Skip to Main Content
MAD DOG PRESENTS
Use tab to navigate through the menu items.
NYC Craft Beer Festival
Since 2012, the New York City Craft Beer Festival has been delighting craft beer lovers and connoisseurs alike.
The festival brings live music, DJ's, and the best craft beers of the season to the forefront two times a year. The Spring Seasonal and the Fall Seasonal are carefully curated to showcase the greatest selection of craft beers available!
Dave Matthews Caravan
Dave Matthews Band bring their Caravan Tour to NYC's Governors Island before Hurricane Irene hits
by Aly Semigran
Categories: Dave Matthews Band, Festivals
The looming threat of Hurricane Irene caused unprecedented evacuations and mass transit shutdowns in New York City, but it wasn’t enough to scare off Dave Matthews Band’s most devoted fans from hopping on boats and heading to Governors Island to take in part their leg of the band’s Caravan Tour. NYC precautions and a summer of weather-related stage collapses be damned, the show was going on.
While DMB, along with a bevy of supporting acts scheduled for the NYC Caravan stop, were slated to play for three days at the island, the impending storm put a halt to Saturday and Sunday’s shows. That meant ticket holders who were hoping to see DMB and other bands like The Roots, Gogol Bordello, Dispatch, The Head and the Heart, and Robert Randolph & the Family Band would have to hope for it to be rescheduled or use their weekend tickets to attend Friday’s show. Which, from the looks of jam-packed boats and a crowd as far as the eye, they most certainly did.
In a festival-like setting (complete with patches of mud, prime for sliding and hippie dancing in), opening bands such as Soulive, Citizen Cope, and O.A.R. split sets between two massive stages. But, by 8:20 p.m., when Dave Matthews Band hit the main stage (named “The Hudson”), the thousands of fans who opted to face-off against Mother Nature on an island that sits 800 yards from downtown Manhattan, gathered together to watch them.
Entering the stage, which was illuminated and enveloped by blue lights and faux fog (though the balmy, summer air could have just as easily caused it), DMB kicked their set off with their standard opener, the dramatic, rollicking “Don’t Drink the Water.” The singalong-friendly tune peaked in participation when Matthews infused “This Land Is Your Land” (“To the New York island”….Hey, that’s where we are!) After the song, Matthews told the crowd that he and his band members “love New York” and together we would all “ride out the storm.” Concertgoers responded with cheers and a chant of “F— Irene.”
The set moved along with the haunting “Squirm” and fan favorite “Grey Street.” The unreleased “Shotgun,” which only continues to grow and and get better on the road (here’s to hoping the band opts to put it on their next album) was followed up by a jammed-out version of the scarily aptly titled “You Might Die Trying,” considering that was a scenario for fans who traveled from out-of-town to make it to the Caravan. (“I hope it wasn’t a pain in the ass getting here,” said Matthews before beginning the song.)
“Stay or Leave,” a track from Matthews’ solo album that has become a touring mainstay with his band mates in recent years was followed by the trippy “Spaceman.” On “Spaceman,” trumpet player Rashawn Ross, whose physical size has dwindled, while his talents have done anything but, gave a spirited, stand-out solo. Ross didn’t get to soak in the spotlight long, however, as his stage left partner, Jeff Coffin, played two saxophones at the same time for “Jimi Thing” (Kudos to the Coffin look-a-like in crowd who played along and got on the big screen. You rocked.)
“Jimi” (which ended with a few choice verses from Prince’s “Sexy MF”) helped shift the show, which until that point felt surprisingly standard and somewhat subdued considering the mood of the crowd was “Screw this weather, we’re here to rock,” to a new gear. The mood stayed that way when DMB classic “Too Much” made way for the danceable “Shake Me Like a Monkey.” The rest of the set effortlessly flowed with a Matthews piano solo (“Lying in the Hands of God”), fan favorites (“Crush,” “Granny,” “Funny the Way It Is”), newbies (the Peter Gabriel-esque “Black Jack”), and covers (Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times,” a true high point of the show, and the expected “All Along the Watchtower”, which closed out the set.)
The hurricane may not have been in the area yet for Friday night’s show, but its presence was felt throughout. From the disappointment that the long-anticipated weekend was going to be cut short (Matthews, however, promised fans “We’ll make it up to you” and they’d try and get all the bands from the Caravan back on board for a possible rescheduled show) to the muggy air, Irene was definitely making herself known with New York. In the spirit of the evening, the front man kicked off the encore with a mood-setting cover of Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane.”
