By: Lindsy Carrasquillo
This past weekend, downtown Gainesville was filled with people as there was a show happening at almost every venue in town and students graduating from UF were joined by their families. With so many great shows happening at once, many decided to end their semester with a bang by attending Dikembe’s headlining show at the recently-renovated venue, The Atlantic.
With the re-arrangement of the venue’s stage, music fans now have more room to move around which served the crowd well. Kicking off the night was Kindergarten Cop. With just a three song release under their belt, “the Sleepy EP”, the garage rock band threw in some brand new tracks. While guitarist/backing vocalist, Charlie Chopshop, said that the track they played didn’t have a name, fans should expect an album in June. The band’s quick paced energetic sound is complemented by singer Marvin Jacobson’s vocals as he clearly puts his all into his performance.
Kindergarten Cop starting off the night with high energy.
As Southpaw only has two tracks up on their Bandcamp page, I had a sense of their sound before their set but seeing them play live made me wish they already had a full length out. I’d describe their sound as having punk rock influences mixed in with post-hardcore. Singer Josh Galarneau’s smooth energetic vocals are supported by bassist Bo Coker’s backing vocals in a fashion that would make any crowd sing along back to them. Their dynamic song structure and emotional lyrics easily makes them an upcoming band to look out for.
Southpaw bring an emotional performance to The Atlantic.
More people trickled in as the band No More got ready to hit the stage. While their last release came out back in 2011, the band’s lyrical content is still relevant and their pop-rock sound is enjoyable. Their lyrics tackle issues such as abuse of government power, the patriarchy, and violence. As I had previously seen backing vocalist and guitarist, Jennifer Vito, play a solo show back in November–I was pleased to see her play in a different setting as the band’s lively sound fits her style.
No More play to an engaged crowd.
Closing out the night full of locals were Dikembe. As I first saw the band play at Fest 15, I now try my best to see the band play every time they’ve got a show in town. The crowd always sings their hearts out to every song and being around people who are so passionate about a band is enough to make anyone’s night. Playing tracks off of their newest release, “Hail Something”, singer Steven Gray made a note make sure that you tell people you love them whether they know it or not before launching into the track ‘Just Explode’. With their aggressive drum patterns, the band even had to take a break a few times so that drummer David Bell could keep his kick drum from falling over.
“I’m a wreck but you keep me in check, I kept my straight face motor open and you kept me running,” sings Steven.
Even with Gainesville starting to clear out as many students go back to their hometowns, this city is still filled with high energy and fantastic local bands that should not be missed.