Alt 92.3 Open - Queens, NY - 6.23.19

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Alt 92.3 Summer Open with The Head and the Heart, Young The Giant, Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional, Fitz and the Tantrums and Smith and Thell

Forest Hills Stadium - June 23rd 2019

Words and Photos by Jess Williams

New York City’s premiere alternative radio station, Alt 92.3, set up shop at the iconic Queens, NY venue, Forest Hills Stadium last week for their inaugural Summer Open, two day festival. Bands from all genres of music would be performing throughout the weekend, local food vendors from throughout New York City set up shop in the courtyard and people from all over the surrounding areas turned out for the festivities, ringing in summer 2019 together. We were able to attend day 2 of the Summer Open and here’s what we thought.

The first band to kick off Day 2 was Swedish indie folk band, Smith & Thell. Before their performance I had never heard of them, but instantly their sound reminded me of a newer, fresher Of Monsters and Men. Their stage presence was captivating and filled with high energy and I couldn’t have picked a better band to get the party started.

When the sun reach its maximum height and the heat was at its peak, people began to really fill into the stadium for Fitz & the Tantrums. The band opened with their iconic single “HandClap” as well as “Out of My League.” I’ve been a fan of Fitz & the Tantrums for quite sometime, but this being my first time seeing them, I was truly blown away. Lead vocalist, Michael Fitzpatrick, was a blast to get to see perform live as he kept climbing on the amps in front of the stage in order to get closer to the crowd.

As an old school emo queen myself, I was most excited to see Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional do an acoustic performance on Sunday evening.As the main stages were getting set up and the setting sun dipped just below the top bleachers in the stadium, Carrabba graced the tiny platform in the middle of the GA floor of the stadium. He strapped on his iconic, beat up yellow guitar and played a handful of songs that got the crowd deep into their feels, including “Vindicated.”

Young the Giant are one of the indie powerhouse bands that consistently blow me away every single time I see them. Their music was at the top of my playlists all throughout high school, so getting to see them and photograph their performance was a real treat. The band graced the stage with lead vocalist, Sameer Gadhia, climbing atop a set of shiny, mirror like stairs. Young the Giant started their performance and everyone in the venue, band and fans alike, were on their feet grooving. The played songs both new and old including hits, “My Body”, “Cough Syrup” and “Apartment.”

The sun had set and the night sky was sinking in. Representatives from Alt 92.3 graced the stage just before the final band’s performance. They thanked fans in attendance and talked of promises to have another Summer Open event next year to ring in the 2020 summer. At 9:15pm on the dot, Washington based indie-folk band, The Head and The Heart took their positions across the stage. Their captivating performance was the ideal and best way to close out my first festival of the summer and when paired with a magical summer evening like Sunday’s, I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Alt 92.3 inaugural summer open was nothing short of a success. The lineup was stacked with talented bands, delicious food and fun activities from sponsors like Aperol Spritz, Illegal Mezcal and Heineken to name a few. I look forward to see what next years summer open will look like and can’t wait to check it out!