Long Island has always resided in the shadow of New York City, particularly when it comes to where artists perform when they come to our area. Lucky for us, there are plenty of musicians who go beyond Manhattan when picking touring destinations.
Among the more unheralded venues is The Space at Westbury, which continues to up the ante in terms of the acts that have played at this converted theater that calls Post Avenue home. Performers who came around this year and stopped off in Westbury included The Mavericks, Ann Wilson of Heart, Pixies, The Flaming Lips, David Crosby and Lake Street Dive.
Landmark on Main Street in Port Washington didn’t disappoint either, serving as a host for Mavis Staples, Aimee Mann, Joan Osborne and Graham Nash.
Former Albertson resident and major league music promoter Mike Luba continued to add luster to Forest Hills Stadium, pulling together yet another top-notch slate of artists for the summer season that featured The xx, Chance the Rapper, My Morning Jacket, Sigur Ros, The Chainsmokers, Emmylou Harris, John Mellencamp, Gary Clark, Jr., The National, Hall & Oates, Tears for Fears and Tom Petty, who passed away two months later.
Long Island Weekly also got a chance to chat with some local legends. Manhasset’s LL Cool J became the first rapper to be recognized with a Kennedy Center Honor. Meanwhile, storied songwriter Jimmy Webb (who calls Bayville home), not only released his autobiography The Cake and the Rain: A Memoir, but was honored with an all-star tribute at Carnegie Hall that featured the likes of the Fifth Dimension, Dwight Yoakam, Toby Keith, Hanson, Nash, Johnny Rivers and Ashley Campbell (daughter of Webb’s dear friend Glen Campbell). Proceeds from the show went to the Alzheimer’s Association and the I’ll Be Me Foundation, in honor of Campbell, who passed three months later.
Corporate sponsor NYCB maintained a high profile, continuing to have its name attached to the former Westbury Music Fair, where the famous rotating stage was where concert-goers got to catch Johnny Mathis, The Last Waltz at 40 (featuring Don Was, Jamey Johnson, Michael McDonald and Warren Haynes), the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Gretchen Wilson, Stephen Stills and Judy Collins.
NYCB also had a hand in one of the biggest pieces of news: the renovation and relaunch of the New York Islanders’ old barn, which returned as NYCB Live: Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Its new incarnation was kicked off by an opening-night show featuring Long Island native Billy Joel. The remainder of the year saw a number of high-profile acts gracing the Coliseum stage including Syosset’s own Idina Menzel, Metallica, Stevie Nicks, Def Leppard, Bruno Mars, Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, Roger Waters, Bob Dylan, Jay-Z and legendary Beatles founding member Paul McCartney.
The Paramount in Huntington, recently heralded as one of the top music venues in the world, saw artists like David Bromberg, The Wallflowers, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Fuel, 311, Amos Lee, Los Lobos, Steve Earle, Bayside, Tesla, Jonny Lang, The Magpie Salute, The B-52s, Psychedelic Furs, Andy Grammer, Melissa Etheridge, Squeeze, plus many comedians.
And let us not forget the series of summer concerts at Northwell Health at Jones Beach, including Muse, Incubus, John Mayer, Goo Goo Dolls, Boston, Kings of Leon, Demi Lovato, Matchbox 20 Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crowe and dozens more.
It was a great year for music on Long Island. May 2018 be even better.