Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
Better late than never, right? The beginning of April has been pretty incredible, which has made it a little hard to find the time to circle back and review March.
As always, thanks to all the bands, venues, and cool people who help keep life so interesting. See all my favorite photos from March in this flickr set.
Another great show at The Tank in Valparaiso. If you haven’t checked this place out yet, please do so.
Full review and interview with the Chuck Shaffer Picture Show here.
Fair Verona is a little bit of everything throw in a giant blender. Punk, indie rock, and metal influences make a set by this band unpredictable and a blast to watch.
I’ve praised Vantage Point before on this blog, and I swear that a full review is in the works.
What else can be said about The Helvetica Effect? With each performance they have a way of energizing and emotionally affecting an audience. To me that is one the highest praises that can be given to any band – that they have an emotional affect on the crowd.
Next up a visit to The Shed in Destin, which has gotten a fantastic remodel. Their outdoor space feels much more like an event area than it ever did before. With an upgraded sound system, a larger stage, and more lights, the Shed is making its claim as a full-blown, anything goes, music venue.
Who better to break in the new stage than the Velcro Pygmies? A self-proclaimed throw back to swagger styled rock ‘n roll.
I’ve been aware of the Pygmies for a long time, somewhere in the abyss of my old cassette tapes I even have a single by them called “Mona Lisa”. However, this was the first time that I’ve ever seen them – and they didn’t disappoint.
These fellas know how to rock, with this bigger than life, tongue in cheek bravado that not many bands would even attempt to pull off.
Wading out into the deepest depths of Spring Break along Thomas Drive in Panama City Beach to catch Holdcell at Ms Newby’s. Although we left home pretty early for a night out on the town, the traffic was more intense than expected so we only caught Holdcell’s last set, but what a set it was.
They can play a little bit of everything with a mixture of southern rock soul and hard rock supplying the bones of how they approach both covers and original songs. Not only were they a blast to listen to, but they were really nice guys. Going out their way to introduce themselves and thanking everyone for hanging out with them.
Anyone who reads this blog with any regularity knows that I am supporter of Sin Seven. So when they had a gig at Pineapple Willy’s in Panama City Beach, I had to get out there to show my support one of the nights. Plus, it was the very first night out with my brand new camera, and I knew they would make great guinea pigs.
Major appreciation to the way that Pineapple Willy’s handles Spring Break. It was beyond impressive from parking staff to personable wait-staff – they have found a way to handle Spring Break unlike any other place I’ve been to before.
Dog Spanin’ Monkeys is one of those band names you can’t help but notice. They are a reggae infused band with tons of personality. Playing a fun mix of danceable cover songs and originals Dog Spankin’ Monkeys (DSM for short) can take on just about any song and make it feel like it is their own.
After a couple sets it was time to pop in on Hotel Oscar at The Funky Blues Shack in Destin. It was a special night for the guys as they were recording tracks for a live album – which I am really excited about.
Once upon a time I knew every Dread Clampitt song, word for word. I worked in a business that sold their CDs and routinely played them over the sound system. Then I lost touch. I know they have continued to work on a plethora of releases, had some line-up changes, but I hadn’t seen them in nearly 10 years.
With that in mind, it was long over due to see the fellas in action and reconnect with a band that is deeply connected with the greater South Walton region.
Dread Clampitt has stayed true to their love of crafting original songs paying homage to Appalachian roots music. There is a warmth that permeates from the music – a feeling like returning home after being gone for far too long.
Then it was time to go a little further down the road to AJ’s to check in on 12 Sharp. Playing through an array of pop, rock, and even classic rock songs nothing is off limits for this group. They are pretty much the perfect party band, and I see lots and lots of club dates in their future.
When the opportunity arises, I love starting a night out with Panama Redd at the Time Out Saloon in St Andrews. It was even better because the band teased with a couple of the new orignal songs. A little birdie told me there are as many as nine songs in the works, and I am looking forward to hearing them all!
From there it was time to catch up with Top of the Orange at Spinnaker. I’ve said it many times over, but I can’t resist saying it again: When a band has a great time on stage, it pulls you into the experience and makes you feel like you are part of something undeniably special. Top of the Orange excels at that and so much more.
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