Weezer and Cage the Elephant lead an action packed frenzy of sound on the beaches of Fort Lauderdale – Review of Day One of the Riptide Music Festival taking place on Ft. Lauderdale Beach, FL
The first day of Riptide Music Festival had over a dozen bands musically flow up and down the South Florida shore. On Saturday December 2, thousands met on Fort Lauderdale Beach last weekend for two days of sunshine and a myriad of musical acts ranging from alternative pop rock to reggae.
The celebration began at 11 am with South Florida’s own, resident Shark remixer, DJ Immortal spinning his popular mixes, followed by a mixture of pop and alternative rock groups including: Mike Mineo, Mondo Cozmo, Alex Di Leo, Joywave, Brother Sundance, New Politics, The Heirs, PVRIS, The Academic, Portugal. The Man, Barns & Courtney, and Saint Motel.
As the Sun began to set and the nearly full Moon was rising, Hawaii reggae rockers, Iration, began “Hotting Up” the side stage (The Underground Stage) and jammed out a few of their hits including their first radio single Borderlines: “a song that crosses into new territory both stylistically and subject-wise. In a divided country/world, it’s always helpful to look at conflict from the opposing POV and ask ‘Why?’”-Micah Pueschel (front-man of Iration).
As a bonus surprise I learned that Orlando’s own reggae rock group and producers of Sound Lounge Studio, Kash’d Out, squeezed onto the lineup and played a seven song, triple encore set including all new hits off of their brand new reggae chart-topping album The Hookup and also a new unreleased track called On & Off at the Ford Blue Lounge. Indie pop rockers Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, followed on the main stage (Riptide Stage) performing hits like Fire Escape, So Close, and their popular 2014 debut hit Cecilia And The Satellite. After DJ Immortal returned to the Underground Stage, spinning more fire tunes, Weezer appeared to set the tone for the final two acts.
Weezer fired up with My Name Is Jonas, the very first song off of their first and self-titled record. Continuing on they pleased the crowd with favorites Pork And Beans and Undone – The Sweater Song, followed by their hit single off their 2016 Weezer (White Album) album, Thank God For Girls. Then, they introduced a brand new single off of their newest release, Pacific Daydream (2017), Happy Hour, and followed up with the crowd-bumping Hash Pipe.
After that they announced they would be returning on a big tour with The Pixies and began playing a killer cover of Where Is My Mind? During their entire performance on the Riptide Stage, which was surrounded by inflatable tentacles like that of a giant octopus, the screen behind the band played a variety of entertaining videos to go along with their music including flashes of the Weezer logo, the Earth exploding, dogs running and swimming in slow motion, 80’s style grid ocean waves and an 8-bit beach layout. They resumed with more fan favorites Say It Ain’t So and Beverly Hills, trailed by another brand new single Feels Like Summer, a Weezer-styled electronic rock ballad. They concluded with two of their biggest hits Buddy Holly and Island In The Sun, and the crowd began to cheer and throw up their “W” Weezer signs in bliss and recognition for the veteran alternative rock band, for returning once again to light up a South Florida stage.
The long-awaited finale of the night, Cage The Elephant, eclectic Kentucky/London rockers performed an energetic and bombastic musical feat unlike no other I have ever seen. Opening with a new song, Cry Baby, off of their newest Grammy-nominated album Tell Me I’m Pretty, front-man Matt Shultz ran out on stage in a bright red Elvis-style jumpsuit and pranced around the stage throughout the entire performance in a Mick Jagger-like fashion. Their set continued to rock hard with In One Ear from their very first self-titled album and then Spiderhead from the Melophobia album. Then, they slowed it down with a burning bright red arrangement of spectacular lighting with the song, Too Late To Say Goodbye, off of the new album and then erupted into another new and popular hit, Cold Cold Cold, and Shultz left the stage to run up and down the pit to join as one with the massive crowd of fans in front of them.
Once again they slowed down the pace of their set with another newer hit, Trouble, and Schultz preached to the crowd about beating hate with love, and as the crowd was singing along, Cage transitioned into their very first popular hit, Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked, and the crowd went wild for the funky-blues rock anthem that would define the career of this band’s journey to fame. They played two more new songs, radio hit Mess Around and Punchin’ Bag, before another slowdown with Telescope, when Shultz decided to start stripping down by taking off his jumpsuit top; that then transitioned into their Wreckless Eric cover of Whole Wide World off of their newest release, Cage The Elephant: Unpeeled, a live album released earlier this summer. By this time Shultz had removed his entire jumpsuit to reveal skin-colored tights underneath his pants, transitioning his likeness from Mick Jagger to Freddy Mercury, along with his style of dancing, and next, serenading to an acoustic Cigarette Daydreams. My personal favorite, Shake Me Down, resonated not only with me, but the crowd as well who were all singing along with the slow, but rock-heavy melody. The closing moments of Day 1 of Riptide Fest ended with radio hit, Come a Little Closer, grooving into its funky bassline, then picked up into the chaotic tune of Teeth, stirring the crowd in a flurry of rage and then much-deserved accolades for a passionately outrageous Rock ‘n’ Roll performance.