Matthews’ band mates re-joined him for the rest of the encore, which wrapped with the energetic, climatic “Time Bomb” and the endlessly enjoyable “Two Step.” While the show didn’t really have the opportunity to stand out among other set lists and stage energy from the Caravan Tour shows that had a chance to have a variety of material (Atlantic City’s shows were arguably the most memorable and unpredictable) the band did everything in their power to try and make the most of their shortened stint. From Matthews’ “Dave dancing” (which most resembled a marionette last night) and sharing anecdotes (he kidded that during last week’s earthquake he, despite warnings to otherwise, “ran the f— out the house” with his children under each arm) to the efforts of his band mates (bassist Stefan Lessard’s solos during “Crush” and “Watchtower” would have blown the roof off the place, had there been one) it was a welcome refuge from these dark and stormy times.
Dark Star Orchestra at Rock Hops
Performing to critical acclaim worldwide for over 13 years and more than 1800 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead concert experience. Their shows are built off the Dead’s extensive catalog and the talent of these 7 fine musicians. On any given night the band will perform a show based on a set list from the Grateful Dead's 30 years of extensive touring or use their catalog to program a unique set list for the show. This allows fans both young and old to share in the experience. By recreating set lists from the past, and by developing their own sets of Dead songs, Dark Star Orchestra offers a continually evolving artistic outlet within this musical canon. Honoring both the band and the fans, Dark Star Orchestra’s members seek out the unique style and sound of each era while simultaneously offering their own informed improvisations.
Dark Star Orchestra offers much more than the sound of the Grateful Dead, they truly encapsulate the energy and the experience. It's about a sense of familiarity. It's about a feeling that grabs listeners and takes over. It's about a contagious energy, ... in short, it's about the complete experience and consistent quality show that the fan receives when attending a Dark Star Orchestra show.
Dark Star Orchestra has performed throughout the United States and Europe. They continue to grow their fan base by playing at larger venues for two and even three nightstands as well as performing at major music festivals including Bonnaroo, All Good Festival, Gathering of the Vibes, Mountain Jam, Summer Camp, Wakarusa and 10,000 Lakes. In addition, Dark Star Orchestra hosts its own annual gathering, Gratefulfest, where they headline three nights and are joined by a mix of established and up and coming national touring acts.
Fans and critics haven’t been the only people caught up in the spirit of a Dark Star show. The band has featured guest performances from original Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux-Mackay, Vince Welnick, Tom Constanten and even toured with longtime Dead soundman, Dan Healy. Other notable guests have included Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of Phish, Keller Williams, Warren Haynes, Steve Kimock, Peter Rowan, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and many more…
"For us it's a chance to recreate some of the magic that was created for us over the years," rhythm guitarist and vocalist Rob Eaton explains. "We offer a sort of a historical perspective at what it might have been like to go to a show in 1985, 1978 or whenever. Even for Deadheads who can say they've been to a hundred shows in the 90s, we offer something they never got to see live."
"… I can close my eyes and go back 30 years and have it be every bit as rewarding and satisfying. Dark Star is an amazingly legitimate representation of the Dead." Dan Healy, Grateful Dead sound engineer 1966 -1994
"Channeling the Dead"
"Playing with Dark Star Orchestra is something that feels just exactly like it felt when I was playing with the Grateful Dead."
Donna Jean Godchaux-McKay, Grateful Dead vocalist 1972 - 1979
“The Dark Star Orchestra re-creates Grateful Dead shows with a flashback-inducing meticulousness.”
The New Yorker
"Fanatical attention to detail."
"In fact, Dark Star Orchestra often sounds more like the Dead than the Dead sometimes did..."
Governors Ball Music Festival
The inaugural Governors Ball Music Festival, a Founders Entertainment event, produced by Mad Dog Presents was a one day summer festival that took place June 18th, 2011 on Governors Island. Governors Island is located just seven minutes by ferry off the southern tip of Manhattan, and the action packed festival featured two stages of non-stop live music, no overlapping sets, interactive art installations, a World Series of Beer Pong Satellite Tournament, summer sports (e.g. basketball and volleyball), a dance competition and dozens of specialty vendors offering food, beer, merchandise, etc. The surplus of entertainment options, amazing weather, and smooth production led to an overwhelming success for The Governors Ball in 2011. Heralded as "the perfect one-day festival" (Rum-Bum) in only its first year, the future looks unusually bright for New York City's hottest up-and-coming summer party.
Live music performed by Pretty Lights, Girl Talk, Empire of the Sun, Big Boi (Outkast), Neon Indian, People Under the Stairs, Mac Miller, Miami Horror, Das Racist, Passion Pit, Outasight, and Reptar.
