Coral Skies Festival - Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach - October 26, 2014

Categories: Concert Review

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Christina Mendenhall

It was a day where you couldn't ask for better weather. Among a medley of food trucks and craft beers, a smorgasbord of indie rock was served up steaming hot at the Coral Skies Music Festival.

The descriptor "indie rock" at this point is a catch-all term for any type of music performed by people wearing skinny jeans and/or thick-framed glasses. The Hold Steady, with their Brooklyn-bar-band raucousness, fit the label, as did Atlanta's Manchester Orchestra, with its emo sarcastic grunge, and headliner Cage the Elephant's classic rock.

"Indie" at this point really has nothing to do with independence, as many indie acts are signed to major labels and license their songs to commercials; rather, it seems to be synonymous with authenticity, where the music does not seem overproduced and Auto-Tune is only used with a sense of irony.

See also: Coral Skies Festival at Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach


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The Moody Blues' Justin Hayward - Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale - October 24

Categories: Concert Review

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Photo by Alisa B. Cherry
Justin Hayward: Better beyond our Wildest Dreams
Justin Hayward
Parker Playhouse
October 24, 2014

Better than: The Moody Blues as a whole? No, but this solo show came close.

As an artist ages, so does his following, and at 68, Justin Hayward is attracting -- shall we say -- "mature" audiences. Indeed, it was no surprise to find that at least 99 percent of those in attendance at his performance last Friday night at the Parker Playhouse verified that conclusion to the fullest. And if one were willing to wager, suffice it to say it's a sure bet that there wasn't a single soul present whose college dorm wasn't swathed with the scent of incense (and other substances yet to be legalized for medical use or otherwise). Its then-residents basked in the sounds of Days of Future Past, In Search of the Lost Chord, or any of the other early masterpieces Hayward proffered at the helm of the Moody Blues.

Still, these days it's cocktails, not cannabis, that stokes the anticipation for Hayward's performances -- in theory anyway -- as well as the wonderment of the fact that 45 years on, classic hits like "Nights in White Satin," "Tuesday Afternoon," and "Lovely to See You" remain as spellbinding as ever.

And if these songs seemed to lack the full majesty the Moody Blues might have accorded, Hayward and his two backing musicians -- guitarist Mike Dawes and backing vocalist and keyboard player Julie Ragins -- effectively conveyed the magic and memories those lovely melodies deserve.

See also: The Moody Blues' Justin Hayward on What "Life Would Be Like Without the Music"


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Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull - Hard Rock, Hollywood - October 25

Categories: Concert Review

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Sayre Berman

It might be hard for the uninitiated to understand the pairing of Enrique Iglesias (heir apparent to the Iglesias charm) and Cuban-American rapper Pitbull. However, given their working relationship, one that reaches back a few years with appearances on each other's albums, it begins to make sense. Perfect sense almost. With both artists representing two close but discernibly different epochs in Latin music, it makes perfect sense to marry Enrique's Spanish crooner/modern pop with Pitbull's street-savvy hip-hop/electro-retro as a vehicle to bridge that small gap.

The fan base and demographic is technically the same, and both performers are spirited and animated enough to satisfy the average concertgoer on their own -- as a combo, it's ultimately a frenetic whittling of international flavor into a three-hour showcase.

While similar in intent, Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull fully represented the sides of their assigned coins with veracity and gumption, leading a packed Hard Rock to ebb, flow, and sweat accordingly.

See also: Julio Iglesias Admits: "It's Not Singing for Money. I Sing Because It Is My Life."


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Jeezy - Revolution Live, Fort Lauderdale - October 21

Categories: Concert Review

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A lot of rappers would have you believe they come from the streets and make music for hustlers, and a lot of rappers would embellish the story. A lot of rappers are quick to jump on songs with pop stars, looking for crossover success as a means to greater ends. It's hard to have a lasting career off of ghetto anthems, but not everyone can be Jeezy.

Young no more, the Atlanta rapper has been one of the hardest names in the game for about a decade. He's gone from an "empty" childhood of crime to Billboard hits, and even when he had popular success, he never really went pop. His latest album, Seen It All, is his "autobiography," and the tour's stop at Revolution last night was a giant celebration for a man who's been through the ringer and came out on top.

See also: Jeezy on Seeing "Some Justice" in Ferguson and "the New Generation" of Trap

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Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band - Broward Center for Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale - October 21

Categories: Concert Review

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Sayre Berman

There are only two Beatles left on this planet, and Tuesday night one of them was in Fort Lauderdale.

