New festivals always come with a series of expectations and speculation and this year’s inaugural Adjacent Festival was certainly abuzz with much anticipation and excitement. With a lineup spanning several genres from punk, indie-rock, hardcore, alternative and more, there certainly seemed to be something for everyone. Each day boasted plenty of highlights and memorable sets from both well-known headlining acts and equally impressive smaller acts. Let’s take a dive into both exhilarating days of the Adjacent Festival.
The Linda Lindas
Day 1 got off to a solid start as local Asbury Park band Well-Wisher kicked things off at the Main Stage. The band delivered a short, yet undeniably impressive set that more than showcased their immense growth in the past year. It was also a treat to see an amazing local Jersey band represented. Following them were the rising punk band The Linda Lindas, whose fierce and joyous performance showed that the teenagers more than have the musical chops and presence to be considered a worthy talent. Their set was also blessed by a surprise appearance from legendary Go-Go’s drummer Gina Shlock.
The Main Stage was also graced with a hilarious and electrifying performance from Ska favorite Jeff Rosenstock whose high-energy and interactive performance was an absolute delight to watch. He resonated greatly with the crowd, winning over fans both new and established in the process. Up next was indie-rock band Beach Bunny whose set was charming and full of their signature personality and energy. Over at the Boot and Thimble stage, Philly rock band Mannequin Pussy reminded everyone why they’re a can’t miss act, delivering a powerhouse performance with an absolutely captivating set that was definitely a highlight. NJ favorites The Happy Fits effortlessly won the crowd over at the Thimble stage with their vibrant and upbeat performance, illustrating once again why they’re one of the most consistently entertaining and live acts right now. Back at the Boot Stage, the NJ representation carried on with an absolutely incredible set from local favorites Thursday. Geoff Ricky’s physical performance once again reminded audiences of the band’s vital intensity and magnetic presence.
The Happy Fits
Back at the Main Stage, Jimmy Eat World delivered a passionate and powerful performance highlighting their staying power with a nostalgic setlist that seamlessly balanced both newer material and fan favorites. Following them was Jersey favorites Bleachers led by frontman Jack Antonoff whose exuberant and high-energy set was an absolute blast from start to finish. The set was full of crowd-pleasing moments. Closing out Day 1 were Paramore whose reputation as one of the most accomplished and iconic bands of all time was firmly cemented that night. Hayley Williams gave an all-out performance that reminded audiences why she’s endured as one of the most iconic front woman of all time. Their setlist masterfully balanced their new record This is Why along with fan favorite tracks “That’s What You Get”, “Ain’t It Fun”, and “Decode”. In a day jam-packed with incredible talent Paramore’s set was an absolute showstopper and more than proved their well-deserved headliner status.
Royal & The Serpent
Day 2 was equally filled with top-shelf talent with plenty of NJ talent being represented up front with a high-energy and vibrant performance from Midtown, whose cult following has only increased in recent years. Frontman Gabe Saporta’s physical performance was endlessly entertaining to watch and a great kickoff to the day. Waterparks followed them on the Main Stage and their bouncy and exuberant set thrilled their many fans thanks to frontman Austin Knight’s genuine stage presence. The NJ representation continued at the thimble stage with rising Alt-rock band Royal & The Serpent whose unique stage presence and anthemic songs resonated strongly with the audience and showcased an immense amount of potential. Over at the Boot Stage, emo supergroup L.S. Dunes consisting of icons of the genre Anthony Green and Frank Iero was arguably one of the strongest sets of the entire festival. Green dove headfirst into the crowd and let loose with a no-holds barred performance that dazzled from start to end.
The Front Bottoms
Things mellowed out a bit over at the Main Stage with indie-darlings Japanese Breakfast whose whimsical stage presence and lively stage interactions were utterly delightful. Michelle Zauner has such a tight-knit musical chemistry with her backing band that was purely enchanting and highlighted her immense musical growth in the process, one of the most utterly satisfying live experiences of the festival. The Front Bottoms are always a crowd favorite and this day was no different with many fans as usual singing every word at the top of their lungs. Rounding out the Main Stage were white-hot talent Turnstile whose blend of hardcore and genre-defying sounds has made them a household name. Their set was typically exhilarating with frontman Brendan Yates leaving it all out there on stage and each member brought their own signature flair and energy. Their setlist powered through plenty of fan favorites and recent material from their latest record Glow On. Overall, Turnstile once again proved they’re one of the most exciting and dynamic live acts around.
Closing out the night, headliners Blink-182 delivered a triumphant comeback set with all three
original members. Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Tom Delonge brought out more than enough classic cuts including “All The Small Things”, “What’s My Age Again”, and “I Miss You” to satisfy fans. Each member was clearly having a blast and frontman Mark Hoppus was genuinely grateful to be back on stage. Tom Delonge fit effortlessly right back into the fold and even got a chance to incorporate some of his solo material into the setlist as well. Thanks to their innate chemistry and boundless energy, Blink-182’s set was an utter triumph.
Overall Adjacent Festival’s inaugural year was an exciting and diverse showcase of genres that successfully delivered plenty of exciting acts both established and new. Hopefully we’ll get to do it all over again next year!
Day 1 Gallery
Day 2 Gallery
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