George Clinton Tonight! Revolution Live's Jeff John's Remembers Best Shows on Their 8th Anniversary

Update: The show has been postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. 

It was with reggae legends the Wailers that Revolution Live first opened its musical doors to downtown Fort Lauderdale. They performed on the back patio, a space now known as America's Backyard. That was eight years ago. Since, music makers of every genre and sort have blown ears and minds from their stages.

The concert staple is the baby of Jeff John. On this, their anniversary, they're celebrating with George Clinton and Bobby Lee Rodgers. "George played our first New Year's ever," John says as we reminisce on Revolution's past shows. "The band is great. They speak music; they speak party; they speak fun." Fitting for such an occasion.

John's reached his goal with Revolution, offering fans a "fun, safe, clean outlet for them to see their favorite bands and/or expose people out of the local market.

"To me, watching the kids in the crowd and enjoying a great show or DJ, just seeing people having a good time and still coming out and supporting the scene and growing the scene down here is what makes me happy."

Definitely, he's gratuitous for all the help he's received from local sponsors, the media, LiveNation, and Ticketmaster to make Revolution what it is today. "I couldn't have done it without everyone's support," he says.

What follows here are 13 of John's favorite or most memorable shows. You may remember being drunk on beats or riffs at a few of these yourself. Feel free to add you favorite Revolution memories in the comments.

George Clinton
"I met George in here numerous times," John relays. "When you talk about a staple, the ultimate party band, I would bet George Clinton is top four. They go hard, they're a great band. A lot of history, and we're pleased to have them back at the venue again."

Chris Cornell
"Chris Cornell, Kings of Leon, and Megadeth were the last three big bands I had in the patio before we created America's Backyard," John, a huge Soundgarden fan, remembers of November 2008.

"That's what my background kind of is, that hard rock, real rock and roll, alternative." Cornell performed his solo stuff, Temple of the Dog, Soundgarden, and Audioslave songs too. "He played for two hours and 45 minutes. It was unreal. The nicest guy in the world."

Kings of Leon
"The first time they played here, they played the patio with Secret Machines and Secret Machines opened for Kings of Leon. Kings of Leon really made it big overseas before they made it big here. They were getting a lot of hype. But when they played here, half the crowd left after Secret Machines," the owner told us. "The second time they came around was unbelievable." They went from Rev. to BankUnited to Cruzan.

"To see those guys so young then to blow sky high... It's great to see and meet these kids that are so young and then watch them a year or two later and they're the biggest bands in the planet. I was just having a shot of whiskey with this dude in the back, and talking shit, and next thing you know, they're headlining a 100,000 person festival. Pretty crazy."

Lady Gaga
"Our runner got sick that day. So, I played the runner." John says of the April 2009 Mother Monster show. "I give Gaga a ton of credit. She was just a workhorse. I picked her up first thing in the morning at her hotel, I drove her, and she was in a six hour choreography class, all day. Then we picked her up, brought her to the hotel, she cleaned up and came to the venue and was at the venue till 2 in the morning.

"There's a reason she is where she is. The label double-booked her meet and greet." Instead of 150 fans, there were 300, so after all of that travel, practice, and performance, she sat there and signed something for everyone and took pictures with all of those attending. She "never lost the smile from her face. She treated everybody like they were the first people to come through the meet and greet."

Katy Perry
He calls Katy Perry a "superstar" and "a sweetheart." She performed around the same time as Gaga and returned with the filming of Rock of Ages.

A personal favorite, Rancid played Revolution three times, and sold out all of them, one of the times was a back to back show. "I was listening to those guys when I was seven years old," John admits, "all the respect to Timmy Armstrong and those boys."

John Legend
"A nice, nice man," is how he describes crooner John Legend who, "went from my room to basically ten thousand people over night." He emphasizes, "the guy was a gentleman. It's nice to see people who put in the work and have the talent see their careers prosper and blossom."

Method Man
Method at Revolution is "somewhat of a regular. Always a good guy."

Tribe Called Quest
Tribe sold out on a Monday night.

The Roots
The Roots have been there four or five times. Questlove has DJed there a few times also, and John says the drummer has described Revolution in this warm manner: "This place is home."

"Always been good buddies of ours," he notes of Nonpoint.

New Found Glory

"Good guys. They're from here, they grew up coming to this venue," he tells us of this local to national pop punk act.

Smashing Pumpkins
"To have Billy Corgan in this room..." John trails off, "I'm from Chicago, obviously they're from Chicago. We were chosen out of like seven dates around the country in clubs. I have been a fan of theirs since 1990."

He saw them open for Guns N Roses the night after Axl beat up a guy in Saint Louis. A freshman in high school, he got home at 5 in the morning, "cause Axl Rose didn't come on till one in the morning back then."

Of the Pumpkins playing his own stage all these many years later, the owner exclaimed: "It was unbelievable."

Wishing Revolution many more anniversaries.

George Clinton with Bobby Lee Rodgers, for Revolution Live's Eighth-Anniversary Party. 8 p.m. Thursday, October 25, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $25, plus fees. Call 954-449-1025, or visit

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.
Contact: Liz Tracy