With more than 20,000 Hulaweeners likely to descend upon the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park for this weekend’s Suwannee Hulaween from all over the country, there is a chance that you may not know about most of the superb Florida bands playing. So here is a brief primer on what to expect. Many of you will be passing by the Campground Stage often anyway, so we recommend that you make time to check out some of the amazing music just waiting to escape Florida’s confines.
The Campground Stage will host 15 bands from Friday to Sunday, all homegrown talent, and another five bands have slots elsewhere during the weekend. And that starts with two excellent bands opening the Amphitheater Stage Thursday.
Leisure Chief is an excellent jazz/fusion/rock jam band from Orlando. They have the honor of cutting the ribbon at 3 PM. And they are followed at 4:30 by funky jam rockers Herd of Watts from Jacksonville. That is a superb way to kick off Hulaween in style!
Serious time now. The Hip Abduction (St. Petersburg) opens the amphitheater (they had a great set there at Wanee 2014) at 12:15 with their mix of Afrobeat, indie rock and tropical rhythms. Pensacola’s Post Pluto initiates the Spirit Lake Stage at 1:15 with their driving jam rock.
The six performances at the Campground begin with Master Radical playing Americana dancehall music (12:15, Jacksonville). Also from Jax, Juke does their great blues thing (2:15). Morning Fatty’s boys hail from all over the state, and they play reggae with a side of funk and rock (4:15).
Beebs and Her Moneymakers (6:15) bring their excellent soul and funk revue and great live show from Orlando. S.P.O.R.E. (more Jax, 11:15) delivers “live instrumented electrofunk jams.” How are you gonna NOT quote that?
Of all the Florida bands to play, however, most notable, on this particular weekend, are the Bath Salt Zombies from Daytona Beach. Their riotous and perfectly-played ditties about murder, mayhem and the bizarre are a perfect match for their costumes and black-light presentation, which is second to none. If you know the movie They Live with Rowdy Roddy Piper, you might have some clue.
Halloween, witches! Southern-fried soulful R&B and driving rock come from Orlando’s Thomas Wynn & the Believers, at the amphitheater at 12:30. At the same time, The Groove Orient (also Orlando) present their tight jazzy jam rock. Brilliant Gainesville quintet Flat Land brings you powerful funky rock with Fae Nae on violin and vocals (2:30). Suberb jamtronic monsters Greenhouse Lounge, featuring Khris Royal, also hail from Jacksonville.
Come Back Alice out of Sarasota have been blowing up stage after stage, and their 6:45 should make a lot of new converts. Double triple threats Dani Jaye and Tony Tyler will bring the gypsy swamp funk for certain! And Displace (Tampa), superb jammy funkateers, gets the 11:15 slot immediately following The String Cheese Incident’s third Halloween set!
Squeedlepuss (Jacksonville) offers amazing jazz funk fusion on the Campground Stage at 11:45. Superb collective Holey Miss Moley (from all over) bring a little bit of everything to the stage, and they will no doubt “wanna get freaky with you!”
The Heavy Pets are the most prominent of Florida’s representatives, and they have been out of this world of late. This promises to be an awesome time (4:00) as Sunday winds down. And Tallahassee’s Catfish Alliance (6:45), home of Sex Manatee, plays — what else? — sex rock.
But wait! There’s more! Five of the 12 Silent Disco DJ sets are also Floridians. On Friday, Vlad the Inhaler (Jax), Bells & Robes and LZRKMMNDR (both from Gainesville) will delight on your blinking red, blue and green headphones.
On Saturday, bedside from Miami and Aurakull (Jax) will be in your earhole.
There is a good reason Florida folks are proud of the scene here. Come get a little Sunshine State in your system!