What started out as another humid day in the summer on the fourth of July, turned into one of the most wild and exciting events here in South Florida. Audio Junkie hosted their Independence Day bash at O Cinema to present some local talent and their newest video episode, which showcased local band The Anthropologists of Nosy Mangabe; local microbrewery Subvert Ales provided tasty craft beers and Audio Junkie also displayed some cool merch. Local bands played at this mini music festival throughout the day on both the indoor and outdoor stages.
The Anthropologists of Nosy Mangabe opened up the day with joyful harmony and relaxing sounds that warmed everyone up for what was soon to come. The combination of a ukulele and glockenspiel attracted everyone to the outdoor stage. Their easy melodies and high voices floated in the air and breezed through ears to lure attendees. Audio Junkie host Greg Alvarez announced to everyone to go inside and find a seat in the theater for the next band.
The Astrokats were first up on the indoor stage. They picked up the pace and surprised some of the audience with their hard and heavy riffs and leads, although a few were thrashing wildly in their seats when the music became louder. As the band played on, more people filled the cinema and watched as each member appeared to be getting sweatier and crazier with each song. Whether there were lyrics sung or not, the tight arrangements held the attention.
With only a short pause and a quick sound check, Mask Era picked up where Astrokats left off. Their music made the audience go into a frenzy with their own style of heavy, distorted riffs and occasional tag team vocals. With songs about “Geeky Guys” and schizophrenia, frequent instrument exchanges between band members and humor in-between tunes, Mask Era provided the audience with a full mix of attitude that drew them in deeper into the music.
It quickly became apparent that language was not a barrier when Arboles Libres came on stage and ripped into their first song, getting heads moving before the first chorus finished. With two guitars and a drum set, the trio did not let there be an absence of a bottom to their sound with a team of bar chords and kick drumming. The audience in the theater watched and listened with great interest as Arboles Libres took little time between songs before playing again and got everyone ready for when the sun would go down.
A band that really got the crowd going was Toad Eyes. Playful cross dressing and a toy R2D2 made them stand out amongst the other bands. Toad Eyes kept things light and childish in their antics, but remained masterful in their technique. While playing upbeat tunes with a bendy deep bass, free strumming guitar and funky drums, the crowd broke into a happy mosh-pit near the entrance into the theater and pushed themselves all the way to the drum set.
This Heart Electric switched things up with a some robust tunes. With smiles on their faces they played hard and joked about their set, with the lead guitarist saying, “This set is going to be like having sex, quick.” Good ride and snare beats and an easy flowing guitar, along with guest tambourine player Jackie Ransom from Mask Era made this band an interesting sight to see as the poppy spirit kept heads nodding. But the set was as the guitarist had said earlier, quick, and then they were gone.
With the indoor lineup continuing, local goodies Deaf Poets took the stage and started off with their tight-grip drum and guitar combo, the duo brought back the bigger and faster mood from before and continued pushing the audience further into a wilder mood with each song. Fans and audience members jumped up and down to the beat of the crash symbol and dog-on-a-leash guitar chords.
Coming right after, Plains toned down the madness that filled the audience with animalistic impulsivity, but substituted it with precision and accuracy in all the instruments that changed the mood from uncontrolled insanity to musical admiration. They were a band that played to play, enjoying themselves and the audience for the applause after each song; no idea of fear or perfection. They were simply musicians who wanted to show the audience everything. Their only competition for attention came from the outdoor stage.
Local misfits the Dyslexic Postcards slammed furiously into every note, the audience pushed back with their hands. The only things more dangerous than the pushing was the band members pushing back. A continuous back and forth ensued between fans and band members crashing into each other throughout their set, but it did not keep the Postcards from hitting every note. Enthusiastic beyond description, the Dyslexic Postcards energized the crowd late into the night.
Snakehole was the last band to perform outside. And while equally as iron-like as the DPs, there was less of an impulse for antagonism and more of a desire just to play. The crowd began moshing once again and jumped around the band frantically. Their arms in the air, yelling incoherent cheers at the band. With heavy instruments came heavy vocals, the lead singer shouted the lyrics with as much as force as any kick drum, and clarity like open air. Pretty soon it was time to head back inside for the last group.
A porno playing on the screen behind the band, announced the arrival of Rat Bastard and Kenny Millions. The two guitarists got into it immediately and became lost in their own dimension, with Rat more focused on the technical side of music, and Kenny focused on combining sexual prowess with strumming, at times making love to his guitar. The no holds bar set allowed anything to happen with other band members or random attendees rushing to the playing area and singing or shouting into the microphone, or the dog pile that enclosed Kenny Millions on the couch up front. In the end, it was everyone’s birthday.