On Saturday, October 18, the quirky Lake Worth masses converged upon downtown venue Propaganda to drink, be merry, and behold the release of Everymen's latest effort, Generations. It was one heck of a party, complete with puppets, confetti, silly string, and pool toys.
The evening began rather innocuously at 9 p.m. with Zoo Peculiar, the members of which suited up for the event and played their particular brand of polka-punk to an inward trickling audience. Next came the Birthday Candles which dealt in a sort of turn of the millennium pop-punk a la New Found Glory. The band showed some obvious talent. However, its sound unfortunately seemed out of place amongst the four other acts of the gypsy-punk kind. The group announced it was kicking off an East Coast tour to much applause.
The musical high point of the night came next in the form of a solo acoustic set by Eric Peterson of Pennsylvania's Mischief Brew. His anthemic throaty folk-punk gathered the crowd as close to the stage as legally possible for sing-a-long after sing-a-long about topics ranging from politics to time spent in Celebration, Florida. He emplored his audience to procure his band's newest cassette single "O, Pennsyltucky!" and was joined onstage by the men of the hour for a hastily rehearsed last song that served to fully amp up the crowd for the main event.
As Everymen took the stage, the atmosphere in Propaganda was that of a sweaty drunken sardine can. Members of the audience happily piled in to revel and chant for their local heroes.
After some thank-yous to the other bands and Due South brewery for an absolutely delicious custom Everymen Brown Ale being served at the bar, an introduction was made to guest trombonist Andre. Then the shirts came off while suspenders remained in place.
The music itself has never really been the main selling point for this band, breaking down as it does from time to time into little more than a seething wall of atonal jangles from the variety of esoteric musical instruments and incomprehensible vocal patterns. It doesn't really matter though since all confusion is made up for by the sheer exuberance of its members and the gleeful crowd participation. This night was more of the same. Thankfully, much more.
Early in the set, onlookers were invited to take the stage and grab boogie boards for some good old fashioned crowd surfing. It was already a bedlam of dancing and shouting in that small corner of Lake Worth by the time members of Everymen began handing out copious cans of silly string and confetti cannons.
After some safety warnings, the band began another round of songs, and the crowd was given leave to fire away. One couldn't help but be a little moved by the overarching exhilaration experienced by nearly everyone in the building. It was complete mayhem with all the pushing, shoving, screaming, dancing, explosions, lifting, dropping, and general messiness in the place. And that was seriously just the tip of the iceberg for the set.
When it was all over for Everymen, a raffle was held for all of their merchandise and a couple of tattoo gift certificates provided courtesy of Aces High and owner John Wylie.
People were beckoned to stay for the last act, S.S. Web, that graciously made its way from its home in Milwaukee. Those who stuck around were treated to a fantastic folk-punk trio of a gold toothed guitarist, a seated washboard/cymbal player and a puppeteer accordionist.
S.S. Web has a defined and interesting sound that's a bit less family-friendly than the former acts. Although songs of drinking and drugs are pretty much obligatory in the genre, the band took it an extra step by including a bit of profane puppetry.
The accordion player, who is reportedly the offspring of Jim Henson, did two short acts as a "cumsock" then as an anthropomorphic phallus. S.S. Web kept the hilarity going against a backdrop of further dancing and people being lifted in chairs and cardboard boxes until the lights came on and the bar stopped serving its likely fatigued patrons.