Cousins Tony and Matt Lovato grew up across the street from each other in the Blue Island section of the south side of Chicago and began playing together at seven, borrowing instruments from Tony’s father, with Tony picking up guitar and singing and Matt playing bass. In high school, they hooked up with guitarist Jeremiah Rangel and drummer Nick Gigler. Tony came up with the band name Mest while looking at a case of Milwaukee’s Best beer.
Playing in local Chicago punk clubs, the group self-released their debut album, Mo’ Money, Mo’ 40’z. They got their first real break when Tony wrote to Goldfinger lead singer John Feldmann and got a response. After listening to a demo tape, Feldmann agreed to let Mest open for Goldfinger, got them a record deal with Maverick, and produced their major-label debut, Wasting Time, which was released in July 2000. A year later, Mest returned with a cameo-filled (Young MC, Save Ferris’ Monique Powell) spiky-punk second album entitled Destination Unknown. A self-titled third album, which included a cameo from Good Charlotte’s Benji Madden, appeared in June 2003.
A lengthy stretch of Warped Tour dates followed, which led to exhaustion for Mest and back surgery for Tony Lovato in particular. But the band soldiered on, and in autumn 2005 they released their fourth effort for Maverick, Photographs. After ten years together, Mest called it quits in early 2006. They went out on an appropriately titled final tour, So Long and Thanx for the Booze, that February alongside Allisterand Scary Kids Scaring Kids. A brief reunion a few years later set the stage for the band to get back together, and they toured as well as releasing the 2013 album Not What You Expected. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
Formed in Providence, Rhode Island, MAKEOUT deliver high-energy fun pop-punk that plays to the back of the room. Original singer/guitarist Sam Boxold, guitarist Tyler Young, and drummer Scott Eckel landed a production deal with John Feldmann (blink-182, Good Charlotte) before rebranding themselves as MAKEOUT. Recording their debut album with Feldmann and, thanks to their producer’s connections, playing tour dates with their heroes, blink-182 followed by a stint on the Vans Warped Tour, their debut LP, The Good Life was met with rave reviews and garnered over 10 million streams. In January 2019, the band parted ways with Boxold but after an exhaustive search found a new frontman in Chicago based singer/songwriter, Kyle Dee. Adding bassist AJ Khah (ex-Sleep On It) they rounded out the new lineup and began work on their sophomore follow up due in 2020.
Keep Flying is a 6 piece band hailing from the Northeast USA. Punk rock with horns, thats right, horns. The band mixes a combination of sounds from emo to pop punk to punk adding a splash of saxophone & trombone to lead the march. Add in the vocal stylings with the transparent yet relatable lyrics and you’ve created something fresh and new. With a unique sound, honest songwriting, and an explosive live show, the band has been able to turn heads of fans and bands alike, touring and performing with such acts as The Bouncing Souls, Bowling For Soup, Real Friends, Reel Big Fish, State Champs, Four Year Strong, Less Than Jake, Big D and the Kids Table as well as multiple appearances on the Four Chord, Vans Warped Tour, SXSW, Great South Bay, So What?!, The FEST, and many more.
Don’t Panic is a Rock & Roll / Pop Punk band that formed in the Pocono Mountains in northeast Pennsylvania in 2019. Named after the Douglas Adams’ favorite novel of founding vocalist/guitarist Ted Felicetti, Don’t Panic began as an endeavor, where making genuine, fun rock and roll music came first and everything else second. Joining Ted were Keith Slader (bass), Anthony Paesano (drums) and AJ Larsen (guitar).
The band released their first full length effort ‘See Through It All‘ in 2020 and then a follow up full length with ‘Dark Horse‘ in Sept 2021 drawing off their collective influences from bands like Bayside, Millencolin, Foo Fighters, & No Use for a Name. Don’t Panic is currently in the studio recording what will be their third full length album after a very busy 2022 of touring.