Plan B Block Party in review, from Kishi Bashi to Day Joy, Florida Night Heat and Those Darlins

A look back at the second annual Ybor City music fest held this past Sat., Oct. 4.

click to enlarge Kishi Bashi at Plan-B Block Party 2014 - Drunkcameraguy
Kishi Bashi at Plan-B Block Party 2014

Three members of the CL music team ventured out to Ybor this past Saturday night for the second annual Plan B Block Party, which featured more than 40 bands spread over six venues. Here's some of our highlights.

6:55 p.m., Day Joy, The Social With the sun setting behind the tall gothic-style windows of The Social, the atmosphere was weirdly too perfect for the melodic and melancholic Day Joy. Orlando-spawned and nationally recognized, the group set the tone early in the evening with Michael Serrin’s gorgeous vocals and hushed, sailing harmonies backed by those of bandmate Peter Michael Perceval. My interest in the Plan B shindig was initially sparked once word of their performance came down through the grapevine, and the set, chock-full of the lulling tunes from their debut album Go To Sleep, Mess, didn’t disappoint. —Jackie

7:10 p.m. Rec Center, New World Brewery I eased into my own Plan B experience with the sublimely mellifluous folk pop and ambient rock melodies of Rec Center, the quintet's multi-voice harmonies shepherded by the stunningly sweet intones of Susie Richardson-Ulrey. Her vocals are just as pristine, exquisite and pitch-perfect live as on disc and served as an elegant backing coo to co-songwriter Michael Waksman's gentle tenor when he took the lead in songs like the lightly forlorn "Without a Scratch," though the set's highlight was a brand new number, "Thread No. 2," Susie piping strongly over breezy-swaying cello-bowed arrangements that amped up the tempo to propulsive and galloped to a powerful and rather satisfying crescendo. Can't wait to hear it recorded. —Leilani

7:50 p.m., The Sh-Booms, Crowbar Stopped in to catch a few minutes of many-member Orlando ensemble The Sh-Booms, which ply a hip-shaking Motown-inspired brand of soul boosted by a three-piece horn section and co-led by sequin-shimmering, throaty-belting vocalist Emily "The Chirp" Patterson and songwriter/bass bumper/party marshal Al "The Thump" Ruiz. They staged a rather spirited rendition of Wilson Pickett's "Land of 1,000 Dances" (the 'nahhh, nah-nah-nah-nah, nah-nah-nah-nah nah-nah-nah, nah-nah-nah, nah-nah-nah-nahhh' song) that I enjoyed before moving onto the next venue.  —Leilani

8:15 p.m. Case Work, The Social Orlando musician Chandler Strang played in two bands appearing at Plan B on this night, but Case Work is his recent solo project, and it finds him straying away from the dreamier pop sounds of Saskatchewan into brighter, bouncier, New Wave/post-punk territories with a summery sheen and breezy momentum. The set proved a strong engaging one that started with a short sputter as bassist Hogan Bierney broke a string and had to stop and borrow a bass from another act performing at The Social that night.  —Leilani 

8:20 p.m., Monarch, Tequila’s “On a scale of one to George Washington, how does my hair look right now?” asked vocalist and guitarist Jason Polo mid-set after some solid head-banging action. I’ve seen the Tampa rock trio perform before at The Bricks, their usual stomping ground, so I mostly knew what to expect; howling vocals, hard-hitting rhythms and grunginess. Betwixt the free hand-doodled CDs and favorite cuts like “Boom! Pow!” Monarch offered up the high-energy yet down-to-earth performance. —Jackie

8:50 p.m.-9:50 p.m., Auto!Automatic!!>Sons of Hippies, Crowbar It's near impossible not to stop and enjoy the tight, grooving, math-complex yet inherently warms sounds of indie prog three-piece Auto!Automatic!!. After hunting down some pizza, I took my slice back to Crowbar and made sure to get my fix, then stuck around to enjoy the first half of the set by Sons of Hippies, currently a four-piece delivering noisy, seething rock n' roll with roiling pscyhdedelic overtones. —Leilani

