sunfest live review

Sunfest Day 2 Recap | Live Review & Concert Photos | Downtown West Palm Beach, Florida | April 30, 2015

by • May 13, 2015

I woke up Thursday morning ready to take on the world. I brewed some coffee and headed to UCF where I powered through my last final exam of the semester. From there, I hit the highway to West Palm Beach. Where, you ask? Target.

No, I didn’t drive all the way to West Palm for some great deals, but rather some great times. Jonnie Morgan Band met me at the parking lot and scooped me up to drive us into the heart of downtown WPB to load in at the Tire Kingdom stage at Sunfest 2015.

Jonnie Morgan Band Live Review

An angry tour manager, of none other than legendary Sammy Hagar, instantly greeted us. Apparently we were in his spot. But nobody was there so finder’s keeper’s, right? Wrong.

We quickly loaded their gear in, set up the merch table, and sound checked. Their 5:00 pm set served as a welcome gift for fans as they arrived to the festival for the night.

JMB always kills it. With a 7-members, you know they’re going to make a lot of noise. Leader of the pack, Jonnie Morgan, describes his motley crew as a horn-infused modern rock band. That’s a fairly accurate description, but it’s hard to fit these guys into any kind of box-shaped genre, which is why I love working with these dudes so much. They pull from metal, singer-songwriter, jazz, and other influences to create something totally different and totally badass.

Jonnie Morgan Band Live Review

Check out their song, “Ordinary Man” to get a taste.

Their set consisted of some crowd-pleasers from their first album as well as a few unreleased songs they’ve been working on. Afterward, we celebrated back in the JMBus (tour bus) with a round of whiskey shots before checking out some of the other bands.

Over at the Ford stage, one of my favorite up-and-coming bands, Knox Hamilton was finishing up their set. From there, we went over to the Captain Morgan VIP lounge and indulged in some of those festivities. I had a generous helping of Captain to re-hydrate for what was about to happen back at the Tire Kingdom stage.

Sammy Hagar decided to grace us with his presence, and a few fan-boy moments could not be contained. Such that Jonnie and I insisted that he take a photo with us. He obliged and we shared some rum-oriented conversation before he headed out on stage. I was nervous to meet Sammy, mainly because of all the negative press he receives in regards to his “attitude problem” but as far as I could tell, he was a class act. He was polite and seemed to enjoy spending time with his fans. Oh, and he put on a hell of a show.

Sammy Hagar Live Review

His star-studded lineup included guitarist, Vic Johnson, fellow ex-Van Halen member, Michael Anthony, on bass, and Jason Bonham on drums. After shooting 3 songs from the photo pit, I joined the rest of JMB side stage to enjoy the show. They played an energetic set with old photos of Sammy flashing on the screen behind them. The crowd went ballistic during favorites such as “I Can’t Drive 55” and “Heavy Metal.” After their set, Michael Anthony ran offstage and high-fived all the side-stage spectators. Somebody asked him if he was going back on for the encore or if he was done, to which he replied, “Psh. They can’t play without me!”

And just as quickly as they came, they went. And in style. They piled all the band members and their entourage into 2 Ford Econoline vans and were off to their next destination.

Our night however, was just getting started. We hurried back over to the Ford stage to catch the last act of the night, Paramore. I weaseled my way up to the front to get into the photo pit. Upon reaching the photo pit, a lovely lady emitting rainbow-like feelings of joy (can you taste the sarcasm?) very (un)politely told me that my credentials would not get me into the photo pit at that stage. She insisted that I be escorted to the entrance of the event. I kindly accepted the escort as I had never had such a privilege before, but immediately re-entered the grounds in order to get some shots of Paramore just in spite of this lovely person. No hard feelings toward Paramore, she had no relation to the band since she was merely a Sunfest employee. In order to keep her identity secretive, I now refer to this woman as lady-Voldemort since she shall not be named.

But I would not let lady-Voldemort ruin my night. I enjoyed Paramore’s set in full, up to my ankles in mud. I stood toward the back and tried to get a handful of decent shots back from the nosebleeds. Her Royal Babe-ness, Haley Williams, was as beautiful looking and sounding as you could possibly imagine as they blasted through their hour-long set like true professionals of their craft.

Paramore Live Review

After Paramore, I decided to go out for a night on the town with the JMBrothers. As we walked through downtown West Palm Beach, pretty girls tried to lure us to their bars with wristbands boasting cheap drinks. Naturally, we ended up at a modest Irish bar instead where a man in a kilt played a fiddle magnificently. We indulged until the wee hours of the night, meeting new friends and shooting pool. I’d tell you how we got back to the JMBus, but I don’t really know that story to be honest. The best explanation I have is that my body has the latest IDGPS (Internal Drunken GPS) system and for that I am grateful.

I woke up at 7:00am to the sound of knocking on the bus walls. Jonnie hopped out of his bunk and talked with the Sunfest employee that was officially kicking us out. Jonnie drove us to a nearby parking lot where we slept a little longer before walking to a little diner for some JMBreakfast. Upon returning to the bus, they had a little curbside jam session with a travel guitar and a ukulele. Considering the headache, it was a rather peaceful way to rise to take on the day as they drove me back to my car so I could get headed home as they proceeded to their next stop.

Jonnie Morgan Band Live Review

I’m very thankful for my first Sunfest experience. JMB is always a blast to be around, Sammy was a classy dude, and hey, free Captain Morgan! My first Paramore show was slightly tarnished due to lady-Voldemort but Hayley, you can sleep easy. It’s not your fault and you’re still a total babe. 🙂

Sunfest Live Review and Concert Photos by Adam Fricke.

[Not a valid template]

Check out our South Florida SIGT Website! 

Shows I Go To South Florida Giveaway, Reviews, Photos, and more

Please support our friends who support us! Tell them Shows I Go To sends love! 🙂

Recommended Posts