Tag Archives: The Hip Abduction

Gasparilla Music Festival Preview

Gasparilla Music Festival Preview / Line-Up

At RARAs Farm, we’ve hit a slew of Florida festivals over the few years that we’ve been in existence, but 2015 will be the first time that we walk through the gates at one of the state’s premier events, The Gasparilla Music Festival.

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This year’s event, scheduled for March 6th and 7th, is the fifth incarnation for the acclaimed festival, situated on the shores of the Hillsborough River in Downtown Tampa. It has quickly grown in national prominence, and the line-up is typically top-notch, and this year’s is no exception. Modest Mouse, The Gaslight Anthem, Gogol Bordello, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, and Mutemath headline the national acts, and there’s a great cross-section of local acts, as well.

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Click on this line-up snapshot to purchase Festival tickets.

One of the special features about the Gasparilla Music Festival, or GMF, is their continued focus on supporting local musicians. This year, we’ll get to see RARAs Farm favorites The Hip Abduction, Thomas Wynn and The Believers and UNRB among the slew of talented local bands. The Hip Abduction are just dripping with potential and always offer an engaging show, spotlighted by diverse catchy music – do not miss these local artists.

You can check out the line-up and set times here: GMF 2015 Line-up, where you’ll see that Saturday is jam-packed with a fantastic slate of alternative rock bands spread out over four stages and twelve hours.  Excellent West Coast indie rockers Modest Mouse close the night as the headliners on the Soulshine Stage but the band performing just before them may be the most entertaining on the bill, The Gaslight Anthem, an energetic and talented hard-rocking foursome from New Jersey.

Sunday is a shorter day featuring a much more diverse line-up.  The headliner, Gogol Bordello, are one of the most entertaining bands touring today. Their music is eclectic rock, sort of a gypsy, punk, dance thing, that is guaranteed to leave a lasting and positive impression.

Aside from the wonderfully refreshing focus on supporting local music, the festival has a few other features that truly make it special.  It’s a community funded and supported charitable endeavor, not a huge Corporate event, they feature all local food vendors, cater to children (in fact it’s free admission for kids 12 and under), and they’re eco-friendly – all fantastic benefits, but the music rules the day, and this line-up is top notch.

Tix for the event are very reasonable, with options to purchase by the day, or for the full festival. If you buy in advance, full festival General Admission tickets are only $60, or you have the option to buy by the day ($40 Saturday, $30 Sunday).  Get Advance Purchase Tickets Here.

Rock On!

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂

Big Orlando Bands Deliver For Orlando Rock Fans

The Hip Abduction at The Big Orlando. Photo by rarasfarm.com.
The Hip Abduction at The Big Orlando. Photo by rarasfarm.com.

Big Orlando Band Recaps

As soon as I saw Weezer and Fall Out Boy on the line-up, I knew that the first edition of The Big Orlando was going to kick ass. When the full line-up was fleshed out a month later, my expectations ratcheted up another notch, and I was not disappointed.

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For a glimpse of the Evening session reviews click here: Fall Out Boy, Weezer, New Politics, Young The Giant, Dirty Heads, J. Roddy Walston & The Business

I’ll share my thoughts on each band, in the order that I saw them; not a crappy act in the bunch, but a few really stood out above the others. As the festival began to resonate around the nickname The Big O (which I suggested many months ago), I thought about using some clever sexual-based rating system, but I’m much too mature for that. Well, maybe not, but let’s just go with some quick thoughts for each band. This is a two part series to be continued tomorrow – and we will also have many photos to share in the next week.

  • Knox Hamilton – “We Can Work It Out” is their signature single, and from what I heard at the show, there are a handful of other catchy pop rock singles on the way from this Arkansas-based trio.  They boasted two guitars and two lead vocalists who dished out laid-back, bouncy, feel good rock ‘n roll, which was a great way to open the Main Stage, and for me to start my day.
    Knox Hamilton at The Big Orlando. Photo by rarasfarm.com.
    Knox Hamilton at The Big Orlando. Photo by rarasfarm.com.
  • A Hero’s Fate – An unsigned Orlando quartet just filled with energy. They delivered a nice blend of pop punk, that was mainstream and edgy at the same time. They appeared to be having a great time on stage, led by frontman Brian Frank and guitarist Blake Murphey who bounced across the stage throughout.
  • The Hip Abduction – I listened to these guys before the event and their unique blend of music, that my wife astutely categorized as “reggaeish,” was captivating.  Their live set, was even better.  The six-piece from St. Pete calls their music “afropop.” The music, which featured a handful of unusual African instruments, a sweltering bass beat and sweet vocals, was an absolutely refreshing twist on surf music. All of their music was excellent, but I’d highly recommend their set-closer “Holiday” if you want to get a good feel for this talented band.  Buy their music, check them out live, get to know them – you won’t be disappointed.  They were the early highlight of the festival.
  • Bear Hands – Probably one of the more anticipated acts of the festival, as this Brookly foursome is riding the success of two huge Alt-Rock hits, “Giants” and “Agora.”  They sounded excellent and kept the cool afternoon groove going, even though they were one of the least animated acts of the day.
  • Crazy Carls – another Orlando-based band, and a great choice to close the Axis local stage.  Charismatic frontman, Alex Baugh  eschewed his guitar for this set, as the band relied on backing tracks, allowing Baugh total freedom to interact with the crowd, and he had them in the palm of his hand.  He’s a non-stop ball of energy, who moved around the stage constantly, belted out killer pop vocals, and seemingly connected with everyone in the large crowd.   He’s a consummate front man who demands attention. (Make sure you follow our site, as we’ll publish an interview with him shortly.)
  • Kasson – A trio from Orlando, who I believe won a contest to secure their spot on the Jagermeister stage.  Good indie rock that was easy to listen to. I need to check them out sometime in The City Beautiful, as I missed part of their set due to a conflict with Crazy Carls.
  • Big Data – I’ll admit, I was a little sceptical about this band, which is really the love child of producer Alan Wilkis. I had no idea how this would translate live, but was in for a nice surprise. The boy/girl vocals and interactions were excellent, and their waltz across the stage entertaining. I loved the bass throughout the entire set, but particularly on their megahit “Dangerous.”  The setlist boasted nice diversity, as well, and they offered the strangest cover choice of the festival – “Private Eyes” by Hall & Oates!
  • Sleeper Agent at The Big Orlando. Photo by rarasfarm.com.
    Sleeper Agent at The Big Orlando. Photo by rarasfarm.com.
  • Sleeper Agent – The one band I was most excited to see, and they were good, but not as fantastic as I had heard.  Another six-piece, these Kentuckians have a unique edgy rock sound. They offered “This is our last show of the year, we’re so happy to be spending it with you,” but unfortunately went out with a bit of a whimper.  Lead female singer Alex Kandel sounded good, but Tony Smith’s vocals seemed lost in the mix.  The band was energetic and the music sounded good, but I just felt like they were holding something back.

