The Supervillains Show Review – Beachside Tavern
They eased into their set with the smooth synth-driven, reggae-flavored “I’m Leaving, and the crowd was immediately swaying along to the music. But, by the end of the following song, the feverishly paced “The Pit,” they were raucously bouncing across the packed floor screaming “Fuck You.” This was my first Supervillains show and ten minutes into the set, I quickly realized that I was in for a hell of a ride.
The Orlando-based quartet has a sound that’s hard to classify. At different times they’re reggae or ska, and minutes later they dish out some feisty punk or good old fashioned rock. They refer to the sound as swamp reggae and that works just fine for me. But regardless of what we’re going to call The Supervillains, it’s undeniable that they put on one hell of an entertaining show.
For the past five years that I’ve been doing this blog thing, I have heard they were a band I needed to see live – and that I needed to write a Supervillains show review. For various reasons, that never happened, but damn was I pleased to finally catch them live at the beach. And as an aside, my first trip to Beachside Tavern in New Smyrna Beach left an excellent impression: a cool local joint with happy patrons, fair prices and excellent service.
For the majority of the Supervillains twenty song set, the crowd was one with the band. They were a swaying, writhing mass, loving every minute of the show. There were two constants: continuous motion in the crowd and the incessant scent of pot wafting across the dance floor. The vibe was perfect, and the faces in the crowd were permanently plastered with huge smiles.
It was a nonstop party atmosphere. The band did group shots, including Irish Car Bombs, drank a slew of beers , constantly interacted with their fans, and even had the larger than life lead singer from opener Rammer hop onto the stage in the middle of the set.
The majority of the fans knew all of the words and sang along vigorously throughout the night. Two standout crowd-participation songs were “Car Sex (Get It On)” and the anthemic “Drinking Tonight.”
Dom and Skart traded off vocals all night. Dom, perched on his drum kit at stage center had the more distinctive and melodic voice. It was the perfect contrast to lead guitarist Skart’s gritty snarl. According to the Supervillains Facebook bio, Dan was the bass player and he kept the rhythm going all night. T. Rex had a few shining moments on both guitar and keyboard.
My favorite tracks were “It Must Be True Love” a sweet song that needs to be on any summer/beach playlist and its polar opposite, the ferocious “Political Porn” – full bore punk with poignant, pithy and downright entertaining lyrics. Dom’s cover of The Pixies “Where Is My Mind” was pretty damn special, too.
Speaking of covers, I was pleasantly surprised to hear their covers of “Careless Whisper” and “Moving Out,” two classic songs they put their distinctive twist on.
After ninety minutes, the party came to an end with a killer singalong version of their energetic closer “Johnny Too Bad.” It was the fitting end to a raucous night of fun.
It took five years to catch my first Supervillains show, but I can promise the next one will happen much sooner. Perhaps I’ll find a way to make their New Year’s Eve show at my favorite local bar, West End Trading in Sanford.
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