Last Night: Forward Motion Anniversary at Revolution, September 29

Forward Motion Anniversary
With Dreaming in Stereo, Jorge Moreno, Jim Camacho, 
Revolution, Fort Lauderdale
September 29, 2011

Though the number of attending bodies did little to challenge the capacity of Revolution, the club was far from vacant, as those who were in attendance radiated plenty of room-filling enthusiasm -- for the event itself and what it represented. The night was an occasion to celebrate the achievements of Forward Motion Records' first year of existence, to remember a person very dear to the Forward Motion family, and to pay forward the success of the new label by benefiting two deserving charities -- Kristi House and Musicians on Call

The engine propelling Forward Motion is the heart of Fernando Perdomo, founder of the label. Witnessing him rock the stage for three straight hours, accompanying more than a dozen musicians that he has rounded up to be on his label, made clear his dedication to his stated goal of creating community and boosting the South Florida music scene. And his performance of his own music (Dreaming in Stereo), which he dedicated to his mother, who passed away just last week, was by far the most touching and memorable moment of the evening. 

The musicians sharing the stage with Perdomo were consistently good and talented, though often much less interesting. As they cycled through -- each artist performing two songs -- the musical experience was something like a live version of placid adult-contemporary melodies that enter our ears everywhere in our waking lives. The songs were catchy at times but undeniably safe. There was variety between acts -- electric-driven rock, laid-back acoustic tunes, Latin-flavored pop, and more -- but all stayed neatly within the lines of their genres. The performances themselves were showy, but the big room took away from their intimacy.

The most impressive performance besides Perdomo's was from much-hyped Cuban-American singer/songwriter Jorge Moreno. He opened with his popular song "Thank You," a good-natured tune that deserves to be a pop-radio hit as much as anything else. And he closed out the evening with a more compelling selection that was as catchy as the first but had more room for him to show off his skills as a singer. While it is easy to imagine many of the performers making it onto the radio, Moreno stands out as the star of the bunch -- so far.

Critics Notebook

Random detail: Singer/songwriter Jim Camacho began to make a dedication but then left it open-ended.

By the way: The event raised more than $500 for the charities!

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Travis Newbill