9:55 p.m. Matt Butcher, The Dirty Shame I managed to miss Y Los Dos Pistoles but caught a few minutes of Butcher, and was once again reminded that the Nashville-based singer-songwriter — who spent several years working the Central Florida scene before re-locating in 2011 — is originally from Birmingham, England when his usually light British lilt came through thick and strong in rootsy twangy folk rock ramblings. —Leilani

click to enlarge Those Darlins - Drunkcameraguy
Those Darlins

10:25 p.m. Florida Night Heat, Market on 7th I've probably seen FNH a few dozen times, however, I couldn't help dipping into the Market on my way back to Crowbar to get down with the threesome once again. Bassist Andre Jones was thumping heavy lowend vibrations right in the thick of the crowd while drummer Chris Wood and guitarist Jensen Kistler ripped through droning, oozing stoner rock jams on stage, and after I engaged in a rather intense bob-and-groove off with Dre, I headed out to see Those Darlins.  --Leilani

10:40 p.m., Those Darlins, Crowbar I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t completely smitten with the chicks from Those Darlins. With vocal aesthetics falling crazy close to those of the Shangri-Las, the Tennessee-born Darlins makes for a perfect punk-country outfit. I somehow made my way to the front of Crowbar (with no shortage of elbow-punches and beer sloshed on my shoes) just in time for '50s-vibing cut “That Man,” where Nikki Darlin so fittingly wailed into the mic. At one point she jumped from the stage and waltzed her way while delivering a bluesy guitar solo. Couples slow-danced, shoulders swayed, and my girl crush intensified. —Jackie

10:56 p.m., Saskatchewan, Market on 7th This is one of my hands-down favorite Florida bands. Hailing from Orlando, Saskatchewan has gone through some personnel changes but have almost recreated their original lineup and on this night, sounded phenomenal. Unfortunately, the venue's owner was having such a good time and gave speech so long that the band didn't get to the stage until 11:08 p.m., which meant we only got to hear five songs. But said songs were met with plenty of blissful crowd swaying and sing-alongs. Hey guys, can you release that new album already? —Marci

click to enlarge Saskatchewan - Drunkcameraguy

click to enlarge Samurai Shotgun - Drunkcameraguy
Samurai Shotgun

11:39 p.m., Samurai Shotgun, Tequila’s The post-hip hop five-piece from Tampa reminds me so much of favorite high school bands like Living Colour, Beastie Boys, and early Red Hot Chili Peppers. They have the hunger and the passion while doling out the perfect mix of hip hop and alt rock that those early '90s-era bands had, but are definitely their own distinctive breed of band. Waiting for them to go, I overheard a guy standing next to me who'd seen them before bubbling over with excitement while further back was a friend who'd only heard about them. By the time we headed out to catch the next act, both were completely in thrall, and every face in the venue that was previously buried in phones were turned towards the stage. —Marci

click to enlarge Kishi Bashi - Drunkcameraguy
Kishi Bashi

11:55 p.m., Kishi Bashi, Crowbar I wasn’t so sure what to expect at first but Kishi Bashi was undoubtedly, undeniably, unabashedly the highlight of my Plan-B experience. Multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi gave a consistently unpredictable and upbeat performance that included two gorgeously executed Zeppelin covers and abundant, seamlessly executed vocal looping. After touring with indie-pop staples like Regina Spektor and of Montreal, it should’ve been a given that the outfit would serve up an engaging, high-octane performance. It was 30 minutes of pure, violin-induced euphoria. At one point a cloud of bubbles floated over the audience, which no one really questioned because of how so very fitting it was to the music. —Jackie

12:02 a.m., Poetry ‘n Lotion, Market on 7th There are few words that more accurately describe the 2014 winners of the CL's pick for Best Album than the word “eclectic.” The stage was crammed with congas, guitars, keys, a trombone, trumpet, and drumkit, all played by five talented local musicians, many in other area bands and coming together in Poetry ‘n Lotion to do awesome things like cover Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover” along with plenty of strong original odes. By the time they hit the stage, everyone in attendance was clearly ready to groove to PNL's smooth sounds and were either swaying along the edges of the room or up front mesmerized by Alex Fedele’s trombone chops. —Marci

click to enlarge Poetry n' Lotion - Drunkcameraguy
Poetry n' Lotion

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