Art installations created by Jmmy Huehnle, Sofia Maldonado, R. Nick Kuszyk, Airspace, Daniel Patrick Helmstetter, Ibrahim Ahmed III, Christine Wagner, Ryan Higgins, Joshua Knoblick, Hannah Craft, Brooklyn Treasury, and XAM.
A portion of proceeds from the event benefited Music Unites, a New York based non-profit organization dedicated to bringing music education and programs to under-served communities. Governors Ball and Founders Entertainment were honored to have Music Unites as the 2011 official charity partner. It was an honor to contribute to such a worthy cause that gives back to the community through the power of music. For more info or to make a donation visit http://musicunites.org.
Mad Dog Presents is proud to be the Producers of the inaugural Governors Ball Music Festival, and we look forward to producing many more spectacular events across the country with Founders Entertainment.
Rock The Bells
The New York Times called the 2010 Rock the Bells “Hip-Hop History, Recreated by Those Who Made It.”
Rock The Bells brought 18,000 people to Governors Island’s South Field to see Snoop Dog, WuTang Clan, Tribe Called Quest, KRS-1, Rakim & Slick Rick and Miss Lauryn Hill. The VIP Section included Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Beyonce, and John Legend.
This was a night to remember, but Mad Dog Presents topped this NYC Rock the Bells debut by producing the return of the 2011 Rock The Bells on September 3rd in South Island Field, Governors Island. A Review by Austin Trunick from Consequence of Sound follows below.
Rock the Bells, the annual, traveling hip-hop festival, has entered its eighth year. Following up a lauded 2010 series that boasted Snoop Dogg performing Doggystyle and A Tribe Called Quest reuniting for Midnight Marauders, among others, this year’s four-city, month-long concert series takes that concept a step further. At least 11 acts (varying slightly by date) have performed their classic albums on this year’s tour, largely representing an era of hip-hop that took place from the years 1993 to 1998.
Consequence of Sound was on hand for the New York leg of the festival series, where the action played out across two main stages. The larger Rock the Bells Stage hosted hip-hop legends and modern R&B greats from Nas and Black Star to Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu. The 36 Chambers Stage was home to numerous Wu-Tang Clan affiliates from GZA to Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, as well as other iconic East Coast hip-hop acts including Mobb Deep and Black Moon. Side stages included the Paid Dues stage, which put the spotlight on underground and up-and-coming acts such as Big K.R.I.T. and Immortal Technique, and the Grindtime stage, which hosted DJ performances.
Governors Island provided an ideal spot, merely a 10-minute boat ride from Battery Park, although attendees had to deal with hour-long ferry lines on the Manhattan side. Still, thousands of NYC-area music fans found themselves in a festival-sized venue within the city limits, catching some of the 90′s biggest names in hip-hop flash back to their most classic cuts. Even though Rock the Bells is making stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston, New York City is where many of these artists call home, and so the entire day seemed to celebrate just how special New York hip-hop was in the mid-late ’90s and how important it continues to be.
Bassnectar leads the charge on "Bass Island" at South Island Field on Governors Island on August 13th. The show was Bassnectar's only stop in NYC for the remainder of 2011 and was "part one in a spell-binding trilogy of music, art, and culture" that aims to "create a unique world to explore, beyond the realms of a normal concert experience". Word.
The full lineup of artists featured for this joyous island celebration of music & love included Lupe Fiasco, Z-Trip,Prefuse 73, Virtual Boy, Dave Nada and Joro Boro, and more!
Lupe Fiasco - Bass Island
Wide - Bass Island
Love of Bass
Mad Dog Presents is thrilled to work once again with the Pacha Group, and Rob Fernandez & Benny Soto to bring THE DANCE.HERE.NOW. FESTIVAL to The Beach @ Governors Island.
THE DANCE.HERE.NOW. FESTIVAL
New York - You have your common sense reasons: It won’t be over 100 degrees; you’ll avoid spending half of the weekend stuck in traffic; you’ll get to fire up the grill.
Now, the Dance.Here.Now. crew, in association with Pacha New York, Massive Event, Glo Fridays, and Cielo, is giving that devil on your shoulder his own motive for staying put in New York this July 4th weekend.
The DANCE.HERE.NOW. FESTIVAL is taking over Governor’s Island for an unforgettable four days and nights of epic parties with the world’s top DJs, with a sonic and visual onslaught by festival specialists AG Light & Sound.
From trance to glitch, big beat to electro-house, the roster features a huge span of styles and talents, all uniting under the blue skies of downtown NYC in a first-of-its-kind open-air festival in a historic venue.
No rushing from stage to stage to catch 30 minutes of your favorite act: DHN is dedicating entire days/nights to individual talents and their hand-picked support staffs. With big names like this, the DHN crew couldn’t imagine doing anything different. You may buy tickets, here.
