Places for live music on Long Island have what you’ve been craving

August Zeidman, Managing Editor

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Living on Long Island, it can often feel like we are overshadowed by the monolithic cultural phenomenon of New York City and all that it encompasses. Nevertheless, this is not to say that Nassau and Suffolk County, with their millions of residents and hundreds of miles, are at all lacking in that department. Yes, for those looking to absorb a little culture and see some musicians play their piece, share their story, and entertain your ears, look no further than the dozens of fantastic musical venues that LI has to offer.

Beginning right from the local scene, the Jeanne Rimsky Theater in the Landmark Building on Main Street is, in its own right, a fantastic theater with an extensive and impressive lineup every year.  The upcoming events includes a rich tapestry of both cover groups and original musicians. In March, catch some tributes to Cole Porter and the Gershwin Brothers, or the musical and theatrical performance of Piano Battle. Later in the year, catch the folk trio Red Molly or the roots rock Chris Robinson Brotherhood. All tickets are relatively cheap and go towards the noble cause of supporting long standing local cultural institutions.

For anyone who grew up in or around Port, there is always the memories of My Father’s Place, a legendary Roslyn music venue where hundreds of fantastic artists from all over the world performed from 1971 to 1987. Generations of young folks spent countless evenings having a blast in its walls and revelling in the beats of great music. Recently, the legend was revived in the newly renovated Roslyn Hotel and again the air of music and rhythm pulsates through the soul of Roslyn as it once did. More than the divey place it once was, the revived My Father’s Place offers itself as a full service supper club where you can get some delicious eats while seeing a show to make your month.

Of course, our neck of the woods doesn’t have a monopoly on the great venues of Long Island; headed further east or south, a beautiful array of options present themselves for an ardent musicophile. The Paramount Theater in downtown Huntington is a high capacity, high energy venue with hundreds of seats to accommodate a wide variety of acts. With a balcony and floor seats, there is no shortage of places to lose yourself in tunage when you see a show here, and the calendar of acts is far from empty.

It is also an incredibly adaptable theater, always able to provide itself as the best it can be for whatever artist is there. Texas singer Lyle Lovett has been a fairly regular act, returning about once a year, and the floor is a sea of nicely arrayed and comfortable seats. Contrast this to when Sabaton, the Swedish metal band played there last year and there were no chairs to be found, an ocean of bodies pounded to the music in an energetic and youthful display. Shows like this, as amazing as they are, are not rare at the Paramount and everyone should try to make an effort to get on their website, find an upcoming performance that looks interesting, and make the pilgrimage over.

Long Island is full of underutilized and overlooked places to spend a great evening and, if seeing music is your preferred method of cultural enrichment, then look no further than some of the richest musical scenes in America, nay, the world. We are lucky to live in the backyard of such a fantastic city, but that doesn’t mean we have to ignore the rich plethora of opportunities for entertainment here in our own little homestead of an island.

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