SunFest 2014, Day 5: Dropkick Murphys, Blues Traveler, Streetlight Manifesto

Ian Witlen

West Palm Beach's massive five-day, totally diverse music blowout, SunFest, is prime time for the voyeuristic hobby known as people-watching. It is especially entertaining during the daylight hours when heavy drinking is involved.

Sunday at the waterfront provided the perfect scene for peeping the folks of SunFest with plenty of packed beer tents posted under a clear blue sky. We spoke with fans at a few of the early shows to get a vibe for the fest, including Streetlight Manifesto, Blues Traveler, and Dropkick Murphys.

See also: SunFest 2014, Day 5 (Slideshow)

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SunFest 2014: Surfer Blood, Dick Dale, Cake, Kid Rock - West Palm Beach - Day 1

Categories: SunFest

Ian Witlen
Kid Rock wants you to tap that.

Wednesday was the first night of SunFest, a five-day, beer soaked music festival at the West Palm Beach downtown waterfront. Fans of old school white-folk rock and roll reveled in the day one lineup, which consisted of five acts: the Vagabonds, Surfer Blood, Dick Dale, Kid Rock, and Cake.

It was around 6:45 when we arrived, and most of the patrons were just trickling in. West Palm Beach's Surfer Blood was onstage with some surfy power-pop. The audience was mostly sitting on the lawn waiting for Dick Dale to start at 7, at which point many of them left.

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Five Reasons SunFest Is Unusual, in a Good Way

Categories: SunFest

Ian Witlen

Is it here? Could it possibly be? Why yes, the glory of SunFest is already upon us. And while you print out your schedule and grab the closest highlighter, your favorite stars on the lineup are all making their way around our small bubble. Hard to believe that while other places are still experiencing the tail end of winter (yes, that's a thing), West Palm Beach is already throwing a party in honor of sunshine.

SunFest is something special -- more than just a concert, it has become a full experience. It's the type of week that you arrange your entire year around. It's the best time to party hardy in downtown West Palm. But, it's no secret: SunFest is weird. Before you bum rush the stage or detour to the party barges, we want to take a moment and reflect on SunFest. We love it because it's strange. Strange is good.

See Also: Ten Best Acts to See at SunFest 2014

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Surf Rock Playlist in Honor of Dick Dale at SunFest


Surf rock legend Dick Dale takes to the stage at West Palm Beach's SunFest tonight. Sandwiched in between early rock 'n' roll, rockabilly and the British Invasion, surf rock briefly dominated the charts in the early '60s. Its easily accessible rhythms and narratives of carefree adolescence conjure images of sun soaked beaches, parties, girls, hot rods, and of course, catching that perfect wave. It remains incredibly evocative of the era, creating the kind of joyful blissful escapism that rapidly fell out of vogue when rock began to take itself more seriously as the decade wore on.

Dick Dale was a pioneer of the instrumental surf rock tune. His distorted heavy twang played at a frenetic pace and raucously loud made waves that influenced not only the genre he is synonymous with, but everyone from Van Halen to the Ramones. To celebrate his arrival, here's a playlist of surf rock classics to get swept away with.

See also: Dick Dale on the Arabic Roots of Surf Rock, the Love of His Life, and Dying Onstage

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Top Five Local Bands to Catch at SunFest 2014

Categories: SunFest

Kara Starzyk
Speaking Volumes

Did April sneak up on you? It's like the past few months have been one big blur. Now the sun is out and shining and SunFest is 'round the corner.

The last weekend in April means the same thing every year for a dedicated South Floridian: live music and long nights in downtown West Palm Beach. And while the Robin Thickes and Kid Rocks of the world will no doubt bring out the dancing queens and country kings to town, this is a key time to absorb those acts that make our local live music scene special too.

The bands that play in your backyard all year will also grace the SunFest stages. Take Surfer Blood, for instance. The band paid its dues as a local favorite before making it big on the indie scene and taking a piece of West Palm pride with it as it toured the world. This year, it's back at SunFest with a legit slot.

