Better than: Spending Friday night in a hot tub.
It's mid-July in South Florida, and in case you haven't noticed, it's hot. Really fucking hot. There's no escaping the sweltering heat either. You can hold your breath from the humid air on your walk through the parking lot to the club, dreaming of that beautiful, cold moment you step through the front door, or sit sticking to your seat with the A/C on full blast in the car.
But though the weather is not good for your hair or sanity, somehow it was fitting for a Friday night at Speakeasy Lounge in Lake Worth. The intensity of the heat highlighted the talent displayed onstage by Armageddon Man, Gallimimus, and Bleubird. The bar is a sanctuary, transforming the ghost-town streets into a hipster wonderland; then it's showtime.
The bands, Armageddon Man and Gallimimus, rocked out as if they were playing a sold-out show, even though the crowds were still congregated around the snazzy bars and pool tables. Fans swayed and air-guitared through the sets like beasts of the night. Others sipped overpriced cocktails and filled the humid air with clouds of mentholated smoke. The Speakeasy was alive despite the summertime swampland outside. The room itself was like a hurricane shelter, dimly lit with a few colored stage lights and candles.
When Bleubird took the stage, the temperature rose, as the native wunderkind played a solo set. There was no hype man and no DJ -- at least not one who was on the stage, but Bird did banter back and forth with the club MC throughout his performance. It was a revivifying sight in a world where live local hip-hop tends toward the lukewarm.
"I'm standing in a motherfucking puddle of water with a live wire," Bleubird proclaimed, and the pulsing crowd stuck middle fingers high in the air as if to say: "Fuck it, if we're gonna die from this heat, we might as well be electrocuted!"
With songs like "Drunk on Movement" (which we most definitely were) and those from his most recent Cannonball!!! record, Bleubird brought it. He transported the audience from the small West Palm town to the mountains of Italy with "Giege 1977," accompanied by a story of how his Speedo-wearing, Rico Suave father swept his mother off her feet, right in front of another man. Ballsy. Explains a lot about the rapper himself.
By the middle of his set, Bleubird's green cat tank -- which was a gift, he said -- was thoroughly soaked by the time he led the club in serenading his friend with "Happy Birthday." Black Locust Society shoutouts filled the perfectly timed breaks in between songs like "Come on Betty" and "Down Like Brothers." The love Bleubird has for his BLS fam and his loyal fans hung happily in the humidity.
With Heineken in hand, Bleubird put on a show worthy of the hype. He entertains massive crowds at festivals in Hungary and rocks the eff out of clubs in Berlin, so we felt lucky that the intimacy of Friday night's show was just for us sweaty, sunburnt locals who know a good show when we see one.
The crowd: A helluva lot different from the Fort Laudy-daudy regulars we're used to, in a good way.
Personal bias: I may be an atheist, but I will evoke the name of God to bless the Speakeasy, a bar with a liquor store? Best idea ever.
Overheard in the crowd: "Not so Lake Worth-less."
Drunk on Movement
Fog Rollin/Hand Holdin
Come on Betty
Down Like Brothers
A Millie Joel
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