Editor’s Note: While there are some great guides to the North Brooklyn festival out there, most favor the big name bands. Those are the bands that you’re most likely to already be familiar with, and also the shows that are most likely to sell out or have long lines to get in. That is why we are proud to present you with our comprehensive, day-by-day recommendation guide to the music festival, organized in chronological order, and streamlined with just enough information for you to discover the perfect shows for your very own musical tastes and moods.
You will hear your new favorite band at a local club during the Northside Festival this long weekend. That is our claim. Welcome to heaven.
How can we support such a statement? Start with an amazing set of bands (recommendations below). Add McCarren Park shows and some bookings in romantic backyard spaces, then include some distinctly easy-going and non-judgmental locals, i.e. you, fueling the scene.
Then remember how you rarely need to wait in line at Northside. Here are our favorite acts playing tomorrow.
Venue addresses can be found here, and also on the Northside Festival app, and shows are listed from first in time to the late show you will regret missing if you go to bed and have to hear about it from your friends.
In order to maximize coverage we’ve created a shorthand, where each band’s description is introduced by “If you want to. . .” [replaced by /X/ throughout the post] and finishes with the important details of “When and Where” [/WW/]. This way, you simply need to decide what it is you’re most in the mood for, and find the corresponding band. In addition, each /X/ also acts as a hyperlink that will take you straight to tracks from that band.
If you want to. . . [/X/]: Whip out your Walk On The Wild Side: Best of Lou Reed album, but you’re at the shore and wish that album’s bracing New York starkness was supplemented with some extra mindless rock guitar solos.
When and Where [/WW/]: 6:30 McCarren Park
Batala NYC Band
/X/ Get lost in Brazilian tropicana infectiousness while shuffling through Bar Matchless in a drum mob.
/WW/ 7 Bar Matchless
/X/ Hear Laura Cantrell-type pop sensibilities, and a similarly beautiful voice, but less folk-oriented: “I’m sick and tired of hearing about your band / I don’t care about who you think I am / I don’t care I don’t care.”
/WW/ 7:30 Alphaville
/X/ Mosh like it’s 1992 to a happy silly fast-car garage-rock beat.
/WW/ 8:15 Muchmore’s
/X/ Throw on your sunglasses and a slick suit and travel through a tunnel with images flashing like a strobe beam against the walls.
/WW/ 8:15 The Grand Victory (a/k/a Grand Vic)
/X/ Rediscover the serenity of a new love, waking up with the sun streaming through the window and someone beside you.
/WW/ 8:30 Cameo
/X/ Find the emotional and lyrical depth of Beth Orton‘s atmospheric compositions paired with pop dance rhythms.
/WW/ 9 Grand Vic
/X/ Have a straightforward folk “one man and a guitar” moment, in a melancholy universe first explored by Tim Hardin.
/WW/ 9 Union Pool
/X/ Swagger like Black Sabbath is oozing through your car speakers, after you just upgraded from a beat-up Black Sabbath era van to a mint classic convertible with an ice cream paint job.
/WW/ 9 Trash Bar
/X/ Get all dreamy by the riverside. “Don’t crash Mom’s car,” they lilt and advise.
/WW/ 9:15 Shea Stadium
/X/ Earn some cool quotient points. You are not going to get any earnest words or crowd-pleasing moments out of this band, but they are smart and real. This is what you expect to hear coming from the jukebox late at night in a bar on the far eastern corner of Greenpoint.
/WW/ 9:30 The Gutter
/X/ Enjoy hip-hop music without having to worry about lacking street cred. This guy is not faking a thug life, he’s singing about his own life, and it sounds tantalizing.
/WW/ 9:45 Grand Vic
/X/ Rediscover classic 80s chart-topping rock fun.
/WW/ 9:45 Trash Bar
/X/ Go from liking Afro-beat to loving it, or at least all of Kuti’s albums. You want to experience these energetic, bright compositions in a concert crowd.
/WW/ 10 Brooklyn Bowl
The Midnight Hollow
/X/ Get a sense of what this revitalized New Wave craze is all about. Sustained synthesizer chords are backed by a steady but still chill beat and a front man who sounds like he should be wearing black eyeliner.
/WW/ 10 Union Pool
/X/ Bounce around to classic Ramones garage punk.
/WW/ 10:30 Muchmore’s
/X/ Want to get away from melodic cuteness for a spell, and join a maelstrom of noise and chaos.
/WW/ 10:30 Grand Vic
/X/ Be entertained by basic tunes with witty lyrics, like that time you caught Jonathan Richman live.
/WW/ 10:45 Shea Stadium
/X/ Hear probably the best band playing tonight. Danceable on an album, they often rock out their joyous, strong lyrics live.
/WW/ 10:45 Shea Stadium
/X/ Have a laugh along with some grungy, sludgy sound. Your favorite Christmas song this year is available ahead of schedule if you just click on the /X/ above.
/WW/ 11 Palisades
/X/ Find someone who has the songwriting chops you always hope for when you see a folk singer standing solo with a guitar onstage. Bonus, she adds optimistic synth beats to some of her songs.
/WW/ 11 Pete’s Candy Store
/X/ Shout along with these Oi! Band punk veterans from Leeds. They are older and thankfully not wiser.
/WW/ 11 St. Vitus
/X/ Bump and grind on a Spanish Caribbean dancefloor.
/WW/ 12 Palisades
That’s the list for Thursday. Don’t forget to pace yourself, we’ve got three more nights of live music to come!