Tag Archives: St. Augustine

Pepper, Less Than Jake Tour

Pepper, Less Than Jake Tour Announcement

rarasfarm-pepper-02-533x800Two of our favorite summery alt-rock bands have teamed up to bring a little sunshine across the country this weekend.  Pepper and Less Than Jake announced a co-headlining tour that spans January and February. The two bands toured alongside each other on this past summer’s Van’s Warped Tour, where we caught them in Orlando.

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Scott Verville – The Groove Master Interview

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Scott Verville Interview

Hello again Rarasfam.com fans, I promised fans an interview with Scott Verville, a multi-talented musician who is winning fans all over the State.

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This guy plays some awesome dance grooves mixed with all of today’s genres of music. I grabbed some time in his busy schedule to ask some questions on Easter weekend.

Happyjack – Hello Scott, great to see you and we are excited to have you today for the interview. Fans have been asking me to help them know you better. Let’s get right into the interview, what was your first big break as a professional artist?

Scott – Well I’m still waiting for the “BIG” break, but I’d say getting “Skinny Girls” published a couple of years ago definitely opened some doors for me professionally speaking.  After the publishing deal my song Skinny Girls got placed on 2 compilation CD’s.  The Best Artists 2010, VOL 3 and Kate Margret and Friends, VOL 3.

Happyjack – When did you start playing ?

Scott – Guitar in 5th grade and trumpet in 6th grade.  Started seriously singing in 8th grade.

Happyjack – Was it your idea to write original music ?

Scott – Of course!!  I’ve always written my own stuff.  Even way back in my high school garage band.  It’s a form of expression I can’t live without.

Happyjack – Is it easy for you to write the songs ?

Scott – Sometimes yes and sometimes no.  It all depends on the inspiration.  I don’t like to force a song to it’s completion.  I still have tons of unfinished ideas just waiting to be completed.  However, there’s been lots of songs that just come out of me and I’ll have them done in a day.

Happyjack – What’s your current instrument gear ?

Scott – I have a lot of guitars, amps, effects pedals, trumpets, etc..  However, the main gear I use today is my US Masters guitars along with my Boss pedals and Rivera Amp.  I also play my Callet Soloist as my main trumpet.

Happyjack – Highlight of your career so far?

Scott – I’d say after releasing my debut CD VERVILLE while stationed at Pearl Harbor Hawaii, I was interviewed on air and had 3 of my songs played by the rock station Star 101.9.

Happyjack – Who inspired you to begin making music?

Scott – Well neither of my parents were very musical, but my dad was a huge jazz lover and had all these great albums of Dizzie Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington playing around the house all the time.  Not to mention all the jazz crooners like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, etc….  So when I wanted to take guitar lessons and play trumpet in the school band, they were very supportive.

Happyjack – What’s next for “Scott Verville” in 2015?

Scott – I’ll be retiring from active duty in August after a 20 year career as a military musician.  As I enter civilian life, I really can’t see myself doing anything else other than music.  It’s what I love and what I do best.  So I will continue working as a musician playing solo shows, performing with the band Take Cover and trying to get my music out there to the masses.

I’ll also be releasing 2 new CD’s this year.  First will be a CD I co-wrote with  my friend and Take Cover guitarist Mark Parisi and the 2nd CD will be a new VERVILLE CD I’ve been working on for a while now.  Here’s a little sampler of each.

TAKE COVER – http://www.verville-music.com/announcing-we-came-to-party/

VERVILLE – http://www.verville-music.com/sex-me-the-brand-new-single-from-verville/

Happyjack – Describe what this CD is all about – and the future goals – of your music

Scott – VERVILLE CD – Enjoy dancing when you’re happy? Appreciate an uplifting song when you’re sad? Like to hear face melting guitar licks when you need to get pumped up? For all of your crazy mood-swings, Verville’s self-titled CD is the doctor, the pharmacist, and all of the medicine that you’ll need to balance you out. Listed under Sweet-Funky-Jazz-a-Rock, you’ll find this has the perfect cure for what ails you.

Red-n-Verv CD – The Red-n-Verv CD is rock-n-roll duo music in the true sense of the word Duo.  Packed with true duet style harmonies throughout, easy to sing melodies, intense grooves and fun uplifting subject matter, this CD will be the one you take for there long road trips in your life.

Happyjack – What’s your favorite track on the new “Scott Verville” CD ?

Scott – “I’m Coming Home” (A Sailor’s Song).  This song is close to my heart for many reasons, but I wrote this as a tribute to every man and woman who has ever had to leave their loved ones behind while they served their country,

Happyjack – Did you get to enjoy yourself in the studio ?  Highlights?

