Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
When I put together the giant list of everything that I did in 2011 – I was struck by the sheer size of the list and just how many experiences, places, and bands I never formally posted a review for. To solve that, I’m going to introduce a monthly overview post.
So without going into boring details of how I plan to do this, let’s just do it.
Introducing: January 2012 – An 850 Music Month in Review
(I think it is necessary to cheat a little in this review, by going just outside of January to the very end of December…)
December 30th: Went to the Tank in Valparaiso for the benefit of a loved member of the community who had recently passed under tragic circumstances. I personally never met him, but I kind of left that night feeling like I had. It was a beautiful mixture of grieve and joy to witness. Three bands played, two of which I’ve never seen before. For Shame is a powerful metal / hard rock band. They flat out exceeded my expectations. Dismystic played next. They alternate between multiple genres, carving out a signature sound in their original songs, and melding it all together. The Helvetica Effect closed out the night with what can only be described as the most emotional set I have ever had the privilege of seeing.
There merely aren’t words to express what that show felt like. It was a really special night, and I feel honored to have been there to experience it.
December 31st:You have to get out and do something fun to ring in the New Year right?!
Started the night at Pier Park in Panama City Beach. Got there just as Almost There was wrapping up their set with a blues inspired tune. These are some talented young guys.
Waited around and made it to the front of the barricade for Ryan Star’s set. He didn’t bring a full band with him, so it was a stripped down performance with him and a super talented young lady. He put on a heck of a high energy set, and I had forgotten just what a fantastic belter he is.
Stayed for a couple songs from Sarah Darling, a young country star in the making.
As I was leaving the stage area, happened to notice that Ryan Star was at the side, talking to fans and signing some autographs. I grabbed a quick hug and thanked him for making it to PCB.
With the night still young, I headed off to Foghorn’s to ring in the New Year with Sticky Tea. It was a lovely way to say goodbye to 2011 and spend the first moments of 2012; at a great local’s bar, with a great local band, and lots of familiar faces.
January 10th: Did something that I never thought I would be able to do; see BB King in Panama City. It was a wonderful night at the Mariana Civic Center. BB was as warm, funny, and talented as ever.
He spent the night playing some great blues tunes and talking to the audience. At times it was easy to forget that you were in this beautiful space and feel like it was just you and BB sitting on a porch somewhere talking about the way things were.
WIth a talented supporting band, it was a night to remember, and a night I’ll never forget.
I was a little too far back to get a decent photo, but this lovely photo from Chris Peterson kind of says it all.
January 20th: Some nights you just need to be everywhere at once!
Starting out the night visiting with Panama Redd at the Time Out Sports Bar in Saint Andrews (a great place to grab an affordable and tasty bite to eat). Panama Redd has officially added Matt, of DeadRingers Guild and formally of Modern Primitive, to the line-up on bass.
It was a relaxed place to kick back, listen to some talented local musicians, and stuff my face with yummy fried pickles.
A quick walk around the corner brought me to Sus (of Sticky Tea) doing a solo blues show at the Purple Grape. It should be illegal for one person to have that much talent.
After a fun and wildly varying set, it was time to check out Another Hero at Club Lavela. A high energy rock group that pulls from a wide variety of cover songs. They have a new young guitarist that has a lot of potential as a giant stage presence as he gets some more shows under his belt.
January 27th: Local band on a big stage.
It is a big deal when your band is invited to play at Club Lavela, it is a marvel when you are a local band that gets asked to play Lavela. For that reason alone it was downright necessary to hang out with Sin Seven as they played Lavela’s rock arena.
It was a lot of fun to watch those local boys work the stage, and I hope that they get invited back soon.
January 31st: Ending the month with some beautiful doom. I’ve done a review before for Sons of Tonatiuh, and still stand by every word of it.
Thank you for everyone who visited, commented, and shared the blog this month. January marks the one year anniversary of the blog and thank you for making this the most active month on the blog yet!