- Friday July 1: Paul van Dyk exclusive 6-hour set
Creating the right atmosphere has always been a major part of presentation at a Paul van Dyk (PvD) show, and for his appearance at Dance.Here.Now, festival-goers will get to experience selections from EVOLUTION—his new artist album in the works for release later this year enhanced by its complementing live show he debuted this past April at Coachella.
- Saturday July 2: Fatboy Slim along with James Zabiela and Sleepy & Boo
You’re not from Brighton! The king of big beat, Fatboy Slim returns to New York to replicate the seaside feel of his original UK beachfront parties (which drew over 250,000 people at a time!) at Governor’s Island. Joining him is the ever-inventive James Zabiela, who has taken to spinning with an iPad. You need to see it to believe it.
- Sunday July 3: Benny Benassi & Laidback Luke
Already familiar with how to rock Governor’s Island (the New York Times raved the last time he took the decks at Water Taxi Beach last summer), Benny Benassi returns. This time he’s joined on the bill by Laidback Luke, mastermind of that chunky, funky, electro-rocking sound. This mutually-admiring pair will inevitably drop their latest bombs: Benny, with selections from his new album Electroman including his destined-for-classic-status new anthem, “Cinema” and the irresistible “Beautiful People” featuring Chris Brown. Luke, his tornado-powered “Turbulence” with Lil’ Jon and Steve Aoki). Opening set by JDH and Dave P.
- Monday July 4: Victor Calderone in association with Cielo w/ guests Nicole Moudaber & Nicolas Matar
Victor’s making a new July 4th tradition! For the second year in a row, New York’s favorite son in celebrating the patriotic holiday on Governor’s Island. Join him for an inspiring set of drums, bass and rhythm under the watchful eye of Lady Liberty.
DANCE.HERE.NOW. was founded by Rob Fernandez and Benny Soto, two veteran NYC promoters who were usually associated with different scenes: Rob, the big-room and after-hours crowd, and Benny, the dedicated deep house crew. But the two friends were united by a shared belief that no matter the trend, the audience, the time, or the venue, the most important thing was always the same: the music.
As a regular Thursday nighter at Cielo in New York, a beachfront part at Long Island City’s Water Taxi Beach, and numerous other incarnations, DHN has become a beloved staple of the New York party scene.
ABOUT GOVERNORS ISLAND
For almost two centuries, Governors Island was a military base, home to the US Army and Coast Guard. It was closed in 1996 due to changing operational needs. But New York political leaders recognized the historic venue’s potential, and in 2003 the federal government sold most of the Island to the people of New York for one dollar.
The 172-acre Island is about 22 city-blocks long from tip to tip. The northern 92 acres of the Island are the Governors Island Historic District, and are open to the public for picnics, tours, concerts, car-free biking, and more. The 2.2 mile Promenade and Picnic Point are also open to the public.
PACHA NEW YORK is the much-lauded North American outpost of the fabled Pacha nightlife brand. Since opened by co-owners Eddie Dean and Erick Morillo in 2005, the four-level club has become THE place for any visiting DJ worth his salt to play in the Big Apple. With visits from David Guetta, the Black Eyed Peas, and the Swedish House Mafia, Pacha is dance music’s home in NYC.
Mad Dog Presents is a full-service, event production company, specializing in creating amazing live events with A-List musical talent for corporations, sponsors, VIP's, and our concert fans. Mad Dog Presents are the producers Of Governors Ball Music Festival, Rock the Bells, and The Dave Matthews Band Caravan on Governors Island.
MASSIVE EVENT is a New York-based production company that hosts electronic music events in some of the finest clubs New York City has to offer. The artist-friendly company prides itself on pushing the boundaries of promotion, production, and execution for each and every event.
GLO FRIDAYS has brought world-class dance music to Long Island. Every Friday night, the party hosts another internationally renowned DJ at state-of-the-art nightclub Glo. The suburbs will never be the same.
CIELO is a multi-award-winning nightclub in New York’s Meatpacking District. The inventively designed is beloved throughout the world for its dancefloor-centric layout, internationally renowned system, and primary focus on music.
AG LIGHT & SOUND is a New York-based production company that specializes in epic events. Since 1998, the team has supplied lighting, sound and video equipment for the top dance festivals in the country, like Ultra Music Festival and Nocturnal. Using a combination of high-quality Italian lighting fixtures, state-of-the-art video screens, lasers, fog and effects machines, color-changing LEDs, and custom-fabricated staging, AG turns giant empty tents into pulsating supersized temporary nightclubs.
Mad Dog Presents teamed up with City officials and the Parks Dept. to produce an exciting series of outdoors shows.
Out of gallery