Another year of local music has come to a close. And while many slices of the South Florida scene did their part to support the finest musicians in our glorious neck of the woods, it's safe to say that some did it better than others.
In particular, Lake Worth shined this year, coming into its own and creating an artsy underground refuge where local music has thrived. Some of the most exciting bands to be booked on any bill this year played their hearts out at places like Propaganda. So what better way to kick off another 365 days of headbanging and booty-shaking than by bringing them all together again.
Setting up a beautifully gritty New Year's Eve, Prop owners Jon Jordan and Matthew Krug planned a solid block party on J Street, featuring 20 bands and 17 DJs on three different stages. While your Miami friends were getting dressed up to maybe have an OK time, attendees of Propaganda's fine soiree were treated to local music's biggest bands, like Everymen and Spred the Dub, as well as a sprinkling of 2013 newcomers, such as post-pop-punk crew The Old Fashioned and Birthday Candles.
Local heavyweights The Hard Richards brought that Boynton Beach brand of ska to the street stage, tearing through tracks from the brand-new record, Nu Derection, and doing us all a favor by covering Reel Big Fish's "Beer."
Emerging local outfit Shotgun Betty definitely delivered during its headlining slot at the Coastars stage, playing for a packed house hungry to hear fresh tunes with an Americana twist. The mellow songs were a perfect fit, but the big-ass party on the street was occasionally a noisy distraction. Nevertheless, Shotgun Betty overcame that racket and won over even more new fans, just months after its first show as a band.
Another band that totally crushed it this year was Lavola, who took to Propaganda's inside stage before the clock struck midnight.
Even with lineup changes aplenty, this group had a killer 2013 and is looking to take it even further in 2014 with the release of a new album, but not before rocking people's faces one last time before the new year. And Lavola's set did get rowdy, peaking when Luis Sanabria from Bonnie Riot couldn't resist being a part of the moment and jumped on the stage to join Lavola lead singer Julian Cires for "The Queen Is Dead."
Outside, Lake Worth's very own Everymen played the only way that this band knows how: big. The crew's rough take on string instruments and its wild live show always brings the hype, and people were literally boogie-boarding on the crowd. Mandolin player Reid Worroll did the damn thing so hard, he needed medical assistance on his leg, so the set got cut short. We wish him a speedy recovery, because one thing's for sure: L Dub can't go long without a heavy dose of Everymen.
The only guy dressed up in the whole darn place was none other than Spred the Dub lead singer Mick Swigert. Having busted ass throughout 2013, playing constantly in Florida and beyond, Spred the Dub did us all the honor of hitting the stage for the first show of the new year.
With a fun "good-time reggae" show, this gang of high-performing gentlemen was the perfect choice to usher Lake Worth's music scene into 2014. And just like that, we're ready to do it all over again.
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