Each year, West Palm Beach is granted its fill of national acts thanks to the waterfront concert SunFest. This year, there's a buttload of big names, like Smashing Pumpkins and Slightly Stoopid, Kendrick Lamar and Black Crowes. But the folks behind the scenes are no dummies; they know that South Florida has plenty of great musicians and artists, and thus offer them an equal chance at the SunFest spotlight.
Nearly 20 Florida-based bands are hitting the festival's stages this year, and their sounds range as wide as the mind can imagine. But each group has one thing in common: being juiced to perform on Clematis. Here are my personal picks for the top local acts prepped to strut through this year's SunFest.
5. The Crazy Carls
Making the trek from Orlando are beach dudes the Crazy Carls. I first caught these guys at World of Beer, arguably my favorite place to shove beer in my face and least favorite place to see live music. So when a band stole my attention by bringing some serious jams to the table, I knew it had the goods. Lead singer Alex Baugh has always wanted to play SunFest and promises a blazing show. On top of that, he has amazing hair. According to the guy with the dreads, "We are the perfect band to see, if you want to get your night started; we've got an outrageous, high-energy show!"
4. Future Prezidents
I get a nice dose of West Palm reggae boys Future Prezidents as a benefit of my "slight" O'Shea's Irish Pub habit. The bar is known for bringing solid local bands to the table, and Future Prezidents are no different. The irie crew always rocks the small stage, but now that the stage is at SunFest, they couldn't be more stoked.
Singer/songwriter Boe Simeonov told me how he felt when he got the news: "I literally jumped out of my bed and then caught myself dancing in the mirror. I kept dancing! I knew I would get a chance to reach out and share our message with a large crowd, the way the songs were meant to be played." Preach it, brother.