Green Room was booked solid on Friday night. The Goddamn Hustle's video premiere party took the stage from 6 to 10 p.m., and then the nightclub's regular gothic party, Black Fridays, was set to begin. The theme for this Black Friday was a masquerade party. So as the Goddamn Hustle performed its blusey pop rock to a packed room of fans, folks in bird masks and capes made their way through the doors. Though the vampires and indie kids probably didn't chill the rest of the night, they intermingled for a bit like brackish water.
It wasn't totally scene-inappropriate, though, because the Goddamn Hustle's newest video for "Dirty Little Pet Names," which we'd all come to witness for the first time on Friday the 13th, was also appropriately dark, a little creepy, and a lotta bloody.
The lineup was solid, featuring Broward's finest. Astrea Corporation and Protoman kicked off the night, followed by Lavola, ending with the band of the night, GDH. Astrea brought the atmosphere -- lots of trip. And when Protoman joined them onstage, he brought the hop. Lavola's singer, Julian Cires, played guitar with them as Carly Astrea sang hauntingly over a landscape of beats.
You might think someone as impressive-looking as Carly would distract from the rest of the act with all eyes on her, but you'd be wrong. The music took center stage. They performed in a line, and though she sang with intensity and soul, all were equal. The music has elements of dub and a little of the same taste that millennial lounge music possessed, but with a whole 'nother level of beats and depth to it.
Protoman represented Broward and hip-hop in a Nirvana T. He joked of the headlining band, "You can't stand next to those guys; you just look ugly." The music got a little funkier and his lyrics were extra poetic; we might have heard this nice line in there: "shiny streets, stormy weather." Appropriate for a day of downpours.
slowly transitioned the sounds in the room from straight-up indie dance tunes spun by a DJ high up in his booth to indie rock. The room got smoky as the '90s returned. Lavola rocked and rolled us through a grungy, shoegazy, Radiohead-with-a-touch-of-Sea-and-Cake set (a muddled brain made this comparison, but think about it and it works a little). Some joker in the audience yelled out "Droppppp!" during the end of a song. After an extended outro, a documentary on GDH and the video screening introduced us to the headliners.
The documentary gave us an idea of the band's sound and personalities and even offered its own delightful versions of "Poker Face" and "Boys Don't Cry." The "Dirty Little Pet Names" video was swampy and dark with the Everglades and Fort Lauderdale as the backdrop for a horror tale. In it, singer Ashley Reda kills off his bandmates to feed to a man-eating lady who might possibly also be an alligator. In the end (spoiler alert!), he also becomes lunch.
writer Monica Uszerowicz revealed in an interview
with Reda of the Goddamn Hustle that the band defines itself as "bluegazing garage pop." Most certainly this is how we heard it. It's indie Southern rock, guitar heavy with a rich sound. When the band entered the stage, fellow hustler and Floridians Ace Hood's "Hustle Hard" blasted from the speakers. Band members were dressed dapperly. There were two skinny ties, one dad tie, and one bow tie onstage. They performed a set of songs that ranged from the romantic to the sad to the rollicking.
All the acts were gracious, thanking all other acts that performed before and after them. The whole atmosphere was that of a backyard barbecue with a mix of crowds, all there to have fun and support the band in its latest endeavor. And hey, we might have even seen a few latecomers (or early arrivers, depending on your perspective) in Victorian garb, faces obscured by masks, jamming out a little to the band.
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