Best of Events & Arts


Illustration by Ivan Benavides | Creative Director

UP Staff

Esteemed comedian Hannibal Buress visited the Carole and Barry Kaye auditorium on Oct. 26 for Homecoming’s annual comedy show. Photo by Mohammed F. Emran | Asst. Creative Director
Esteemed comedian Hannibal Buress visited the Carole and Barry Kaye auditorium on Oct. 26 for Homecoming’s annual comedy show. Photo by Mohammed F. Emran | Asst. Creative Director

Best Comedy Show


No joke — he won.

Story by Alexandra Van Erven

Hannibal Buress’ ability to earn laughs ultimately earned him the students’ vote for Best Comedy Show of 2015, with 73 percent of students polled choosing him.

The comedian, who has had roles on both the big and small screen, took the stage at Florida Atlantic’s Carole and Barry Kaye Auditorium on Oct. 26 during Homecoming week to a nearly full auditorium.

Buress is known for several comedy shows, including his own, titled “Why? with Hannibal Buress” on Comedy Central. He also took part in the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber earlier this year and was featured alongside Zac Efron in the movie “Neighbors.”

His FAU appearance started off with two opening comedians — Francisco Duran and Gene Harding —and dealt with topics that included racism, LASIK eye surgery and even the school’s football team.

In the polls, Judah Friedlander came in second place with nearly 15 percent of the vote, while Orny Adams and Ramon Garcia tied for third with 7 percent each.


Best Band: Broward County


Staff pick for best local band

Story by Gabby Strang

Killmama is a sultry combo of blues and rock. The Fort Lauderdale band started out as a personal project, but rapidly evolved into a duo creating rock music that’s a bit like a thunderstorm: loud and striking. Killmama connects the two friends — who met working at a computer store — to their passion of making music.

The band has been touring throughout South Florida and beyond ever since it released its EP “Soft Cookies” in April. In it, lead vocalist and drummer Sophie Sputnik provides sharp, velvet smooth vocals that hit hard against Rob Kingsley’s mixture of bluesy and lo-fi guitar.

You can catch Killmama’s next show at Propaganda on Nov. 27, alongside our other local pick the Steel Brothers Band.



Best Concert: BIG SEAN

He came to “Paradise” and stole the show.

Story by Emily Creighton and Alexandra Van Erven

For the 30 students that voted, rapper Big Sean stole the show and won the title of “Best Concert of 2015,” earning nearly 83 percent of votes.

Big Sean made his Florida Atlantic debut on April 1 for Program Board’s eighth annual hip-hop concert — Freaker’s Ball — with Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick. With a price tag of $65,000, he became the most expensive headliner to ever take the event’s stage.

But, the cost was seemingly justified as his high energy and inspirational messages captivated the crowd of over 1,000 attendees. “Where all my dreamers at?” Sean asked the crowd. “I followed my heart, I followed my gut. Follow your heart … Do what makes you happy, man.”

Big Sean’s Freaker’s Ball act was a far cry from the Timeflies’ Homecoming performance in October, which earned 0 percent of the vote. Hollywood Undead and ARTIKaL Sound System came in second and third with 13 and 3 percent, respectively.


Best Band: Miami-Dade County


Staff pick for best local band

Story by Gabby Strang

Funk group Psychic Mirrors has an appetite for influence in the sense that their music merges together sounds ranging from ‘70s funk to modern electronic, with a ricochet of futuristic elements. Their music is bound to make you dance — or dive into your parents’ disco collection.

Although the members of Psychic Mirrors are ever-changing, and the group never has fewer than 10 members, its success is owed to the brain workings of Mickey de Grand IV. Creator of local DIY label Cosmic Chronic, de Grand IV has been recording music since the age of 9 and has been the prime machine of Psychic Mirrors since day one — acting as engineer, writer and producer.

The group plays sporadically around South Florida and most recently performed at Miami’s III Points Festival. You can check them out Dec. 3, during Art Basel at the Electric Pickle in Wynwood.



Best Band: Palm Beach County


Staff pick for best local band

Story by Carissa Giard

The first time I heard the Steel Brothers Band’s funky rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child,” I walked into the bar and witnessed what I had previously thought was impossible: a Hendrix cover with no electric guitar. Instead, two pedal steel (an electric steel guitar on legs) players had center stage — Durrell Randolph and Edward McIntosh. They were accompanied by their cousins, bassist Isaiah McCormick and drummer Dontrail Wright, along with McIntosh’s wife Ashley, who was singing.

Apparently, music runs in the family for Randolph, whose cousin is Robert from Robert Randolph & The Family Band — a well known funk/soul band that formed in the early 2000s. Robert was featured in Rolling Stone’s 2008 list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”

Durrell says that their music is influenced by the sacred steel tradition: a movement in the Pentecostal church of the 1930s that began using pedal and lap steel in their services.

“I usually listen to Soulive, Lettuce, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, The Lee Boys, Derek Trucks and The Campbell Brothers, which is also our family from Rochester, New York,” he says of the group’s musical influences. “For me, I’m looking to create a new genre and sound to take things to the next level like you’ve never heard.”

Durrell says that the band has been playing shows around town but will be slowing down to focus on finishing their debut EP. You can see them live on Friday, Nov. 27, at Propaganda in downtown Lake Worth.