Jacksonville, FL – The Underbelly
We were scheduled to play at the Jazz Fest after Dark festival. After loading in most of us were really hungry, and it took us a long time to find any food. We eventually found some bar pizza. After our set we stayed in hotels, which was the only time on this leg of the tour where we all got to sleep in beds. Sam took a shower and had a shower beer, then took a bath and had a bath beer.
Jupiter, FL – Guanabanas
This gig was outdoors in the middle of the day at the tropical-themed restaurant Guanabanas. It was on some sort of dock so that people could pull up their boats and tie them up and eat and sometimes listen to music. They gave us a lot of beer. After our sets we hung out with Perry, Nick’s and Noah’s former roommate. He took us to the beach, and after the beach we had a good old time at Perry’s family’s house, where we drank Jameson and swam in the pool.
Boca Raton, FL – The Funky Biscuit
When we started our show at the Funky Biscuit there weren’t that many people around, but the few that were there made up for it. The entire set was being recorded by local music videographer Adam from Cheesehead Productions. Check out the set here. The headliner for the night was Lather Up, a organ funk trio that is a side project of the band Heavy Pets. They invited us horn players from Naughty to sit in on a couple tunes. We got onstage and threw together some horn lines and traded solos. Playing with such a tight rhythm section was great; they made it easy for us to play lines that feel right. There’s a certain cohesiveness in any rhythm section that has to be there for anything to “feel good”, and when it’s there, everyone can tell. It’s easier to play with as a musician, it’s easier to dance to, and it’s easier to drink to, and these guys had it.
After the set we were offered a place to stay by a really friendly girl named Kendall. She took us to her “treehouse” in West Palm Beach which was a guest house in an old lady’s backyard with a pool. There wasn’t really a tree to speak of, but Kendall still insisted it was a treehouse so we believed her. We had the next day off, so we spent it at the beach. We bought a bunch of beach toys right before, and Ian got a big pink inflatable ball. That ball kept drifting farther and farther up the coast, and we eventually gave up trying to chase it. We’re hoping to meet up with it in North Carolina when we get there in a few weeks.
Fort Lauderdale – The Stache
The setting for this show was pretty interesting. The venue itself had a dimly-lit speak-easy vibe with a swanky looking bar sporting a tall wall of booze. We were the entertainment for the back half of some sort of cocktail party which cleared out fifteen minutes after we started playing. Luckily Kendall and some of our friends from West Palm Beach had tagged along, so we still had people to play for. After the gig, we said our goodbyes to the gang and headed towards the next destination, one we had been looking forward to for months: Chuck’s house.
Orlando, FL – Tanqueray’s and Universal Studios
Let me start by saying this: Chuck Magid is the man. He’s the singer and guitar player for The Groove Orient, a rock/blues band based out of Orlando. We drove straight from our gig in Fort Lauderdale to his house for the night. Here’s a great picture of him: (Sunflowers)
That night we played a really intimate show with The Groove Orient at the underground venue Tanqueray’s. All of their band members are really great musicians and people; Chuck, Harry, Tom, Drillbit, David, and Paul have become our good friends. They played first, and the place was packed with people. Those guys tore it up; the group dynamic was genuine, their songs were fantastic, and the execution was solid. We tapped into the crowd’s and TGO’s energy for our set, and had an absolute blast. After the gig, we went back to Chuck’s house to drink whiskey and watch a Stevie Ray Vaughn DVD. Everyone eventually passed out, from either booze or sheer exhaustion from the day’s festivities.
The next morning we headed out to Universal Studios to play in the Mardi Gras themed corner of the park. It was incredibly hot. We had a great time playing for the park guests, but we knew we had to conserve some energy because right afterwards we had to drive to our final gig of the Florida run: Ocala.
Ocala, FL – Pi on Broadway
Pi on Broadway is a cozy pizza restaurant with a sweet bar and a second story with a great outside patio space. Its owner, Juan, is a trendsetter in Ocala to say the least, and when he wants to party he invites practically the whole town to party with him. So when we showed up in Ocala, the place was already packed. We played a long set that night, and really enjoyed how lively the crowd was. A local photographer named Patrice Saint-Louis took some great photos from that show, including this one:
Beards look good in B&W
After the show Juan took us to his brewery and gave us two enormous growlers full of choice brew. We left Ocala with our bellies full, and drove through the night to officially complete our Florida and Georgia tour. Next up, the North!