So, we wonder, who will be the next local band to come full circle? We can't quite crown the next victor, but we can do some serious contemplation. Here are our picks for the top five Florida bands playing SunFest 2014 that are ready to really make a name for themselves.

See Also: Ten Best Acts to See at SunFest 2014

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Ten Best Acts to See at SunFest 2014

Categories: SunFest

Morgan Coleman

Every year, SunFest sweeps through West Palm Beach, bringing with it plenty of new and classic acts that draw both the youngest and oldest music fans of the tricounty area.

This year, the lineup stays true to those of the past. It keeps it balanced so that your grandma, your kid, and your dog are all able to find genuine entertainment out there at the end of Clematis.

We took a minute to choose a few of the acts we'd most like to check out at SunFest. We think you might agree.

See also: SunFest 2014 Lineup: Kid Rock, Robin Thicke, J. Cole, Austin Mahone

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SunFest 2014 Lineup: Kid Rock, Robin Thicke, J. Cole, Austin Mahone

Categories: SunFest

Sayre Berman

Every year around this time, we spend hours staring at the computer, hitting refresh, waiting for the lineup for downtown West Palm Beach's most massive music festival to hit the web. And finally, this morning, SunFest announced the schedule for the acts that'll be performing seaside at the 32nd-annual blowout. The whole thing will be held from April 30 to May 4, where Clematis Street ends and the water begins.

Keep on clicking on to read who'll be rocking and rapping in our backyard this spring. Not all dates are announced, but most are. Ticket information is available too.

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SunFest's Top 10 Most Memorable Fashions

Jessica Daly

Besides a small minority of Lilly Pulitzer lovin' hipsters and like 30 Japanese chicks, there's no young person in the world looking to West Palm Beach for fashion advice. Not that they shouldn't, but it's not like a night out on Clematis is the same as opening the pages of W. But, you know, who the hell wants to look like a space alien in stilettos anyway?

SunFest, this past week in PBC, did have some pretty strong fashion moments though. Despite it not being as chic as Milano, it's also not nearly as obnoxious as Ultra (shiver), and SunFesters know how to have a bit of fun with their looks. Get ready for some mom-like criticism and old man style lovin'.

See also
- Our SunFest Coverage: Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, Jimmy Cliff, Smashing Pumpkins, and More
- Photos from All Five Days of SunFest 2013

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Stabbing During Kendrick Lamar and Mac Miller Performances at SunFest Kills the Vibe

Categories: SunFest

Ian Witlen

A festival typically known for its laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere, West Palm Beach's SunFest came to a violent conclusion this Sunday, with one stabbing and two arrests made while popular hip-hop acts Kendrick Lamar and Mac Miller performed.

According to the South Florida site, an anonymous police source reported the news, citing as many as 60 gate-jumpers helping add to the chaos during their sets.

See also
- Mac Miller Versus Kendrick Lamar: SunFest MC Battle 2013

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Jimmy Cliff Made Us Cry at SunFest in West Palm Beach

Ian Witlen

You know those days when a well-crafted Hallmark commercial makes you weep like someone just stomped on your pet hamster? Premenstrual ladies? Coke-heads? Ya feel me?!

Well, when my eyes kept welling up watching Jimmy Cliff preach the reggae gospel of "peace and love" to a swarm of sweaty SunFesters, I wondered if it was just "one of those moments" or an actual moment. By the end of his ridiculously energetic hour and a half long set, I was certain that it was the concert experience that got me into a great big authentic emotional twist.

Cliff is a 65-year old monster. He twerked. He jumped higher than David Lee Roth. He became a lion with a roar, a pharaoh in his tomb with stillness, a tree in the wind with smooth tai chi movements. Jimmy Cliff most definitely earned every one of my tears.

See also
- PHOTOS: SunFest Day 5 with Jimmy Cliff, Less than Jake, Mac Miller, and Kendrick Lamar
- Mac Miller Versus Kendrick Lamar: SunFest MC Battle 2013

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