BackBooth is a small venue and it was packed to the brim with checkerboard attire and trilby hats. Mad Caddies haven’t played Orlando in quite a while and it took them seven years to come out with their newest album, Dirty Rice. These facts along with the overwhelming heat, cram packed crashing bodies, and cheap drinks (2 for $5 PBRs) all lead to an overall consensus of “FUCK IT!” Never was this sense more evident than when they began playing their first song “Shot In The Dark.”
The crowd turned into a frenzy of flying fists and falling fedoras. The mosh pit had begun and anyone standing in their way (like me with my camera) were immediately brought to their asses. At one point I heard a rather large neanderthal angrily scream “WHO THE FUCK MOSHES AT A REGGAE SHOW?!” I was more surprised at the fact that this troglodyte wasn’t enjoying it than the act of moshing at a ska show.
It was a night of good buddies bonding over shitty beers. Evan, Alex, Daniel, and myself all sat on the back porch waiting for our Wednesday night to take off. We eased into the evening talking about movies, science fiction, shows, and literature. It was the perfect pre-game action before Mad Caddies took the stage.
In our beer induced nirvana we stepped out into the night. Daniel responsibly stayed behind to meet an obligatory deadline. We crammed ourselves into Evan’s little coupe with barely enough room to breath or move and we were on our way. I felt like a wound up Jack-in-the-box, anticipating our final turn into a parking spot, before popping out. After a short jaunt along the dead streets of downtown Orlando on a wet Wednesday, we arrived at BackBooth. The crowd outside was growing in size and cacophony, and the heat was rising.
In between songs I wiped the dirt off my ass and inspected my camera. In the music induced mania I had lost my group, Alex and Evan were no where to be found. Just then, “Without You” began and a few seconds in I notice Evan riding atop a sea of people. He had jettisoned his PBR and his hull was bucking against the hands of strangers; the first person to be thrown up that night but certainly not the last. By the time I had readjusted I only got one shot of him riding his wave of men and women.
For the safety of my beloved camera I took to the top deck, it was slightly less populated than down below and I managed to secure a place on the edge of the railing. I spent a good portion of the show perched in my crow’s nest taking pictures. Mad Caddies started playing “Drinking for 11” and things slowed down. Chuck Robertson, the band’s lead singer, made it known to the crowd “I hear you singing and I like it.” Occasionally people popped outside for a smoke and some air but the crowd inside never seemed to die.
Alex, Evan, and I met up outside and walked to Lizzy McCormack’s for a few cold pints which certainly ended the night right. We sat there sipping Guinness, smoking cigarettes, and talking about our Mad Caddies adventure. We reminisced about times both strange and superb, stories one day we all hope we will never forget.
All photos by @amartcard
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