If you've ever seen Paul McCartney live, you know what an unforgettable experience that is. Even at seventy-two years of age, Sir Paul still belts out three hour performances, playing all the hits that pull at your heartstrings.

There was no Paul in sight last night, Ringo Starr was the only Beatle in town, offering a different kind of show. Less rock and roll, more Vegas lounge act. For the last 25 years, Ringo has toured with a rotating cast of musicians, creating supergroups from throughout rock history. The 2014 edition dubbed the thirteenth All-Starr Band showcased Todd Rundgren on guitar, Mr. Mister's Richard Page on bass, Toto's Steve Lukather on lead guitar, and Santana's Greg Rolie on keyboard.

See also: Ringo Starr at the Broward Center for Performing Arts in Ft. Lauderdale (Photos)

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Everymen Generations Release Party - Propaganda, Lake Worth - October 18

Categories: Concert Review

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On Saturday, October 18, the quirky Lake Worth masses converged upon downtown venue Propaganda to drink, be merry, and behold the release of Everymen's latest effort, Generations. It was one heck of a party, complete with puppets, confetti, silly string, and pool toys.

The evening began rather innocuously at 9 p.m. with Zoo Peculiar, the members of which suited up for the event and played their particular brand of polka-punk to an inward trickling audience. Next came the Birthday Candles which dealt in a sort of turn of the millennium pop-punk a la New Found Glory. The band showed some obvious talent. However, its sound unfortunately seemed out of place amongst the four other acts of the gypsy-punk kind. The group announced it was kicking off an East Coast tour to much applause.


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Earth, Wind & Fire and Breakwater: A Tale of Two Funk Shows in Two Different Cities

Categories: Concert Review

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Last week when I interviewed Earth, Wind & Fire bassist extraordinaire Verdine White, I referred to the band's amazing performance on PBS' Soul! show in 1973 as "what it must've been like to see" them in a club. Verdine didn't exactly deny that, so I looked for a modern-day funky analog to contrast with last night's sold-out EW&F show at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood.

I found it in Philadelphia last weekend at Warmdaddy's -- a throwback 200-seat dinner theater that caters to the R&B lovers of the City of Brotherly Love. Jammed to the gills with tables and thus devoid of a dance floor, Warmdaddy's is like a mini Studio 183, Carol City's long-departed funk palace. And like Studio 183, which had a penchant for booking top funk acts, Warmdaddy's landed a major coup last weekend, booking the recently re-formed funk-soul act Breakwater.

See also: Earth, Wind & Fire's Verdine White on the "Steady Progression of Getting Better and Better"

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New Found Glory - Revolution Live, Fort Lauderdale - October 11

Categories: Concert Review

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James Argyropoulos

I was never a New Found Glory fan. When I first got involved with punk rock back in the early '90s, there was a reason. A reason that was spelled out in different forms, sure, but they were still easily identifiable by all parties involved. Maybe I was lucky.

No. I was lucky. I know that now. I was lucky.

See also: New Found Glory's Jordan Pundik Talks Steve Klein and One Direction

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Respectable Street Cafe's Anniversary Party Showcased Renovations and 27 Bands

Categories: Concert Review

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Respectable Street is known for its atmosphere. There's the dance floor that's been scuffed at least a million times over, the glowing bar and wide couches that face each other, the intimate backyard where a slew of awkward covers have been sung during Saturday night karaoke.

However, the venue looked a little more polished Saturday night for its 27th anniversary celebration. Actually, "a little more" is an understatement. Respectables closed for a couple days before the party for renovations, so patrons arrived to find a newly varnished floor, murals and paintings by local artists, and a wall full of old flyers and pictures. Amid bunches of white balloons adorning the inside bar, surreal videos were projected on the white walls, which looked progressively stranger as the night progressed.

On five stages throughout the evening, a whopping 27 bands performed. In between sets, DJs spun indie and electro tunes, allowing guests to start making fresh metaphorical and literal marks on the dance floor.

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Peter Frampton - Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - October 5, 2014

Categories: Concert Review

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When you look up Peter Frampton's name, four words come up: "teen idol" and "guitar god."

Today only a very strange teenager would have a poster of the now balding, 64-year-old Frampton on their wall. That is, unless the kid was a student of the guitar. Then it would make perfect sense.

Last night in his two hour set at Hard Rock Live, Frampton showed that while the dreamy hair might be long gone, he still knows his way up and down the neck of a guitar.

See also: Ten Guys Who Make Their Guitars Talk


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