Last Night: Respectable Street's 23rd Anniversary Party, July 31

Kill Miss Pretty provides a lot of visceral stimulation inside Respectable Street.
Kill Miss Pretty provides a lot of visceral stimulation inside Respectable Street.
Photo by Ian Witlen

Respectable Street's 23rd Anniversary Party, with Awesome New

Republic, MillionYoung, Blond Fuzz, Zombies! Organize!!, the Hard

Richards, Fusik, Lavola, Leading the Heroes, the State Of, Music Is a

Weapon, Kill Miss Pretty, the Mission Veo, Band in Heaven, Shit Ton of

Upcoming Events

Funk, Astari Nite, Retrocities, Everymen, Noble Rocket, Trip Don't Fall, Guy

Harvey, the Dewars, People From Venus, and Alexander
The 500 block of Clematis Street, West Palm Beach
Saturday, July 31, 2010

View a slideshow from the night here.

Summing up the events on four stages filled with South Florida talent running simultaneously isn't

possible, and it isn't the point when the images on the fringes proved to be just as engaging

as the performers. Although Kill Miss Pretty's shock rock inside

Respectable Street was on point -- frontwoman Alicia Olink provided a

stunning visual as a nurse (possibly a nod to Daryl Hannah's role in Kill Bill)

in tight white and fishnet stockings while flanked by her scrub-donning

band -- there was a guy in a hospital gown convulsing and sucking his

thumb on top of one of the speakers that was impossible to ignore. After

several demands of "please buy me a gin and tonic, motherfuckers!"

Olink finally got her wish.

With four stages, umpteen refreshment stations -- many of which were

free until 10 p.m. -- as well as an enormous sampling of the music

public regularly attending events in Palm Beach and Broward counties

(Miami-Dade was well-repped too), Saturday's Respectable Street

anniversary bash was a crowd constantly in motion. All of the hopping

from the massive stage set up on Clematis street to the tiny spot

inside the Lounge to the two stages within Respectable Street's

indoor/outdoor space was obviously by design. By the end of the evening,

the entire 500 block of Clematis, which was foggy from smoke machines

early on and filled with those eager to catch a golden Ping-Pong ball

later on, felt united.

On the venue's back patio with the power station's outpouring wires as a backdrop,

debonair indie rockers Guy Harvey passed an enormous green beach towel

around to dab away the perspiration of the evening. With members of the

Jameses front and center, frontman Adam Perry led his bandmates through

succinct statements like "Take Your Time With Me." It was in stark contrast to the nü-metal crunch taking over the ample street stage via the brash Music Is a Weapon.

Inside the shiny-walled confines of the intimate Lounge "stage," which was basically a cleared-out section of floor, a more-electronic setup of Alexander came to play with its regular drummer and guitarist out of town. After the synth-heavy versions of "Peter James and John (Backward Math)" and other emotive statements with an uplifting core, frontman Ryan Alexander revealed he had freshly printed copies of the band's new album, It's Not Always Signs, It's Not Always Wonders. Art-rock trio Lavola also dominated the room later on with a fiercer approach behind Julian Cires' always unyielding vocals like: "How  do you sleep on the bloody sheets?" No fucking clue, dude.

With the lack of true backstage areas anywhere, the constant flow of musicians loading in and loading out cut through the throng of revelers, many of whom were just as drunk on their neon headgear as any tipplers. Working the street stage with passion, Blond Fuzz served up a merciless garage-rock aperitif for electronic act MillionYoung, which is far more engaging as a full band than when it's just Mike Diaz performing with a laptop and a microphone. A lubricated crowd outside made up of skinny-jeaned break dancers, the folkie Dewar brothers just before their raucous set inside the Lounge, Sweat Records staffers, and a glut of the most open-eared members of the community -- every face reflected what was Respectable Street's celebration of all of us.

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