Last night marked the third installment of C&I Studios and Exposed PR's Summer Soundtrack, a pop-up series that showcases talented local artists performing alongside Phil Barnes and delicious drinks. The kicker? Locations are not revealed until an hour before the event starts.
Take last night, for example. After a week full of teaser photos, the location was finally revealed to us around 7 p.m. in a text message. It was the rooftop of Avenue Lofts, building 2. The sun set behind the Fort Lauderdale skyline, making it the perfect spot for one of the last cool events of the summer. Previous spots for the two earlier Summer Soundtrack events were C&I Garden and the Hard Rock Energy Warehouse.
The drink theme of the night was a general favorite: the open bar. There was wine and sangria from Blue Nun and mixed drinks from Naked Turtle. A pretty bartender smiled when telling us the crowd favorite, Naked Ginger (not to be confused with a redhead without clothes). They ran out of ingredients for it by night's end. The food included a cocktail line of Sangria Pops called Pop Lab with red wine raspberry and white wine peach flavors. Dinner is served!
The first on the concert lineup was "soft indie rock" artist Corey James Bost, who performed with his sister Emily. The songs the siblings played were off his newly released Heritage album and included tracks "Take Me Home," "Better in the Dark," "I'll Let You Down," and "Hide in the Shade." It was a musical treat of sorts as attendees didn't know he was playing. Clearly the pop-up has more surprises than we realized.
Phil Barnes took the stage next with his band which included girls and guys on keys, guitar, and a cajon. Barnes played a few of his originals including "Way That Your Dream" and really had the audience moving with his twist on popular songs like Blackstreet's "No Diggity," Drake's "Going Home," Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel," and the Rick Springfield classic "Jessie's Girl."
"We designed this whole set for you guys to dance," Barnes playfully said. "There's no judgment. If you don't feel it yet, there's a bar over there."
Before Carly Jo Jackson took the stage by herself, Barnes joined her in the two hits "Royals" by Lorde and "Stay with Me" by Sam Smith. Both voices complimented each other and left us wanting a full set of the duo. Alas, Carly took the stage with her drummer and guitar, kicking off her set with "One More Night" by Maroon 5.
After playing her original "Oh Yeah," Carly said, I'll let you guys in on a little secret. We didn't make a setlist. This is off the top of our head." The audience cheered and Carly and co. proceeded to play Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive," Lenny Kravitz's "Get Away," her original tune "The Blues," Sublime's "What I Got," Tom Petty's "Free Falling," and more.
"The first drink has been spilled of the night, ladies and gentlemen!" Carly joked as a girl dropped her cup of mostly ice. The audience laughed, including the clumsy girl.
And that's what the whole night was filled with -- laughs, music, corn hole, beach balls, and summer drinks. Exposed PR and C&I Studios created the perfect way to wrap up the end of summer in a fun, unconventional way outside of the typical South Florida nightclub scene.
To attend the last Summer Soundtrack event next Thursday, August 28, with Phil Barnes and Forlorn Strangers, RSVP at [email protected] If you're not one of the first one hundred on the list, don't feel bad; next Friday you can catch almost all the acts involved, Phil Barnes, Carly Jo Jackson, -kids-, Corey James Bost, and the Goddamn' Hustle, at C&I Studios.