Scott – I always do!!  Creating and recording your own music can be an exhilarating (and sometimes frustrating) process.  The best part of recording is when one idea sparks several more and you end up with an incredible finished product you are proud of.

Happyjack – How much input did you personally put into the recording itself?

Scott – Everything.  I play all the instruments, vocals, etc…  I do all the recording myself and then usually send out the tracks to be mixed and mastered.

Happyjack – Today’s songwriters lack inspiration say many critics, where then does a songwriter go to get that inspiration?

Scott – From deep within themselves.  We are all products of this world in one way or another, so dig deep and tell me your personal take on a subject or feeling.  Put it to a good melody and you may have a great song.

Happyjack – Your most treasured instrument?

Scott – My 1965 Gibson Byrdland.  Also, my US Masters Guitars.  They are truly incredible hand crafted instruments.

Happyjack – Your favorite music artists?

Scott – Wow!  Way too many to list, and I have such an eclectic palate, but here goes.  Van Halen, Ted Nugent, Scott Henderson, Jimmie Herring, Mike Stern, Pat Martino, Guthrie Govan, Tower Of Power, Earth Wind & Fire, Dizzie Gillespie, Blue Mitchell, John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, Beethoven, Edvard Grieg, Frank Sinatra, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fishbone, Papa Grows Funk, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, DumpstaPhunk, we could be here all day!

Happyjack – The last song you listened to was?

Scott – Just got done listening to Jimmie Herring Band, “Matt’s Funk.”

Happyjack – The best fans are the ones who?

Scott – the ones that hang around after the show to get a beer with you.

Happyjack – Why should major acts and festivals consider you to open their shows?

Scott – Performance experience and I like to think I really engage with the audience.

Happyjack – Did you want to be the front man in the beginning?

Scott – Yes.  The rush is much better!

Happyjack – What does a new artist need to break out in the current Rock biz ?

Scott – Lots of determination and I would say a little bit of luck.

Happyjack – How important is it for a new up and coming artist to have articles in print and on the web?

Scott – Very important!  It’s all about discovery, and what better way to get your name out there than getting it in print or online.

Happyjack – Future Goals?

Scott – I want to keep writing and putting out my own music and playing for live audiences everywhere.

Happyjack – What jobs do you currently work in between gigs and festivals ?

Scott – I am lucky enough to be working as a full time musician in the US Navy for the next few months.  After that, we’ll see, but I’d like to be able to earn enough by just playing music after that.  Stay Tuned!!  🙂

Happyjack – The new released hit single ” Sex Me” is getting a lot of requests, what is the story behind the song?

Grab the song on iTunes here: Sex Me – Single – Scott Verville

Scott – A little ditty about unrequited love.  Actually, it’s just a fun, funky dance tune with a great hook chorus you can sing along to.

Happyjack – Any final words for your fans?

Scott – I just want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout the years and to everyone who has supported me in my original music.

Thank you for the interview. We want to thank you for a great debut CD and fans can’t wait to see you live soon! We also want to thank Scott Verville’s Manager, Tracy Cain, she is the best! Grab the New CD and check out Scott on tour – currently at fine Florida Festivals and Special Events!

Happyjack will be back with another great interview with your favorite artists.-

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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 🙂


The Doobie Brothers Sell Out St. Augustine


Photo by Jeremy Denton
Photo by Jeremy Denton

Doobie Brothers Concert Review

Hello Rarasfarm.com Fans, Happyjack is back – this time with legendary rockers, The Doobie Brothers!

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I got the call 2 hours before the show and quickly packed the van and the camera gear and headed to St. Augustine Florida. Tonight I will be reviewing the legends, and I am super excited to see The Doobie Brothers, featuring a special reunion with former band mate Michael McDonald. This will be a packed house filled with fans looking forward to all of the hits they were raised on.

The band continues to write and record new music and they frequently tour the world to their legions of loyal fans who continue to support the band through their many incarnations.

The Doobie Brothers recently broke new creative ground in the exploration of their musical connection with Nashville, the capitol for Country Music. They recently released Southbound, a new collaboration with the top country stars of today, and already, I can’t wait to get this CD. You’ll hear guest spots from Zac Brown, Blake Shelton, Brad PAisley, Sara Evans and many more.

These critically acclaimed Northern California Grammy winners know what the fans want to hear and they love doing it for them, and that love continued when they were offstage, too, as I watched the band signing autographs and taking the time to say “Hello” to the fans this night.

