast Collective will be booking STENGELFEST, which is from April 13th through 15th, and features headliners This Is Hell and Bad Rabbits. In June, Zimmerman and East Coast Collective will be hosting Today’s Mix tape Festival, from July 6th through the 8th.