There were some strange people in the crowd around me during Whole Wheat Bread. So what did I do, you ask? I fucking took the blunt they passed me, hit it, put my fist in the air, and sang along “Whole Wheat Bread ain’t nothin’ to fuck with!” Duh.
The 8th Annual Hurricane Party was a badass, drunken all-day/night music party in Sanford, Florida. There were four stages shared by the extensive 52 bands lineup. Food was readily available but we’ll get to that in a minute. Drinks, on the other hand, were flowing heavier than a busted NYC fire hydrant in the streets of Harlem in the summer. In other words, if you were at the 8th Annual Hurricane Party and you were sober, you were doing it wrong.
I arrived as Hor!zon was nearing the end of their afternoon set (they played a second set indoors about midnight). I grabbed a “Hurricane Special” which consisted of a shot of Jäger and a can of Yuengling for $7.00. It was definitely the “fuck-yeah” deal-of-the-day. I watched the rest of Hor!zon then patiently awaited for American Party Machine to begin their set, scheduled in the 6pm time-slot indoors.
If Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Ric Flair mated and produced nine children that all played metal, you would have American Party Machine. Each of the members of American Party Machine portray their own unique character, heavily influenced by the good ‘ole U-S-of-A: Muscles. Wrestling references. Uncle Sam. Abe Lincoln. Alcohol. America!! Their dramatic look and character references are well-played but what really rules about this band is the music they put out. Fucking Party Metal. Reminiscent of some of Every Time I Die’s work with intricate guitar work, straight forward drumming, a mixture of yelling and screaming, and epic breakdowns. Here’s a shitty pic:
“This one’s about the greatest man that’s ever lived – Rick Flair.” Followed by a proverbial “Wooooooooooo!” said the lead singer of American Party Machine before thrusting into their Rock N Roll song “Space Mountain.” I honestly think Andrew W.K. can get some updated partying tips from these dudes. If they are ever in need of a drummer, I’m totally down.
“I have a bad drug problem. And I’m trying to keep that shit going.“ joked the lead singer in attempt to persuade the audience to purchase band merch. The crowd was very receptive during their audacious performance. I’ve seen APM twice now and each time it’s been a unique experience and incredibly entertaining, nonetheless. They have a new album coming out on the perfect holiday for them, July 4th. Check out the album teaser and I suggest you catch APM at Will’s Pub on the date of their album release.
Side note: Two of my favorite Orlando-based bands right now are Jacie & The Knick-Knacks and American Party Machine. Totally opposite ends of the spectrum but both fucking awesome. Proud of you Orlando!
After having my face melted by APM, I made my way to the bar to obtain another “Hurricane Special.” I exited into the bar into hazy air in front of The Supervillains who were performing their first set of the night, outside. The Supervillains are a fun blend of reggae and sing-along stoner music or “Swamp Reggae” as they would call themselves. The have a fairly concrete fan base and their drummer/lead singer always has a bit of humorous banter for the recipritive crowd.
The power went out on their stage (or something broke?) halfway through their set during the song “Resin” but the crowd continued singing through the verse until we all realized that the only remaining audible instrument was the drums. They came back on after a few minutes and began “St. Thomas” which was a clear hit. I caught a bit of “Crippy Weed” on the Shows I Go To instagram:
I saw the coolest food truck I’ve ever seen in my entire life at the Hurricane Party. Check this shit out… There was a full size, wood-burning, stone pizza oven inside a converted shipping container laid into the bed of a large truck. Then again, restaurant supplies like this are pretty easy to source if you know where to look online, so I shouldn’t be surprised that someone managed to set up their own eatery inside a shipping container! The entire service side of the vehicle is see-through so you could watch the entire process of your “from-scratch” pizza being made. It’s called 900 Degreez. And yes, of course I ate there. Here’s a shitty pic:
I had a pepperoni pizza which was personal size (for me) and consisted of 8 small slices and was about the circumference size of a Totino’s party pizza. Lindsay had the greek pizza with spinach and feta which I also got to experience thanks to the suicidal bug that experienced death by cheese into one of her slices. Her grossed-outness worked to my advantage as the extra protein on that slice didn’t bother me at all. That shit was delicious too!
Being a drummer, I always notice the strange faces drummers make when they’re playing. Next time you watch a band, keep a close eye on the drummer. Do they open their mouth every time they hit the snare drum? Do they raise their eyebrows when they hit the cymbals? Did you see an “O” face? Seriously. Watch.
The drummer of Abandon The Midwest just looks really concerned the whole time. Eyebrows angled down; super focused. The lead singer Matt, can be roughly compared to the lead singer of The Menzingers (who I’m super stoked to see on July 3). Then the lead guitarist offers balancing, toned-down vocals while the bassist drives the punk rhythms forward. Abandon The Midwest was just good until they played their new single “Hell.”
“Hell” was a bit different than the other songs in their set. Although I was super stoked that they covered a Genesis song (“Invisible Touch”), I was fairly impressed with “Hell.” It begins with vocals and guitar, then more guitar and vocals, then goes into a cadence and a pause then boom! The bass and drums kick in. Check this shit out:
Whole Wheat Bread was late to the show due to a terrible accident on I-4 so they traded set times with Abandon The Midwest. I have to say, Florida is so fucking lucky to have Whole Wheat Bread. Us Floridians get to see them several times a year for not-a-lot of money and they are absolutely fantastic every single time. The easiest way I’ve heard someone describe them is: “Three black dudes that sound like Green Day.” Even though they mix in hip-hop elements and have some indie flairs, it’s a pretty damn good description.
I’ve never been to a WWB show that wasn’t fun and rowdy. This show was no different with loud-ass punk music, laughable stage banter and fists raised in the air. One of the most hilarious points during their set was when they were singing “Throw Your Sets Up.” During the bridge, the lyrics are “Throw your sets up nigga, throw your rags up nigga…” But the audience being predominantly of caucasian descent changed the lyrics to “Throw your sets up (silence), Throw your rags up (silence)…” Not one of us nervously muttered the last lyric of each sentence. It was hysterical. Here’s a bit of one of my favorite WWB songs, “Old Man Samson” that I caught:
Thanks to a few more “Hurricane Specials,” the rest of the night was a bit of a drunken haze. I remember seeing a Mighty Might Bosstones cover a little earlier in the night by a band called UNRD which was cool. I remember having a drunken conversation with the dude from United For Care about how I’m going to Vote “Yes” on 2. I remember the tallest crowd surfer ever remaining stagnant during WWB. And I remember Lindsay took a lot of great pictures that will be posted soon. 🙂
The 8th Annual Hurricane Party was, as Borat would say, “Great Success.” The organizer and GM of West End, Paul, is not only a super nice guy, but he knows how to throw a super-rad party. If you’re ever in Sanford, check out West End Trading Co, it’s worth the trip.
West End Trading Co is a fun bar with a great craft beer selection and full liquor. They offer live music multiple nights a week on their two stages, good late night bar food, and have an awesome staff. Check them out at www.DrinkAtWestEnd.com
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