These guys have stood the test of time since forming back 1969 by singer-songwriter-guitarists Tom Johnston, and Patrick Simmons, along with founding drummer John Hartman, and bassist Dave Shogren. 45 years later, we still see the band making great music fronted by the same two original founding members in Johnston and Simmons.

I still have a couple 8 track tapes from the Doobies and we wore them out every week in the 70’s and early 80’s. Those were the days man, I tell ya!

Tonight’s show was a special treat with all the classics being played with such loving feeling that everyone was dancing in the stands and the entire crowd sang every lyric along with the band. They were the locomotive to a high energy train that drove the set all night – and the fans loved every moment.

The band also dealt with the exit of long-time front man Michael McDonald which took some of the wind out of the band – but not for long as they continued to tour and pour the love back out to their loyal fans. They had started their journey years before he was added to the line-up, so they had a strong foundation of hit songs they had recorded without him that they could rely on.

Yes, the years have witnessed many changes in the Doobies, but the band’s most recent studio lineup harkens back to their earliest days. The band really knows each other well enough to allow each other the space to showcase their best attributes for the songs.


Simmons says, “The sound of the band is the same. Tom and I are still involved in writing the songs and arranging. It brings the sound of the early ‘70s back to the forefront. Tommy and I now have been working together longer than any other time the band has been in existence, steadily working every year, touring.” And as we witnessed on this night, the fans will not let them down – always showing up to see the band that helped build their lives.

The show was a treat as the band came out for two encores in a set packed with long-time hits. It was a night of groovy California easy rock n roll; the sound we all recognize immediately as the Doobies’ sound.

As a testament to their popularity, the weather was a brisk 45 degrees on this outdoor pavilion event, but the weather did not stop the band nor the fans. The show was a sell out – and their merchandise table stayed busy all night.
Like so many other fans this night, I was happy to see these guys again after so many years of listening to their music. To be at a historic location in St. Augustine and to see this band will be a memory that will forever touch my heart. Thanks guys for everything guys – you have always rocked us fans!

Go see these guys while you still can. The tour has the band playing with The Marshall Tucker Band for the next couple weeks, and then they play the rest of the year with Greg Allman’s Band – another great double bill show.
And the new CD – don’t forget it – new country versions of all the classics. Get it: Southbound – The Doobie Brothers

Here is the current band line up –
Michael McDonald – Vocals/Piano/Organs
Tom Johnston – Vocals/Guitar
Pat Simmons – Vocals/Guitar
John McFee – Guitar/Strings/Vocals
Ed Toth – Drums
Guy Allison – Keyboards/Vocals
Tony Pia – Drums
Marc Russo – Saxophones
John Cowan – Bass/Vocals

Thanks for reading up on another one of our favorite bands. We thank all our loyal readers all over the world, and a sincere thank you to the band’s management team for coming through for me.

Like Us” on Facebook (Top of this page) and show support for us.

I’ll be back soon with another great Concert Review right here. And, remember, when you want the news on the street, look for Rarasfarm.com’s “Happyjack” to bring it to ya.

Jacksonville’s Sold Out “Welcome To Rocville” reviews coming in April and check out our preview here. Korn , Slayer, Testament and many more…

You want rock n roll – we got it coming! Till then, take care…

Jacksonville, Fla

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 🙂


July Central Florida Rock Concert Calendar

The dog days of summer for the Central Florida concert season. There are a few good shows, but they are few and far between. The Warped Tour coming through Orlando and Tampa is the highlight for sure.  The artists in bold are our recommended acts this month.

Orlando Concerts

The 07/03/14 American Authors – Red Hot and Boom, Altamonte. Talented Indie rockers are the headline band in a line-up the also includes Echosmith, A Great Big World and Ingrid Michaleson.  It’s free, too.
Thu 07/03/14 The Menzingers – The Social

Tue 07/08/14 Moe – Plaza Live Orlando

Thu 07/10/14 Gold Panda – The Social
The 07/10/14 The Bunny The Bear – Bombshells Tavern

Fri 07/11/14 Trapt – House Of Blues
Fri 07/11/14 The Supervillains – The Social
Fri 07/11/14 Chad Sugg / Rookie Of The Year – Bombshells Tavern

Sat 07/12/14 The Supervillains – The Social

Mon 07/14/14 The Dear Hunter – The Beacham

Thu 07/17/14 BobaFlex – Revival (Clermont)

Sat 07/19/14 Thomas Wynn & The Believers – The Social
Sat 07/19/14 The Lovin’ Spoonful

Sun 07/20/14 Dead Rabbits – Backbooth

Wed 07/23/14 The Fray – Hard Rock Live

Sun 07/27/14 The Vans Warped Tour – Central Florida Fairgrounds
Yellowcard, Mayday Parade, Sleeper Agent, Of Mice & Men, Anberlin, Saves The Day, Teenage Bottlerocket, The Maine, and many many more!

