For those who still remember, this is usually the weekend that the former 103.1 the buzz used to have their annual Buzz Bake Sale. Now thrust a little over then a year old 104.3 The Shark is giving their first annual ‘Shark Wrecked’ festival as part of the weekend Riptide Music Festival. Boasting a roster of 11 ‘alternative’ acts the station has been giving nice rotation to this year (and rightfully so), the fest kicks off in the most Florida way possible – on the beach!

If you think you only know one song by The Struts you’re totally wrong, and you don’t realize it until you witness the bands 40-minute set. These VERY Queen inspired fellas bring it like no one’s business in an upbeat show harkening back to 70’s area rock.

Meanwhile electro artist Robert Delong went on a half hour late thanks to equipment malfunctioning. Not wanting to disappoint the audience though, he picked up an actual instrument and treated the crowd to guitar versions of three of his songs, as well as his own brand of whacky humor.

It’s no secret that south Florida loves its reggae, especially the Dirty Heads. The band put on a show that turned it into a true beach party. I honestly can’t say that I’ve seen so many people dancing and swaying at a rock show. Not to mention the tons rapping along to songs like “My Sweet Summer,” “Medusa,” and of course radio favs “Lay Me Down,” and set closer “That’s All I Need.” The latter of which also saw the band come out to dance to a remix version of their own song while the equipment was being taken off stage!

Silversun Pickups haven’t been back for an area show all year and decided Riptide would be their last show for the year. Their close to an hour, 10-song set kicked off with current radio staple “Nightlight,” and kicked the energy up with “Well Thought Out Twinkles.” Vocalist Brian Aubert was as engaging and humorous as ever in between songs, referring to “Friendly Fires” as ‘seriously fucked up, but we won’t get into telling stories here.’ Of course the bands biggest hits, “Panic Switch” and an extended jam version of “Lazy Eye” were highlights of the evening.

It really is hard to believe just how far AWOLNation has come since they were first introduced to south Florida by The Buzz all those years ago. This is definitely a band that has a lot of love and respect for the area though, and the fans showed it right back. Though only an hour set, they came out as rock stars and owned the place from the moment they opened with “Run,” to the song they introduced themselves with, “Sail. There is no denying that this is an act that truly comes to life beyond their albums on stage. Definitely one of the more unique fests to hit South Florida, it goes without saying fans can’t wait till next year’s edition.

Review By: Matthew P

All Photos By: Scott Nathanson

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