Bands Worth Watching

Northern Faces

We’ve grown up with these guys. We all played in different pop-punk bands in high school and as time passes, it really becomes obvious who will stick it out with music and who will be the last men left standing. Bryan Shortell, Marco Testa, Matt Ippolito, and Mike Ryan are those dudes. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing these guys start to grow in popularity across the country. The songs are full of heart and passion and they’re one of the rare bands who can consistently make me feel something. Both Marco and Bryan are fantastic songwriters and lyricists, and their brand of blues-y yet indie-leaning alternative rock just keeps getting better. “Strange Place” is a new song they haven’t recorded yet and it’s my favorite right now.

Eastbound Jesus

You may not listen to them and immediately think rock ‘n’ roll, but Eastbound Jesus just might rock harder than any band in the Capital District right now. This band is pure, unadulterated fun. Country-leaning, boot-stomping, dance-inducing tunes lend themselves to a fantastically beer-soaked show. I’m fairly certain they hold the record for most cases of PBR sold during a club show in the 518 area code, which is a very specific but also very coveted honor. People come to see this band play and they come to party. Sprinkle in a mix of some of the nicest guys ever made and you have yourself a recipe for fun and friendship.


How this band isn’t huge yet, I don’t know. One of the tightest bands I’ve ever seen, these guys and gals mix everything I love about music. One of the most energetic and talented groups of people around, they meld hip-hop, rock, and plenty of soul into one completely badass unit. I ALMOST hate to play shows with them because their drummer Stephen Struss and bassist Kate Sgroi have a knack for making all other rhythm sections look like tiny little babies who’ve never played instruments before. It’s amazing, and this entire group is something that must be seen live to truly be understood.


Ya know those people that when you first meet them, you just know you’re gonna be friends for a long time? That’s how I felt about Mark and Derek from Titanics when we first met them, and we haven’t stopped being ridiculous and playing shows together since. An electronic-leaning duo, the two are some of the most creative and inspired people I’ve ever met, and they are that band in town that just keeps getting better and better. Every song they put out is better than the last, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.

Next page: Venues Of Note and Post-Show Hangs