Jacob Jeffries on Still Playing Piano, Front and Center Stage


Most 26-year-olds who grew up playing piano haven't tickled the ivories in more than a decade. The ones who still perform have likely joined bands and given up the keys for guitars and drums, and those most "progressive" instrumentalists have gone the way of Chromeo.

There are not too many front wo/men in their 20s making rock and getting gigs that still play straight piano, sing, and get the crowd's arms flapping with pleasure. Fort Lauderdale native Jacob Jeffries, however, is one of the few sticking with his singer/songwriter, bluesy, pop-rock piano thing, and still continues to gain a following.

"There aren't a lot of front guys that just play piano," Jeffries admitted when we ran into him at a Blackbird Ordinary show last week in Miami, raising money for Philanthrofest, a group that supports and strengthens local nonprofits. "Sometimes I think it's an obsolete, out-of-date instrument -- just the piano, not the keys -- people are using synthesizers and organs. They're instrumental in the kind of the accompaniment sense."

See also: Jacob Jeffries Band Will Rock You

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Summer Soundtrack Pop-Up Music Series: A Perfect End to the Season

Categories: Last Night


Last night marked the third installment of C&I Studios and Exposed PR's Summer Soundtrack, a pop-up series that showcases talented local artists performing alongside Phil Barnes and delicious drinks. The kicker? Locations are not revealed until an hour before the event starts.

Take last night, for example. After a week full of teaser photos, the location was finally revealed to us around 7 p.m. in a text message. It was the rooftop of Avenue Lofts, building 2. The sun set behind the Fort Lauderdale skyline, making it the perfect spot for one of the last cool events of the summer. Previous spots for the two earlier Summer Soundtrack events were C&I Garden and the Hard Rock Energy Warehouse.

See also: Summer Soundtrack Pop-Up Series Hits Fort Lauderdale Today

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T-Pain Brought the House Party to Revolution for the Drankin Patna Tour, August 12

Categories: Last Night

Ian Wilen

Kids who've lived in Tallahassee know that town has some awesome house parties, so it makes sense Tallahassee boy and multiplatinum artist T-Pain would theme his latest tour around that house-party vibe.

He converted the Revolution stage into a living-room hangout, complete with comfy couches, bottles of liquor, girls in short-shorts and T-shirts dancing, and a nice rug to tie it all together. It brought us back to our college days pretty hard. Not that we were ever lucky enough to party with T-Pain, but you get the idea.

See also: T-Pain at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale (Slideshow)

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Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden - Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach - August 10

Categories: Last Night

Sayre Berman

Closing out a busy summer of live music before the kids go back to school, Cruzan presented another odd-on-paper pairing of bands and a packed house. At the halfway mark of their U.S. tour, Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails (NIN) delivered as many goods as they could in their time-limited sets. A lot of favorites were performed, but as the math dictates, many were left out.

I always have a tough time envisioning the way these things get set up. It's hard to see Soundgarden relegated to "co-headliner," for instance. And after last night's performance, it's easy to see why Soundgarden's been a band (hiatus included) for 30 years. These guys are professional, and the level of gusto and chutzpah that they brought to the table would have you believe they were headlining a major festival in the '90s.

The one thing, though, that really made sense about this whole affair was the fact that Soundgarden's Superunknown and NIN's The Downward Spiral are celebrating 20 years of circulation, as they were both released on the same day back in 1994.

See also: Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden (Slideshow)

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Kiss and Def Leppard - Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach - July 22, 2014

Categories: Last Night

Michele Eve Sandberg

I don't know who comes up with these touring packages, but it does seem a little bit odd on paper having '70s hard rockers Kiss share the bill with England's Def Leppard, which, also from that decade, made most of its mainstream chops during the glam metal '80s. You know there's confusion if Paul and Young Ron are also trying to wrap their heads around it. Wouldn't each band be better-served headlining its own tour with a different opening act?

Cue in what little memories remain from having owned the Hysteria album on cassette back in the day and the fact that I've never been a full devotee of Kiss. At least I knew the people-watching would be excellent if things got too hazy for me.

Truth be told, both bands did their jobs very well, and it really does bug me as to who comes up with this stuff. It seems like Def Leppard could've benefited from a longer set. A packed Cruzan seemed to really enjoy seeing the band onstage.