Tue 07/29/14 Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson – House Of Blues

Thu 07/31/14 Dirty Heads – The Beacham. Excellent ska reggae band perfect for summer, and their opening act Pepper is just as good. Great double-booking.
Thu 07/31/14 Lou Gramm – Hard Rock Hotel. The former lead singer of Foreigner at this month’s Velvet Sessions.

Cheap concert tickets

Jacksonville Concerts

Mon 07/05/14 The Supervillains – Freebird Live

Sun 07/13/14 The Dear Hunter – Jax Underbelly

Tue 07/15/14 Dave Matthews Band – Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

Sat 07/19/14 – Dead Rabbits – 1904

Sun 07/20/14 – American Idol Live – St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Sun 07/20/14 – Thomas Wynn & The Believers – Jax Underbelly

Fri 07/25/14 – John Legend – St. Augustine Amphitheatre

Sun 07/27/14 – Fall Out Boy / New Politics – St. Augustine Amphitheatre – It’s the Jagermeister Ultimate Summer Of Music

Wed 07/30/14 – Michael Franti, with Trevor Hall – St. Augustine Amphitheatre – Soulshine Music & Yoga Tour

Thu 07/31/14 – Gavin DeGraw – St. Augustine Amphitheatre

Cheap concert tickets

Tampa Area Concerts

Wed 07/02/14 – The Menzingers – Orpheum

Fri 07/04/14 Damon Fowler Group – Skipper’s Smokehouse

Sat 07/05/14 Stephen Pearcy (Ratt) – England Brothers Park (Pinellas Park). It’s “Hairpalooza” where we offer a tribute to Hair Metal, with Pearcy, Winger, Great White and Slaughter
Sat 07/05/14 Moe – Jannus Live (St. Petersburg)
Sat 07/05/14 Go-Go’s – Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater). The “Replay America” tour offers us another fun 80’s flashback. Joining the Go-Go’s are Patty Smyth, Martha Davis and The Motels, Cutting Crew and Naked Eyes

Wed 07/09/14 Gold Panda – The Crowbar

Sat 07/12/14 Joan Jett – Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg). The timeless Queen of Punk Rock, plays after the Tampa Bay Rays game.
Sat 07/12/14 Trapt – State Theatre (St. Petersburg)

Wed 07/16/14 Dave Matthews Band – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Fri 07/18/14 The Black Cadillacs with Thomas Wynn & The Believers – The Crowbar

Mon 07/21/14 The Fray – Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater)

Wed 07/23/14 KISS and Def Leppard – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Fri 07/25/14 The Vans Warped Tour – Vinoy Waterfront Park (st. Petersburg)
Yellowcard, Mayday Parade, Sleeper Agent, Of Mice & Men, Anberlin, Saves The Day, Teenage Bottlerocket, The Maine, and many many more!
Fri 07/25/14 Damon Fowler Group – Skipper’s Smokehouse

Sat 07/26/14 Fall Out Boy, Paramore, New Politics – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. Nice triple bill.

Kansas Headlines St. Augustine’s “Old City Music Fest”

Kansas in St. Augustine. Photo: Leon Jonjock
Kansas in St. Augustine. Photo: Leon Jonjock

Kansas Show Review at Old City Music Fest

Hello fans – HappyJack is back with another concert review.

I saw on my schedule, a wonderful event known around Florida as St. Augustine’s “Old City Music Fest.”  I was quickly impressed that the line-up consisted of a wide range of music, including Uncle Kracker, John Anderson, Bush Hawg, Angie Johnson and Morgan Frazier – Music for everyone, plus a D.J. spinning his wax during band breakdowns.

But, I requested this show for my next review because of the headliners, classic rockers, Kansas. Five professional progressive members of Kansas , the garage band from Topeka, are on their 40th anniversary tour. I was particularity excited because way back in 1975, a little kid known as HappyJack, got to go his first rock ‘n roll concert in the old Jacksonville’s Veteran Arena (now a new Auditorium has been built), where I saw Bob Seger open up for Kansas.

