Respectable Street Cafe's 25th Anniversary Block Party - West Palm Beach - August 25

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Following Retrocities, Band In Heaven drew a large crowd out on Clematis Street at the main stage. The sound setup wasn't stellar, but this homegrown 5-piece owns the stage. Their set of originals and a Cranberries cover brought groups of dancers to the front and made us clap along. The band rocked it so hard that at one point, lead guitarist and singer Ates Isildak lost his glasses. Lauren Dwyer on backup vocals and keys summed up their set in one sentiment "Thank you. Actually, you're welcome." There was a little bit of trash talking about headliners The Misfits, and Band In Heaven took to their Facebook page the next morning to apologize.
Inside, Ribbon Dancer finally got people moving and started to fill in the glaringly empty spots on the dance floor. A quick look at the scene on the Respectables patio showed metal thrashers, Riot Agents, playing their hearts out for an unappreciative crowd, prompting the drummer and vocalist to shout: "You guys suck out there!!" But luckily, The Hard Richards were up next on the patio and created the complete inverse effect.  

The Hard Richards arrived 15 minutes late and straight up tore the stage to pieces, producing the most pumped up and packed crowd of the evening. Playing with rotating members for the last 18 years, the Hard Richards have an enduring South Florida ska/punk legacy. The combination of two lead singers, saxophone, trombone, and killer drum skills dripped with the pure essence of ska. This made the crowd lose their shit. The moshpit was going so hard, one of the singers proclaimed, "I thought it was raining for a sec, but it's just you motherfuckers sweating." The Hard Richards had the lights turned out on them when they went over set time, but nothing was going to stop them from putting on the raunchiest set of the night.
The guys in Retrocities and Band In Heaven both agreed on the band they were looking forward to most: Ordinary Boys. Bringing the music that Respects regulars crave, Ordinary Boys are South Florida's only Smiths and Morrissey cover band. The Boys got the crowd instantly moving to the familiar tunes that have helped define the Respectable Street scene. Overall, the songs were exactly what you wanted but the band looked rather bored on stage, as any proper Smiths tribute act should.

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Dana Krangel