Thursday, September 2, 2010

Aspire, Inspire, Expire- the Last Show at the Cup and What it Means

The moment of clarity is upon me...
It is now that I realize...
I am awake
Where lies my fate...
- Moment of Clarity (Process of Fusion)

Sweaty, hot, humid, claustrophobic, a capacity crowd in too small of a room- emotions, love, tears, memories of some of the best days past.

It's where some got their start, and a place where some came to listen.

While still others dreamed of bigger things, and some to not be taken so serious.... This is the Cup.

Ten amazing, talented, frequenters of the Cup, set to close out the Cup in style with one more jolt of passion:

Misery Loves Company, Backslashes and Bad Ideas, Rise With the Fallen, Spread the Rumor, the Threads, Julius C, Process of Fusion, Every Night Drive, It's Not Over, and Through the Year.

This isn't a blog post necessarily about the show. I can honestly say that if you weren't there, the scene can not be described to you. This is more of my personal reaction to the night and a rallying call to my fellow bands or music lovers.

Every Night Drive's huge Crowd.
Photo Credit Alexa DeMaio

(Dedicated to everyone in a band that has ever played the Cup, and any fan who has paid money to see a few non-professionals play.) Thank You

This is the place that my band (and countless others) have called home. POF has only been playing the Cup for a little over two years, but in that time lasting friendships, bonds, and countless moments have been engraved in my memory.

I remember my first show at the Cup as I'm sure you do. I remember seeing the Corrao Q, Julius C, and another friend's band, Mophead. I was still drumming in my basement with Pat, and making crappy cassette recordings of terrible songs. "The Cup man, if we could just play the Cup, we'd be so legit." I remember feeling that way. It's not possible to be a band and not play the Cup, it's what you have to do. It's a funny thought, because many people couldn't stand it and are glad that it closed.

To me, that's irrational thinking. Where else could you get on a show so easily? You didn't have to sell tickets, you didn't have to travel to the city, and there was no pressure to perform. Have you ever been booed out of the Cup? Have you ever been told that you can not play your music there? No. The Cup was that perfect place to just show up and play. Anybody could do it, whether most talented or talentless. It gave you that shot, it gave you that chance to build a local fan base, and most importantly it gave us starving musicians a place to play.

I've played shows in many different places and I have fun looking back, but there is nothing that hits me quite like POF's Cd release show, or the power and emotion that was left on the stage by everyone the 31st.

Ten bands played on August 31st, and they left it all on stage. It was an actual opportunity to play like it was the last show of your life, and for some, maybe it was.

Yes, I understand the Cup closing could be a blessing in disguise, but at the same time you can never have it to fall back on. With the Cup being gone, the bands that "want it bad" will move on and find shows elsewhere. But it's very hard to get all your fans to travel to Jersey or Manhattan etc. That's the way music works though, go somewhere else and make new fans... it sounds so simple. Be prepared to start all over again. The last show at the Cup had about 200 people there (give or take). How's it going to feel going into some club and playing in front of five people?

Here comes the adjustment period, and the "good" bands will make it. The ones who are passionate enough to do whatever it takes, will make it, and that's awesome. Just don't forget where you came from. Don't forget the seemingly lazy promoting of a cup show that still insured about 40 to 50 people. Bands, it's time to work. Everyone thinks music is dead on Staten Island, the Cup being gone is another shot in the arm. But let's roll with the punches, let's do it together. Let's show Staten Island, we are here!

Me crowd surfing, it was awesome.
Photo Credit: Scott Vollweiler

Josh Cronopulos of Backslashes and Bad Ideas, smashed his guitar at the end of his set.
Photo Credit: Alexa DeMaio

We all have aspirations and dreams. We all want to achieve something great with our lives. For me personally, I want to leave my fingerprint on this world. I want to touch lives through music and give those same experiences back that I've felt listening to a favorite CD. Some aspire to be rich and famous, and that's fine. Just be sure to have a goal. Two of my musical dreams were to play the Cup, (got to do about 30 times or so) and put on a great show like Every Night Drive after I played with them for the first time. (Thanks E.N.D. for some motivation!)

Inspiration is a two way street. You can either be inspired or inspire something. Both of these things happened on the 31st. I was actually inspired by the amazing crowd. I felt the raw energy, I felt the need to step up, I felt important. I was so overwhelmed with happiness from the time "Misery Loves Company" played up until the end of "Every Night Drive" when I realized my "band heroes" where playing their last song. E.N.D. you guys have inspired almost every band and fan you've played in front of. Spread the Rumor, you ladies inspire other girls you play in front of and let them know it's okay to rock with the boys. Rose from my band and Kate from Rise with the Fallen, you girls too! Be a person of influence. When we finished our set someone told Dylan, that he inspired them to be a better guitar player. That's so cool.

All good things come to an end. The Cup is closed, deal with it, move on, but never forget all the good times. Be proud of everything you have ever accomplished in it. Someone at the show told me that we could be the next Every Night Drive. At first I was flattered, but now as I think about it I will disagree. I don't want to be Every Night Drive, I want to be Process of Fusion. I don't want to see another Through the Year, another It's Not Over, another Backslashes and Bad Ideas, I want everyone to be who they are as I'm sure they feel. The only thing I wish to take from Every Night Drive is the ability to inspire and humbly take people under their wings. The Cup has expired, E.N.D. has expired, what will you do?

I put the "Moment of Clarity" quote up top because it rang true for me last night. When I said "I got inspired by the crowd", it really happened. I had a moment where I knew that music is something I will do for the rest of my life. I have to, I must do it, and I won't stop until something happens. As I became choked up at the end of the night (I must admit, I cried) in thinking about all the wonderful people I have met because of the Cup. I thought about all the love that was in the room, and the sweaty hugs and handshakes. I thought about how we may never all be in the same room together again. I began to think that no matter how bad I want music to be my life, my life may not be music. That's life, and we'll see where it takes us all. So to the Cup, RIP. If you do open up again in a few months it won't be the same.

Thank you to everyone who came out on the 31st, thank you to Manny for putting together such a wonderful show and being a big brother to me. Thank you to every band I have ever had the privilege to share the stage with. And thank you to the countless friends and fans for their continued support of local music and for always making us musicians feel needed.

Manny of Every Night Drive, mastermind behind the whole night. Music won't be the same without you.
Photo Credit: Alexa DeMaio

If you share any different views on the night or would just like to share any memories you've had at the Cup please comment the blog. I may take a handful of the comments and make another story out of them. All of the bands mentioned above have Myspace and Facebook so look them up, you won't be disappointed. If you have any other thoughts, questions, blog ideas- email me at

Nick Cardona of Through the Year... only because he's banana's. Photo Credit: Alexa DeMaio


  1. hey guys, post memories of the Cup here.

  2. this was a great blog, justin. <3

  3. the photo of josh's guitar was taking by Alexa :p

  4. It was, but I also took one too. That was is mine! lol. Show your faces anonymous! hehe

  5. nvm anonymous, you're totally right about the pic, I took one but uploaded Alexa's instead. I will fix it!

  6. My favorite moment was at a show with Curious Volume the day after my birthday. Dno and Trotta from CV got me a cake and gave it to me halfway through their set.

  7. Dude that's pretty sweet! No pun intended lol.


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