Back in ’75, this was a special show for me; I bought a neon necklace for $1 and stood in front of the stage. Soon after Seger’s act was done with their high energy set, Kansas came on with a blast of steam. I was mesmerized; this guy on the stage was dancing and kicking his legs high whenever he banged on his giant overshadowing steam organ. I had heard their songs on the radio and was glad to get the chance to see them perform live.

Flash forward to 2013 – I am standing in front of the stage again – this time with my cameras at the ready as I watch these guys get into their own playing. They played aggressively smooth and with subtle overtones – perfect for their style of music.  The fans were happy to see these legends live, and so was I. It’s been a few years since they were around , but it seemed like yesterday.

From “Carry On My Wayward Son” to “Dust In the Wind” and all of the other hits, we all sang and raised our glasses to this band from the heartland. 40 years of music experience, and it showed. The double bass drumming, powerful guitar solos and pounding bass lines, along with a piano and a fiddle player was such a sucess – and it sounded cool. They perfectly blended with each other, coming in at out at different times to showcase the instruments, a musical vision to behold!

The crowd reached ten thousand for the festival and there were thousands for the headliners.  Everyone danced all day long, not one fight, nor bottle thrown – everyone naturally respected the families in attendance that came to see the all star line up, and the headliners Kansas.

Kansas in St. Augustine. Photo: Leon Jonjock
Kansas in St. Augustine. Photo: Leon Jonjock

I met the band’s manager and he gave me a set of all three of the bands guitar picks. I took a few good photos which we will post soon. I’ll love to look at them again – many years later, and still enjoy every precious memory while looking forward to seeing them again soon.

St. Augustine’s OLD CITY MUSIC FEST was a blast – I was there for over 10 hours, and I’m already making plans to return in 2014.  I highly recommend that you see a festival when there is one in St. Augustine. Next year’s Old City Music Fest will be booking three days worth of acts to be held on November 7, 8 and 9.  Camping spots for next year’s event will be available beginning next week. Get in early for their version of a Southern Woodstock with all big time acts. Are you ready? Pack those sleeping bags, I’ll see ya at the stage! Visit their Facebook Page for more info.

Thanks to St. Augustine Flea Market , and the town of St. Augustine, Florida for having us! And a special thank you to Kansas Management team and Old City Music Fest for the media passes, you guys rocked North Florida!

And, thanks to the fans that keep us busy at Rarasfarm.com. HappyJack will be attending another show soon – until then – post  a comment!

Do you remember seeing Kansas?

Kansas and Uncle Kracker Headline Old City Music Fest

Kansas and Uncle Kracker to Play St. Augustine Festival

Progressive rock legends, Kansas, headline this weekend’s 2nd Annual Old City Music Festival in St. Augustine. The band, one of the rock giants from the 70’s has witnessed a resurgence in their popularity as they’ve toured with Steve Walsh and most of the original line-up over the past decade. On their current tour, Kansas is celebrating their 40th Anniversary.


Kansas was a mainstay of album oriented rock a few decades ago after a string of hugely successful albums, including the near-perfect Leftoverture, firmly entrenched on our Greatest Albums Ever list.  They’ll be joined on stage this year by hit-making country rocker Uncle Kracker, country music’s John Anderson and several other bands. It’s a microcosm of the line which runs the gamut from traditional Country to Classic Rock.

9:00pm – Kansas
7:30pm – Uncle Cracker
6:15pm – John Anderson
5:00pm – Bush Hawg
4:0Opm – Angie Johnson
3:00pm – Morgan Frazier
*All times Eastern; line up and times are subject to change.

Parking and the St. Augustine Flea Market will open at 8:00am, and the Festival gates will open at 1:30pm.

Organizers have partnered with The Renaissance World Golf Village Resort for an Old City Music Fest Package geared toward locals and visitors alike.

The Renaissance World Golf Village Resort – Old City Music Fest Package includes the following:
* Deluxe overnight accommodations
* Two VIP tickets to the Old City Music Fest on Sunday, November 10, 2013
* Complimentary round trip shuttle to and from the venue
For more information or to purchase the special package, click here.

Affordable tickets available through Ticketmaster.  For up to the minute information and more news on the event, visit Old City Music Fest Facebook Page

Make sure to Like our Facebook and Follow us on Twitter for Old City Festival updates, the most up-to-date concert listings and rock music content.


Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros/ Gentlemen of the Road – St. Augustine, Florida – Concert Review

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes in St. Augustine (Photo: Ivan Correa)

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes / Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Festival Review

I started writing this last night and without even realizing it I was getting too personal, too wordy, telling you guys too much about my love affair and history with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. While it may have made for a pretty interesting story once finished, I doubt that you’d like to sit here and read about Iowa cornfields, snow in Wisconsin, and the way that their song “Home” has finally come full circle and how I finally felt at home back in the Sunshine State, singing and sweating and dancing with 35,000 complete strangers.

Long story short, I heard about this festival stop back in the spring when I was still in the Mid-West. I dismissed it as a pipe dream, but once I found myself back in Florida, writing reviews for this online publication, it suddenly became much more real. I asked Cretin about it, and he sent out the necessary carrier pigeons to promoters and managers to obtain the needed press credentials. Apparently, we got blown off by the festival organizers but the lovely people within the Edward Sharpe camp deemed us worthy and I was granted a couple of guest passes and a photo pass. My talented big brother, Ivan, agreed to shoot photos for me and we were off.

To quote Michael, the owner of the Shell Shop on St. George Street “This whole event has been over-engineered. Those people out there on US 1? [expletive deleted]. [expletive deleted] charging $50 for parking.” Turns out, the joke was on the people selling the overpriced parking. Michael was right. I had expected a traffic-jam the likes of which this city has seldom, if ever, seen. I walked from the corner of West King and US 1 and the traffic was comparable to a regular Sunday morning’s. Everyone had been so afraid to approach the downtown area with a vehicle that nobody did. Charter buses brought in attendees from the airport and amphitheater park-and-rides. Velo Fest did a wonderful job accommodating the cyclists. The valet parking for bikes was 150 yards from the festival entrance, it was FREE, and they even gave you a red LED light so you were safe and legal riding home in the dark.

Gentlemen of the Road flags lined the walkway to the entrance and I imagine everyone had a very regal feeling as they approached in the hot afternoon sun. Security seemed pretty lax, only taking a cursory glance inside my brother’s camera bag on the first day. I had a backpack with me on day two which contained a birthday present for a friend I was hoping to run into, wrapped in newspaper, and even then, there were no questions.

We got in, took a look around and found a snug spot, first row, to the left of the stage. Willy Mason was playing and while I do regret not paying closer attention to his set because it sounded great, I was still too busy taking in the sights and sounds of the festival. Beers were $10, burgers were $10. I don’t think that the price tag was intended to be a deterrent from over-consumption, it probably worked that way. Never before in my life have I seen so many people be so well behaved. There were old hippies, moms and dads, tweens, college freshman, yuppies, and obvious St. Augustine tourists who somehow found a ticket. I spent a good deal of time watching the different types of people and their reactions. The funniest was from what we decided must be the youngest attendee, a red-headed toddler girl that had the giggles that would not stop while she bounced on her dad’s shoulders as Thao & The Get Down Stay Down appeared on the big-screen monitor behind them.

Let me talk a little bit about Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. I have been shallow enough in the past to simply dismiss a band for a dumb name, or simply because the name was a mouthful to say. I don’t think I will ever let this happen again. Thao, the front-woman, came out like a raging bull. Exuding sexuality and confidence, she reminded me of a slightly more reserved Karen O, but that could be because her movement was inhibited by her need to play her guitar/banjo. The crowd was very receptive as they blew through their set list, bringing it to a fevered frenzy as they ended on a song that included a well-known Ludacris verse. Satisfied and happy, the crowd cheered for the San Francisco natives as they left the stage. Already, the feeling of unity and love was permeating the festival.

The Walkmen came on next. Front-man Hamilton Leithauser seems like a very intense individual. Dressed like he just left his job at a busy law firm, he rolled up his sleeves, told a short story about how he missed his flight to their last scheduled show in St. Augustine, and thanked the crowd for letting him come back to try again. Same as the band before them, they breezed through their set-list with very little interlude. Not knowing too many of their songs, I still found the experience extremely entertaining and was able to sing along with the crowd favorite “The Rat”. Leithauser alternated between walking the stage with his mic, and playing guitar, even dropping the tempo way, way down for a song that I’ve been unable to identify, that featured only his vocals and guitar. The Walkmen were granted raucous applause as they left the stage and I think it’s fair to say that they are welcome back in St. Augustine any time.

The crowd buzzed in quiet anticipation as the stage crew set up instrument after instrument. The pleasant September breeze played a big role in the well-being of the audience, I think.  Hydration levels were up, tempers were level, and the good spirit and fellowship of the crowd was palpable. Alex Ebert appeared on stage, and the crowd was taken with minor confusion. Donning a red coat, he gave a brief explanation that the rest of the band was still getting ready and that he’d like to show us a video that they had shot in New York City, but had just finished editing that morning. The video, for “Life Is Hard”, came on the two large displays that flanked the stage and everyone watched quietly, mesmerized. The video was beautiful and really showed a soulful side to the band that I had not seen, yet. Alex sat quietly on the stage and watched us as we watched him and Jade in the video.

