Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


South Florida becomes Jam Band Central

In the months leading up to March 8, 2003, a small buzz reverberated in the darkened South Florida bars that host free-form jam bands. The talk was about an event that promised to feature some of the most heavyweight musicians of the genre. By February, a full-scale marketing assault was in effect and the name Langerado Music Festival made its way onto website banners and into emails.

As the big day arrived, the parking lot of the Fort Lauderdale Stadium Festival grounds took on a beat appearance as camper vans and hippie cats filed in. It became clear that this was much more than a local event, as license plates representing west coast states were prominent.

The day jumped off to a funky start as the local act Hashbrown stirred early emotions in the handful of attendees who were keen enough to leave the parking lot behind. Performing songs from their recording Miles to Go, Hashbrown brought a modest crowd of onlookers to the second stage. The song “Keep it Simple” highlighted the set as the fans became engaged in a clap-along moderated by singer Clarence Spencer.

The band Raq from Burlington, Vermont, made its Florida debut under the sunniest conditions of the main stage. Barebacked and sweaty, singer/guitarist Chris Machetti delivered a technical display of endless soloing, resembling the young Trey Anastasio of Phish.

The onstage vocal counter play between Machetti and keyboard/vocalist Todd “Taco” Stoops seemed tame in comparison to their backstage personas. The two were incredibly eager to joke about the band’s history, ex-keyboardist, and the fun of playing in an event like the Langerado Music Festival.

I’m walking around backstage and I’m getting out of the way of Charlie Hunter. He’s one of my heroes,” said Machetti.

The pace slowed down as the Charlie Hunter Trio took the main stage. Playing an educated brand of jazz, Charlie Hunter’s draw is that he takes on a dual role of being the bass and guitar player. He does this by playing a hybrid guitar consisting of three bass strings and five guitar strings. Though the music was composed of standard progressions, the fun was in watching Charlie Hunter pick the bass sections with his thumb while executing a flamenco attack with the other four fingers.

The day’s high point was the hippie rap presence of G. Love and the Special Sauce. Donning an acoustic guitar and harmonica wire rack for most of his set, Garret Dutton (a.k.a. G. Love) did everything needed to hold the massive audience captive.

G. Love started slowly by playing loose interpretations of “Recipe,” “Unified,” and “No Turning Back” before bringing up Charlie Hunter to play guitar. The combination of two modern-day icons yielded little worth noting musically, but drew attention because of the unlikely pairing.

The end of the set included the songs “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Parasite,” and “Stepping Stone” before G. Love finished up with his “Cold Beverages.” During the conclusion, G. Love broke free from his seated position to deliver a freestyle rap on the edge of the stage. The crowd responded with smiles and cheers, giving “the love” right back.

The Langerado Music Festival has announced that plans for next year’s event are already in development. For more information, check out www.langerado.com.

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