MACRoCk Review: NYC Area Bands Head South To Rock Some Faces Off

Now that I’m finally putting my face back together… MACRoCk Recap!

Ava Luna

Originally hailling from Brooklyn, Ava Luna played the Dodger showcase to a packed room and I was lucky enough to catch up with them after their set. These funky ladies and gentleman recently finished a tour where they ventured to Chicago and back, playing tons of new songs along the way. They are currently working on a new record upstate, just outside of Binghamton. Felicia Douglass’ (vocals and synth) dad , Jimmy Douglass, (yeah four-time Grammy winner Jimmy Douglass!!!) is mixing the record. So we know it’s going to be epic.

Photo Credit: Matt "LilMatt" McKeon

Ava Luna-Photo Credit: Matt “LilMatt” McKeon

“Recording songs around the fire, it’s kind of beautiful” Carlos Hernandez (vocals and guitar) explains about the band’s writing process for the new record.

According to the band, their last record was very composed, processed, and intense and the new album will be way different. The record will be structurally more simple and represent a culmination of the group improvising together.

In Ethan Bassford’s (bass) words, they “plug in and just play.”

Ava Luna also played an after show at Mymansion where more ridiculousness ensued (see attached picture).

You can catch Ava Luna at the Booklyn Museum on April 18th and you can check out their tunes here. Keep a lookout for their new record and following national tour!


LVL UP (Purchase, NY) has actually played Harrisonburg prior to MACRoCk at a show at Mymansion, however, they had never heard of MACRoCk until their label, Double Double Whammy, mentioned the idea of playing it. And boy, are we glad they did! These dudes put on a killer show! I guess you could also say the set was a bit of a record release show too since their new 7’ Extra Worlds came out on the same day (a few days early, lucky us!).

Photo Credit: Lisa Brown

LVL UP-Photo Credit: Lisa Brown

They plan to tour Canada and the East Coast to support the record and have a simple answer to their MACRoCk goal:

“Hopefully they remember our name!” said Mike Caridi (guitar).

Solid answer for a band playing a festival with 75+ other acts.

You can take a listen to LVL UP and stream their new record here. Keep a lookout for their next show in NYC, cuz it’s not one you wanna miss!


Mike Caridi (guitar) of LVL UP is also in SIRS (Purchase, NY), another band with no knowledge of MACRoCk until recently. SIRS may not have known what was coming, but they maintain they had a blast! The group also hoped to have a memorable set at the festival so next time SIRS come through MACRoCk-goers’ respective towns they will be stoked and come check it out!

Photo Credit: Lisa Brown

SIRS-Photo Credit: Lisa Brown

SIRS are currently recording a new full length which will hopefully be out by next winter but in the meantime… BEER! Yeah, that’s right! SIRS will be playing a show in New Haven, CT at which they will release their very own band beer on April 26th. The beer is a cherry-wood, pomegranate infused IPA (sounds fancy eh?) named “SIRS: I.P.A For an Answer” and based on their own song “Eye for an Answer.” Cake Life Brewing Company will be producing the beer and hopefully making it taste great.

If you can’t make it to New Haven, have no fear! SIRS will be playing at Suburbia (one of my favorite DIY, NYC venues) in Brooklyn on April 27th (we can only hope they bring some of that beer down with them!)

As we wait for their new record you can check out their previous self-titled release here and check them live at Suburbia!

Old Wounds

Back in the old days I used to venue head the heavy showcases for MACRoCk so I was super stoked to be able to catch up with Brandon Gallagher (drums) of Old Wounds. Like many other bands they had never played nor been to MACRoCk before but did play a show in Harrisonburg prior to the festival.

Photo Credit: Lukas Hodge

Old Wounds-Photo Credit: Lukas Hodge

Their set at MACRoCk marked the band’s 38th day of tour to support their new record From Where We Came Is Where We’ll Rest. The tour also included eight days of setback due to a shitty transmission issue (booooooo), but thankfully, they made it to MACRoCk and Gallagher claims it was the best night of tour (win for little, old Harrisonburg!)! When it came to the festival itself, the band especially enjoyed the fact that so many venues with different showcases were so close by. This allowed not only for them to play the festival but also to check out other bands during their downtime.

You can take a listen here, see them live at The Acheron in Brooklyn, April 25th and look forward to a split with Trenchfoot due out in June. Old Wounds is also planning a tour with Trenchfoot to support the new record so there will be even more chances to check them out!

MACRoCk was a fantastic time as per usual. Whether you’re a fan of Converge or Elliott Smith (both of whom played in the past), MACRoCk has a little something for everyone. The ability to skip from a metal showcase to a folk band a block away is what makes the festival so special. I had a rad time catching up with the above dudes and dudettes and I can’t wait to see them the next time they play in NYC or even next year’s MACRoCk(?).

For those of you who may be interested in playing MACRoCk XVII the committee usually starts accepting band applications in the late fall!

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