Pompano Beach Amphitheater
Man, this is an easy one. Any venue that can host upward of 80 bands in a single day is pretty much capable of anything. If there's a live music event that the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre can't handle, that's news to the thousands of people who turn out for its colossal concerts. The biggest of its 2005 events, the 80-plus-band Warped Tour, tested the capacity limits of the amphitheater and its surrounding grounds... and it passed muster (if a bit of mud toward the end). So then it hosted the much smaller (but still significant) events like the Taste of Chaos Tour (also full of punk and emo bands), the Latium Entertainment Tour (featuring Latino sensations Frankie J and Baby Bash), and the Rock Never Stops Tour (with '80s metal bands Cinderella, Quiet Riot, and Firehouse). Wait, we're not done here. Last April saw the pairing of Todd Rundgren and Joe Jackson, a double whammy of oldies but still-rockin' goodies. And when Ashlee Simpson performed here, she used her own voice (zing!). So what does 2006 bring? More of the same, of course. There's always something big TBA at PBA.
No question. Langerado was a culmination of all the assets that South Florida can offer the rest of the world: gorgeous weather. A lush outdoor venue. Colorful, locally produced ambiance. Beautiful, barefoot women. Together, all of those elements emitted enough gravity to attract a musical lineup that easily trumped SunFest, Ultra, or Global Gathering. Between Wayne Coyne's space ball, Kid Koala's turntable magic, the dark ambiance of Secret Machines, and the Meters' vintage funk, the variety of sounds was astounding. Add in a Florida Native stage that proved our state's mighty contribution to the world of live music and you have an event that's both reflective of our local community and truly world-class. Major props go to Ethan Schwartz, Mark Brown, and the whole Langerado crew. Thanks for the vision and the guts to stick with a risky project. Now that Langerado has put us on the nation's musical map, let's do all we can to keep it there.

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