See also: KISS and Def Leppard at Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach (Slideshow)

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Dita Von Teese's Strip Strip Hooray Brings Coy Sexuality to Fort Lauderdale

Categories: Last Night

Photo by Ali Mahdavi
Also see the slideshow tour preview images for Dita Von Teese's Strip Strip Hooray.

For those who fail to dig past the distracting cursory bells and whistles of g-strings and pasties, burlesque must seem quite crass. While the neo-burlesque movement retained the essentials of sexually charged strip tease, Dita Von Teese's Strip Strip Hooray review showed it's an art form that goes far beyond human vulgarity.

Last night at Revolution Live, Von Teese and her troupe of men and women transported a raucous crowd from the seedy streets of downtown Fort Lauderdale to a glamorous realm of live cinema rendered with absolutely devastating style, grace, and humor. Beyond the entertainment the evening provided, the varied cast of characters helped to convey an unspoken message of acceptance and unconditional confidence through performance.

See also: Dita Von Teese: "In My Sexual Fantasies, Things Are Not Politically Correct"

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The Zombies - Mardi Gras Casino, Hallandale - April 8

Categories: Last Night

Marianne Spellman

The Zombies were once one of the most underrated groups of the British Invasion. However, time has been good to the band. As founding member, keyboardist, and composer Rod Argent proudly pointed out during the band's set last night at the Mardi Gras Casino, its legend and music has been much extolled in recent times by the likes of Tom Petty, Dave Grohl, and Paul Weller.

While the Zombies have found a few gilded champions, the band has always held a special place in the hearts of Invasion aficionados, and the brilliance of its output remains difficult to overstate, as anyone who has spent some quality time with the band's 1968 album, Odessy and Oracle, can attest.

2014's version of the the Zombies -- with key members Argent and iconic frontman Colin Blunstone intact -- performed to a capacity crowd last night in Hallandale Beach.

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Pawn Shop's Opening Night Brought Kitsch and Fun to Clematis (Photos)

Categories: Last Night

Ian Witlen

Toward the beginning of Miami DJ Ani Phearce's stint behind the Mac-truck-cab-turned-DJ-booth, a tongue-in-cheek selection of LMFAO's "I'm in Miami Bitch!" was equal parts homage and a playful reminder of the Pawn Shop Lounge's Dade County roots.

Ironic or not, it didn't seem to matter as the song was met with flailing arms, pursed lips, and enthusiastic fist pumps on the dance floor.

Thursday night, after the tornado warnings expired and street cleaning crews swept away fallen palm fronds and random debris from the storms, the much loved formerly Miami-based nightlife haunt, Pawn Shop, made its anticipated return to the club scene with a grand opening at 219 Clematis Street, in the former home of Dr. Feelgood's in West Palm Beach.

See also: Pawn Shop Grand Opening (Slideshow)

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Demi Lovato Live at BB&T Center: "I've Been Through a Lot"

Sayre Berman

Demi Lovato
BB&T Center
February 25

Better than: Watching Camp Rock?

On the surface of things, Demi Lovato's story is predictable, something we've heard before. Former Disney Channel darling ditches the script and becomes a badass bitch or whatever, something à la Miley. But digging back to her beginnings as a songwriter, it seems she's always marketed herself as the "different" one, with lines like: "Who said I can't wear my Converse with my dress/Well, baby, that's just me!" back in 2008. No one's saying that, Demi. This is the 21st Century. There are worse things. It's OK. Go ahead.

In fact, it's because she exists in that weird space -- being "mainstream" but not mainstream -- that's allowed her to flourish throughout the years despite some pretty rough patches along the way.

See also: Demi Lovato at BB&T Center (Slideshow)

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Jay Z's Magna Carter Tour in South Florida: "I'm Gonna Overdeliver Tonight!"

Photo by Sayre Berman
Check out County Grind's full 28-photo slideshow from Jay Z at BB&T Center.

Jay Z's Magna Carter World Tour
BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida
Thursday, January 2, 2014

Better Than: Another night of solo ass-shaking to The Hits Collection.

"Broward County! West Palm Beach County! Dade County!

"I fuck with y'all so much," Jay Z told the 20,000-strong crowd at last night's South Florida stop of his Magna Carter World Tour, "I'm gonna overdeliver tonight!"

And he did two full hours, 20 songs, and a five-track encore while dropping a few motivational minispeeches.

He even brought out the big homie, Rick Ross, to let SoFla know that beyond any shadow of a doubt, "FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt."

See also: Five Things You Don't Know About Jay Z

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