Block x Blog - Revolution Live, Green Room, America's Backyard, Fort Lauderdale - April 20
Real talk: The south Florida music scene is changing.
Influences are being muddled -- those playing to a specific genre these days are likely to fall to the wayside, and while it's never easy to coordinate even a handful of bands for one show, Block x Blog soared over the weekend by hosting thirty genre-bending bands over three stages in support of Record Store Day 2013. Though it wasn't exempt from a few hitches, Block x Blog brought together the most creative and diverse group of musicians yet this year. With Holy Ghost! as headliners and (much needed) reinforcement like Jacuzzi Boys, PLAINS, Suede Dudes, Killmama, and Gaps, it was going to take a bit more than a few late starts to scare us away.
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While the rest of Black Locust Society was dominating the stage at America's Backyard, Gaps found his way to the Revolution stage, where his tracks were hitting the bass so hard stage props were coming apart. If you weren't careful, you'd find yourself vibrating right out of your shoes. The youngest member of BLS, Gaps is articulate and well versed, fortifying his set with tracks produced by Mike Astrea (of trip-hoppers Astrea Corp--currently in the process of recording their next record). Though the stage at Revolution isn't the biggest stage ever, it can be daunting for just one man. But Gaps had a grip and with his stage presence was able to fill the stage and the room with his sound.
At some point, the event seemed to be running about forty minutes behind, leaving some confusion about who was playing at any time. Then suddenly, sets were cut short, like in the instance of Killmama, in order to save time and get things back on schedule. When Block x Blog happens again next year, the half-hour set times would be a solid contender on the docket for review. Thirty minutes is about how long it takes for a band of four to five members to comfortably set up (optimistically, with no distractions, 15 minutes can also be considered average). With distractions, dim lights, and other band equipment in the way, it didn't seem easy for some of these bands to set up, play long enough to find a groove, wind down, and then pack up. The whole evening seemed a bit rushed when it didn't really have to be.
As an example, if each band has 15 minutes to set up and a half hour to play, that leaves audience members time to go check out another band while that one sets up. If the time slots are staggered well enough, a lead could be achieved in which a ticket holder to the event could definitely catch at least one or two songs from every band. The annual All Good Festival is a shining example of this -- no two sets ever overlap.
Next up was PLAINS on the Revolution stage, whose set was also cut short in anticipation for Holy Ghost!, the designated headliner for the evening. Releasing a 7" in honor of Record Store Day, PLAINS approached their set with no nonsense. The sound was clean, the songs were structured and in our opinion, the event could have benefitted from another song or two from them. If the rest of the line up could be rushed off stage to find time for Holy Ghost!, Holy Ghost! could have sacrificed some time for our local heat as well.