It did not take long after that for the rest of the band to appear.  Jade, who was clearly the crowd’s favorite, was dressed is a flowing, vintage, white gown. Her hair was much longer than I’d seen it in videos and she looked radiant. Alex discarded his red jacket after the first song, and sat down on the front monitor as the band let a G chord ring out for what seemed like two or three minutes. We all knew what song was coming but when the words left Alex’s mouth, the crowd erupted into a giant, singing mass. “I’m a man on fire, walking through your street, with one guitar and two dancing feet.” If I had not been positioned in front of one of the speaker stacks, I think the crowd would have easily drowned out Alex’s singing.

Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes
Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes in St. Augustine (Photo: Ivan Correa)

Alex literally bounced through the set. Dancing and kicking and spinning, there were a few times that I thought he was going to have a nasty fall off the stage onto the the tracks that were used for the festival cameras. He found joy in crowd interactions, letting people in the front row pick at least half of the songs for their set. “Up From Below,” “Janglin’,” “40 Day Dream,” “That’s What’s Up,” and plenty of songs from their recently released 3rd album that I’m not extremely familiar with were all covered. He even took the time to let a few fans say some words into the microphone and they generally related to what an inspiration the band had been to them, or how the band had helped them find a way to come to terms with their spirituality. Jade alternated between singing side by side with Alex, and sitting down to play what appeared to be a piano, but was possibly an organ. She conversed with one of the guitar players during lulls in the music, and it showed how relaxed and familiar they were with their extensive group of band mates. Alex got the rest of the band involved by having the crowd point out members to sing the next verse. It was obvious before that they were all talented, but now it was confirmed that they were all incredible singers, as well.

The second to last song that was performed was “Home” and it was a strange affair. He spoke solemnly in between verses about what a great audience we were, and how great the tour was. He said repeatedly that he would miss us and how he was sad that they wouldn’t be there tomorrow to hang out with us. It was a strange insight into the man’s brain, that he could write a song like “Home” while being in a touring band. The chorus, bitter-sweet, says it all: “Home is Wherever I’m With You.”

The crowd began to disperse and about half went toward the charter buses, a quarter headed downtown to do god knows what, and the rest disappeared into the darkened neighborhoods adjacent to Francis Field. I had difficulty tracking down my photographer/brother as both of our phones had died. We eventually found each other on a nearly pitch black West Castillo, and went off to figure out how the hell we were going to get home. We managed to turn a fellow attendee into a taxi as we procured a ride from him while he was stopped at the red light at West King. Thank you stranger!

Check out more Photos of Edward Sharpe & The Magentic Zeroes and other festival shots here: Gentlemen of the Road Photos

Elated from the first night of the festival I stayed up extremely late looking through pictures of the festival on the camera and others’ on Instagram. A gigantic thank you to Alexander, Jade, and the rest of the Magnetic Zeros for their love and inspiration. Thank you to Phoebe at BB Gun Press for allowing me the opportunity to witness this event. Thank you to Ivan for taking the photos.

Day two started slowly for me after staying up so late the night before. I could hear the bands begin to play as I sat on my balcony across Oyster Creek from Francis Field, and it came to my attention that an act had been confirmed to replace Fun., since they had to cancel due to illness. John Fogerty was called upon, and answered, making the flight to St. Augustine from Los Angeles overnight. By the time I got down there and parked my bike at the Velo Fest area, he was already knee-deep in his set. Fogerty was being backed up by at least Marcus Mumford, but the crowd seemed so much more dense on the second day that I couldn’t get within 75 feet of the stage to see who the other players were. He romped through just about every Credence Clearwater Revival song that I knew, and the crowd sang every song word for word. As he began “Born On A Bayou” the gentleman in front of me, clearly enamored and intoxicated, asked his friend at least three or four times “How freakin’ awesome is this?!” I couldn’t have agreed more. His set concluded as the first bolts of lightning could be seen in the diminishing daylight of the western sky.

Night took hold of Francis Field as Mumford & Sons took the stage and launched full steam ahead into one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.  The lighting, the crowd, and the intensity of the band created a surreal experience that was capped off by the impending storm. They burned through their set, playing an equal number of songs from Sigh No More and Babel. When the fierce rhythm of “Little Lion Man” began the crowd detonated. The storm got closer and closer but did not open up on us. Marcus trooped back and forth from his front-stage mic, to his mic behind the drum kit. Late in the show, they even dropped the instruments and gathered around a single mic, center stage, for an acapella song.

