FMF 2017 Kasson

FMF 2017 Showcase Highlights

The Artists Who Caught Our Attention at FMF 2017

We had most of the Rarasfarm team out at this year’s Florida Music Festival on Friday and Saturday.  There was a lot of buzz around acts like Fiery Sushi, John.K and Beemo, but the following are the artists who most impressed each of us.  Our apologies to the Thursday acts, but these are the bands who made an impact to our eyes and ears on Friday and Saturday.

Brian Furman: Your Design was pretty good.  Melodic rock from Clewiston and their sound is already radio ready.

FMF 2017, A Brilliant Lie. Photo: Jay Verdesca
FMF 2017, A Brilliant Lie. Photo: Jay Verdesca

Jaydee Grice: With a lively performance and amazing vocals from Tara Lightfoot, A Brilliant Lie put on a great show at The Social.  They were energetic and kept the audience captivated.

Copper Bones blew the audience away (literally) with their intense sound and thumping beat.  They even gave away free earplugs for the audience to promote hearing safety.

Above the Skyline at FMF 2017, photo by Ben Costa
Above the Skyline at FMF 2017, photo by Ben Costa

Heather SnakPak Fennell: When I heard Above The Skyline I not only loved their wild energy on stage but their music was a breath of fresh fusion containing elements of pop and rock. I will be watching them closely to see the greatness that awaits them.

J-Zells – When you go to see these talented artists their dance moves aren’t the only thing to catch your eye. They give life to the hip hop scene through their amazing art-imitates-life lyrics.

Upon seeing Broken Streetlights in action I was reminded of distinct sounds crossed between My Chemical Romance and Rise Against. Their energy onstage makes you want to head bang and mosh even if you’ve never done it!

Carly Jo Jackson at FMF 2017. Photo by Ben Costa
Carly Jo Jackson at FMF 2017. Photo by Ben Costa

Ben Costa: Carly Joe Jackson brought a passionate and bluesy vibe to songs that display an incredible voice with great range and emotion.  Carly’s wit and candor was a pleasure to experience as well.  The bassist was funky and seems like a perfect fit for her music.  This turned out to be my favorite showcase. (We will have a full interview with Carly shortly)

The thing I loved about Above the Skyline was diversity of styles in their songs.  They combined a synth-pop flair with straight up rock and roll in a way that highlights each member of the band’s strengths.  The singer brought great energy and presence.

In my opinion, A Brilliant Lie and Copper Bones were the heaviest performers that I viewed on Saturday night.  A Brilliant Lie is a group that has high standards and yet does not come across as uptight.  Their set had a punk aesthetic and was very moshable while also playing songs with profound lyrical content.  I can see big things ahead for them.

Sara Buckalew: The Dealers caught not only my attention, but quite a few others as well. They’re an indie/pop/rock duo from Orlando who gave a strong, energetic performance. Yep, they are local, but their polished and professional stage presence has a worldly flare.

The highlight for me was King Complex. This stunning, slightly outrageous performance put a star on the evening.  Visually and musically, electronic rock has a couple of new kings in that genre. Oh, and their music also conveys some thought provoking issues.

Did you catch the Blue Man Group drum off? Have to admit it wasn’t a planned stop, but once I heard Chris “CJ” Darden, it was worth every minute. This kid is amazing on the drums. He stated he could play before he was even born. Somehow that makes perfect sense.

FMF 2017, Yardij. Photo: Bob Creedon
FMF 2017, Yardij. Photo: Bob Creedon

Cretin: Not the youngest kids there, but damn, Milk Carton Superstars had a fresh punk rock vibe.  Punk about Joe Strummer and with a violinist… sign me up.

Yardij: Female-fronted rock act who dominated my attention on the Wall Street stage with their brand of melodic rock with an edge. Deja Elyze and her South Florida band mates have a bright future.

This one wasn’t a rock act, but they stole the show with their raucous party music.  On the Avenue is a talented, entertaining band to keep an eye on.

I was also impressed with many other bands, like Orlando’s Kasson, who tore up the Wall St. Stage with a powerful set, and the beautifully voiced Savvy G who killed an acoustic set at Ferg’s.  Simply put, there was excellent music and superb talent everywhere, and we can’t wait to get back for FMF 2018.

Whie you are reading, check out our thoughts on the Festival itself, at our FMF 2017 Conference review.

Rock On!
The Rarasfarm Team

RARA’s Farm is a rock music blog keenly focused on sharing killer rock music news to the rock music fans who visit our site. Make sure you Like / Follow Us below to keep in the loop on new music worth a listen, or just to be nice to us.


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