Ten Most Florida Music Concerts of 2014

Ten Most Florida Music Concerts of 2014
Sayre Berman

No matter how bad Americans are at geography, there's one shape in the Union everyone can pick out when handed a blank map. That's Florida.

The uniqueness of the Sunshine State extends beyond the configuration of its borders. There are just certain Floridian qualities that capture the world's imagination -- usually pretty grimy, but oftentimes just plain tacky.

To celebrate the passing of another year of sweating through T-shirts and entertaining out-of-towners with mojitos, we present the ten most Florida concerts of 2014.

Drone films Tortuga Music Festival 2014 on Fort Lauderdale Beach from Eagle Eye: Aerial Filmworks on Vimeo.

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10. Tortuga Music Festival

April 12 - 13, 2014

Fort Lauderdale Beach Park

With 1,350 miles of shoreline, only Alaska has more coast to party on than Florida. But even with all that beach on our hands, besides a few drum circles, not that much music is played by the ocean.

Tortuga Music Festival, which raises money for marine conservation, is one of the few concerts that takes advantage of our Atlantic-side views. And it does it total Florida style.

There's some reggae, with acts like Ziggy Marley, but mostly, the focus is on the twang. It's a total country concert, and that's demonstrated by the peoples' fashions. Folks wearing cowboy hats and boots on the hot sands of Fort Lauderdale Beach, it's a wild time with plenty of blondes, boobs, and Confederate flags in plain view.

See also: Tortuga Music Festival Announces 2015 Dates

9. SunFest

April 30 - May 4, 2014

Downtown West Palm Beach

Given that the sun is always shining bright, even when the rain's falling, naming a massive five-day outdoor festival SunFest in downtown West Palm, seems appropriate.

The best, most Florida thing about this long-running outdoor affair though is the acts that perform. They always give local musicians a chance to share the stage with legends like Smashing Pumpkins or Jimmy Cliff. This past year, local aspiring Justin Bieber Austin Mahone even broke out some dance moves on the SunFest stage to the tween screams of a packed lawn.

See also: Five Reasons SunFest Is Unusual, in a Good Way


Ten Most Florida Music Concerts of 2014
Sayre Berman

8. Lionel Richie

July 15, 2014

Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach

While the state animal is the Florida panther, there's another wildcat Florida is famous for: the cougar.

On a summer night this past year, Lionel Richie filled Cruzan Amphitheatre with a ferocious pack of snarling cougars. They spent the night dancing "All Night Long," purring to "She's A Brick House," and willing to eat alive any young male cub that asked, "Hello, is it me you're looking for?"

See also: Lionel Richie & CeeLo Green - Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach - July 15

7. Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull

October 25, 2014

Hard Rock Live, Hollywood

While people outside of Florida might think all Spanish speaking folks are the same, Floridians know Latin cultures are extremely diverse.

Two music superstars with very different Miami backgrounds, Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias, played Hard Rock Live together in 2014. Iglesias grew up the son of music royalty, graduating from the University of Miami before dominating the Spanish song charts. Pitbull meanwhile grew up in Miami the son of Cuban immigrant parents, introducing Spanglish to the mainstream. Thanks to him, dalé no longer is read Dale anywhere where there's a radio.

Ten Most Florida Music Concerts of 2014
Sayre Berman

6. Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band

October 21, 2014

Broward Center for Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale

Florida has long been known as the place where your grandparents went to retire. But now a new generation has hit retirement age: The Baby Boomers.

They're now cashing in their social security checks while maintaining their love of rock and roll. That's why this year, we caught Ringo Starr strutting his post-Beatles stuff with an All Starr band at a ritzy establishment like the Broward Center.

Ten Most Florida Music Concerts of 2014
Ian Witlen


5. Respectable Street Anniversary Party

October 4, 2014

Respectable Street Café, West Palm Beach

Florida has long been the fourth most populous state in the country and is on pace to pass New York as number three in the near future. With all these people around and sweating in the never waning summer sun, when a veteran venue in this large state puts on a fiesta, expect it to be large.

Respectable Street is a South Florida landmark. Any music lover who's visited Palm Beach County knows its the place for live music on Clematis. This year, the club went all out for its 27th anniversary party. It brought 27 acts to three stages, including everything from bluegrass to trip-hop to straight up rock and roll.

See also: Respectable Street Cafe's Anniversary Party Showcased Renovations and 27 Bands

Ten Most Florida Music Concerts of 2014
Courtesy of American Idol Live!

4. American Idol Live! Tour

July 19, 2014

Broward Center for Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale

While most show biz parents steer their kids toward the bright lights of Hollywood, California, Florida has its own subculture of aspiring child stars. Yes, we're the state that birthed the careers of Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera, among many famous others.

July's American Idol Live! concert brought out the finalists from the previous season (all but one appeared at Broward Center). They gave the gift that keeps on giving, inspiration to all of our child diva. They're the role models our creepy kid singers can look up to and step over on their climb to fame.

See also: American Idol Live! Tour: Not a Perfect Ten, but Close Enough

Ten Most Florida Music Concerts of 2014
Sayre Berman

3. Jimmy Buffett

April 26, 2014

Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach

Which statement is more correct: Jimmy Buffett is Florida or Florida is Jimmy Buffett?

See also: Ten Jimmy Buffett Parrothead Fashion Essentials


Ten Most Florida Music Concerts of 2014
Andrew Soria

2. Against Me!

January 26, 2014

Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale

While Florida doesn't get much publicity for being open-minded, this punk concert in January proved the state is more liberal than it gets credit for.

Gainesville's own Against Me! is fronted by Laura Jane Grace, a transgendered star who was in no way heckled or belittled at the band's jam packed show this past January. She was instead celebrated and accepted for providing blistering rock and a near perfect concert experience to all.

See also: Review of Against Me! at Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale on January 26

Ten Most Florida Music Concerts of 2014
Courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment

1. Jay Z & Beyonce

June 25, 2014

Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens

Nobody does decadence like either the state of Florida or this power couple.

The forces of luxury collided with the eternal heat with their On the Run tour this past summer. Like just about every other multimillionaire family, the duo has a residence in Florida in order to take advantage of the lack of state income tax and those thousands of miles of year round swimmable beaches we mentioned earlier.

We Floridians, Jay and Bey all do excess right.

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