Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
When you are a local of 850 it is hard to know what to do for holiday weekends. Do you play tourist? Hole up until it passes? Generally with a little planning you can find a great time a little off the beaten path – and that is what my July 4th weekend came to be.
After a struggle deciding where to go – or not to go as the case was – I noticed that A200 was playing McGuires in Destin. The band has been on my “planning to see” list for a while, and I could kick myself for not seeing them sooner.
They are a fun group of guys hailing from Fort Myers, that can play any style of music you throw at them. For their originals (like the one in the video below) the lead vocal is Keith – with some really nice harmonies from the rest of the guys. However every guy in the band takes over lead for at least one cover song, as each member has a distinct vocal style that they use to the advantage of the group.
Their set-up was a little unusual – kind of half acoustic and half electric – because the McGuire’s stage area is a little on the small side. A200 knew how to make that work for them, stripping down some songs and introducing new arrangements to others.
When you’re a band that plays bars it is important to interact with the crowd, and have a good time. This is A200. They seemed happy to be a McGuires, had fun with some friendly pestering of a girl celebrating her 21st birthday, and let a guest vocalist and mandolin player in for a song. They listen for what the crowd likes, and respond to that – wanting to keep the crowd happy more-so than sticking to a set list of songs.
To all my metal friends out there – if you see A200 make sure to mention that you like hard rock and metal. Likely they will throw in a few extra tunes for you, and they can carry it off very well.
It is my hope that they continue to meld some of the metal vocal styles with their tunes. There is a great market out there for bands that can walk that line of making metal, hard rock, and rock radio fans happy – and A200 has the ability and talent to do just that.
They play pretty regularly in Pensacola and in Destin. I promise that if you go see them you are in for a good time.
Update March 2012: The band has parted ways with their lead singer Keith, moving forward with a new singer. Keith is going strong with an acostic project called K3 and forming a new band called The Clanton Gang.