I leaned against a barrier, off to the side, and watched couples dance together as “Lover Of The Light” played. The breeze shifted the Spanish moss above my head as it dangled from the trees. I watched in awe at the scene; thousands and thousands of fans coming together in such tranquility. I had met folks from as far away as New York City, South Carolina, Tennessee, and as close as Daytona Beach and Lake City. Marcus made the mistake of acknowledging a Union Jack flag that someone was holding up in the audience and in response to his feeble attempt to start a “U.K! U.K!” chant he was quickly beaten back with “USA! USA! USA!”. It was all in good fun and he went on to say that they enjoyed Florida very much. Shortly thereafter, he brought out members of The Vaccines for a cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together.” They ended with an exceptionally energetic rendition of “The Cave” and said goodnight. At this point, it seemed that no one remembered that Yacht Club DJs were still performing after that, and the vast majority of the crowd headed for the exit and home.

I collected my bicycle from the valet, and while riding down a side street I got a flat tire. I had to walk the few miles to my house on the other side of the water, but, you know what? I wasn’t even mad. The experience of the weekend had instilled such a deep sense of elation, and beyond that, a reaffirmation of the goodness of humankind that not even walking on my sore, swollen feet for miles could upset me. The festival had been more than a concert experience for me. It had been a refresher course in basic happiness and the love and freedom that can be found in communal revelry. To Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, to Mumford & Sons, to Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, to John Fogerty, to The Walkmen, to Willy Mason, to the bands that I am sorry I missed, you are all truly Gentlemen (and Ladies) of the Road, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for bringing your message of love and familial inclusion to our small town. Our home is now your home and you are welcome, anytime.

– Broken Birdie –

Check out more Photos of Edward Sharpe & The Magentic Zeroes and other festival shots here: Gentlemen of the Road Photos

St. Augustine’s “Queen Beef” wows Jacksonville fans!

Queen Beef at Jack Rabbits
Queen Beef at Jack Rabbits

Queen Beef Concert Review

From the moment opening act Queen Beef hit the stage, it was a party!

The four man group, from the sands of St. Augustine Beach Florida, played for a SOLD OUT SHOW at Jack Rabbits in Jacksonville, Florida. Billed with 3 other bands from around the nation, this 4 band show was a sight to see, and wonderful music to our ears.

Opening act Queen Beef, played high energy songs that got the Jacksonville crowds a jumping. The band is led by lead singer Michael O’Hara who came out twirling in a little pink mini skirt and danced and jumped for 45 minutes straight!

Lead Guitarist Ryan Palm handled the fast paced riffs on a small neck guitar perfectly – every song was on time and the crowd roared with every solo, while bassist Nick Commodity sweated every note as he feverishly pounded on his bass to the super fast tempo of the set. Commodity wore a Misfits shirt that everyone loved the minute he came in the door, I thought he was the bouncer at first – then he grabbed the bass, plugged in his amp, and jammed to the delighted crowd at Jack Rabbits. Fianlly, drummer Matty Pius did not stop his barrage of thunder drums until the set was over. He played so fast that sweat was pouring from his soaked body like rain. High energy bands like Queen Beef, are always welcomed in the Jacksonville area.

After the show, the band graciously signed autographs and came back later in the evening to hang with the fans.  This show will be remembered by a lot of fans of the underground scene.  They came wearing ripped clothes, make up, wild hair styles, and a passion for Punk Rock Music!

We enjoyed this show and can’t wait to see them again soon, and recommend them to anyone if they are playing in your area!

See more Queen Beef show photos here: Queen Beef at Jack Rabbits

As always , thanks to Jack Rabbits venue in Jacksonville Florida , where concerts are happening every other week, and the locals love to come out to see the cool bands play their hearts out.

Also,thanks to Rarasfarm.com for making this event coverage available to us die hard fans of Punk Music! Watch for my three other reviews from this 4 band event from Jack Rabbits coming soon on this website. Enjoy the pictures from the show , on this website from all 4 bands, and comments are always welcome in our blogs.

Until then, keep your heads up and enjoy all the reviews on Rarasfarm.com. I’ll be getting ready for my next review, please keep us as a favorite on your toolbar, and tell your friends about the coolest music review site in the nation – Rarasfarm.com!

Stay tuned – for more – HappyJack