3OH!3, Family Force 5,
The Maine, Hit the Lights,
A Rocket to the Moon
April 19, 2009
Culture Room, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
As the fading afternoon light fell on the rooftop of South Florida’s popular music venue, The Culture Room, a vivid, female-dominated crowd, stretching far beyond the street corner, eagerly awaited The AP Tour 2009. Bands, A Rocket To The Moon, Hit The Lights, The Maine, Family Force 5 and 3OH!3, came together to bring admiring fans a sold-out show they’d never forget.
Upon entering the venue, a once solemn crowd quickly turned into an enthusiastic stampede, rushing through the doors in hopes of finding the perfect spot to spend the next five fun-filled hours. Within one minute of making my way to the front, I believe I witnessed every girls’ (and maybe a few guys’) pupils dilate as they watched Nick Santino of A Rocket To The Moon take the stage. When the high-pitched cheers finally died down, Santino began to strum his guitar, and many adoring starry-eyed fans began to sing along to his light-hearted pop rock melodies.
Nick Thompson, frontman of Hit The Lights, grabbed the microphone and screamed, “Put your hands up!” Just then everyone in the room threw their hands into the air like fireworks being launched on the Fourth of July.
Space continued to become scarce as more and more kids piled in. Talk of Hit The Lights taking the stage next quickly spread through the crowd. As the roadies switched out equipment, girls seemed to let out screams of admiration at the sight of any guy who walked onto the stage in a tight pair of jeans. The pushes become more intense as the sound of poppy electronica beats consumed the air. Nick Thompson, frontman of Hit The Lights, grabbed the microphone and screamed, “Put your hands up!” Just then everyone in the room threw their hands into the air like fireworks being launched on the Fourth of July. Once the set was nearing an end, Thompson yelled into the mic, “You guys may know this one!” as the catchy opening riff of “Drop The Girl” blared out of the speakers.
As fans became bored by the usual switch of equipment in between each set, they began to break out their point-and-shoot cameras they had hidden from security deep down inside their bags.
Blinded by the flashes of the pictures being taken that would soon appear on MySpace, I awaited The Maine‘s performance. Following a hard act like Hit The Lights, The Maine seemed to have done a good job at winning the crowds’ heart, not to mention getting them to shake their booties. Frontman John O’ Callaghan introduced the next song by saying, “This song’s about a stripper and money, you know what I’m talking about.” The crowd began to scream and dance as the band played their cover of the popular Akon song, “I Wanna Love You.”
The Maine‘s performance was quite satisfying, and at that point I felt as if I could have left the show happily, but as the pushing against the front barricade became more intense, it was quite obvious the fan favorites were yet to take the stage. Lavender balloons floated through the air as Family Force 5 made their entrance. Wearing ridiculously tacky, matching outfits, the performance seemed just as absurd but it was nevertheless amusing. The choreographed dances felt as if I was sucked into a time warp and sent to a Backstreet Boys concert instead. Though their music is not quite up to par with their stage presence, these guys know how to get the party started.
Family Force 5 left the crowd a bit tired from dancing and quite thirsty, but fans were eager for headliners 3OH!3 to take the stage. While the crowd waited for the anticipated performance, water bottles flew through the air as security tried to quench the thirst of dehydrated fans, but the constant chanting of3OH!3 didn’t help the parched throats. Colorful lights flickered and catchy beats blared as the band took control of the stage. The energy was at an all time high. Band Members, Sean Forman and Nathaniel Motte, constantly ran back and forth belting out their catchy rock/electronica anthems as fans were singing along and showing off their best dance moves.
Sadly but surely, all good shows must come to an end, and these fans didn’t seem as if they wanted this one to ever stop. The house lights in the Culture Room were turned up, signaling the end as a crowd of exhausted but satisfied fans poured out of the venue from a show they’ll never forget.
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Review by Christine Porco
Photos by Lauren Laufer