See a slew of our Big Orlando photos here.

Rock On!
Cretin

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, including a bunch of pictures from The Big Orlando. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂

The Big O Satisfies Orlando Rock Fans

Pete Wentz Fall Out Boy Big Orlando
Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy at The Big Orlando. Photo by rarasfarm.com.

Big Orlando Festival Recap

As soon as we heard that Orlando had an Alt-Rock station, I began dreaming that a festival like The Big Orlando could someday be hitting a venue in our area.  This weekend, I saw that dream realized, and it had a happy ending.

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The festival is a derivative of Jacksonville’s Big Ticket, and Tampa’s Next Big Thing, two regional showcases that present wonderful opportunities for local alternative rock fans to spend a day feting their favorite artists and being exposed to talented new bands.  For the inaugural Orlando event, the fans at the Orange County Fairgrounds were treated to a line-up that featured huge acts like Weezer and Fall Out Boy, as well as up and coming artists and a handful of talented local bands.

For today, I’ll just share a couple of key takeaways, but make sure you Like our Facebook and Follow our Twitter, because we’ll have capsule reviews of every band, as well as a boatload of killer photos.

A few thoughts:

  • Lineup – This was just about perfect. Diverse, talented and entertaining acts all day; it was a who’s who from today’s modern rock landscape. A good mix of legends, rising acts and local talent.  The only disappointment was that Twin Atlantic did not play due to unknown circumstances, but it didn’t take long to totally forget that quick disappointment.
  • Best Act – Fall Out Boy was great, Weezer was pretty damn good and half a dozen other bands were quite memorable, but everyone was raving about New Politics, and for good reason; they killed it – sounded great and delivered the most energetic, athletic and unpredictable performance of the night. Their act was rock ‘n roll at it’s core!
  • New Discovery – The Hip Abduction. This six-piece from Florida’s West Coast have a unique sound that they call afropop, featuring a handful of eclectic African instruments, most of which I’ve never seen before on stage, let alone on National Geographic Channel, and they sounded fantastic. Fresh, original, and diverse. Great stuff. J’ Roddy delivered a smoking set, too!
  • Best Local Act – There was a lot of good local music on both the Axis and Jagermeister stages. The Crazy Carls had the crowd bouncing and thoroughly engaged throughout their set, led by charismatic frontman Alex Baugh (after the set, I interviewed Baugh and will have that published in the near future) who was a whirling dervish the entire time he was on stage.
  • The Crowd – I suck at estimating crowd size.  My guess is about 7,326 people.  Whatever the number, they were loud and engaged throughout and hung in there during the chilly wet evening.  It was really a fun, relaxed atmosphere, featuring a great mix of ages.
  • Logistics – The promoters nailed the stage rotation. Bands always started on time and for the most part sounded great. Lots of vendors, food and bars, and minimal lines most of the day. Plenty of Port-A-Pots which were surprisingly cleaner than the traditional rest rooms. My only complaint was the bleed through at the Main Stage from the Axis local stage speakers. Next year, they need to find a better configuration for that stage.
  • The Venue – The fairgrounds are just the right size.  If I were in charge, I’d figure out a way to give the fans access to the lakefront, and maybe make use of the livestock pavillion, but other than that, not sure I’d change a damn thing. I can’t wait to get back here again.

For an inaugural event, The Big Orlando was fantastic. Hopefully, it is only the first iteration of what will become an annual event in The City Beautiful. Great bands, nice venue, killer staff, and an absolute bargain!

Remember to check back this week as we have a lot of additional coverage headed your way!

We’ve added our band reviews:
Afternoon session reviews here: Sleeper Agent, Bear Hands, Big Data, Know Hamilton, Crazy Carls, The Hip Abduction, Kasson, A Hero’s Fate
Evening session reviews here: Fall Out Boy, Weezer, New Politics, Young The Giant, Dirty Heads, J. Roddy Walston & The Business

Rock On!
Cretin

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂

Rivers Cuomo Weezer Big Orlando Festival
Rivers Cuomo of Weezer at The Big Orlando Festival. Photo by rarasfarm.com.