Spring Break is a time to flee boring, everyday routines and escape the pressures of school and work by jetting off to somewhere exotic, relaxing and exciting. Sounds great for those who can, but if you find yourself planted in Jacksonville, you might as well treat yourself to some great concerts making their way through our city.
March 11: It’s Friday night, and all of your worries should be gone. After that midterm exam and the inevitable sigh of relief, strap on those party pants and skip down to the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall where Sister Hazel will be playing. Come on, you know you loved them. Head to the show to bring back some feel-good memories. The fun starts at 7 p.m.
If Sister Hazel doesn’t appeal to you, maybe the L.A.-based Dum Dum Girls will. Dee Dee, Jules, Bambi and Sandy are the four sub-pop lovin’ chicks who make up the band. They’ll be sharing the stage with Reading Rainbow, Dirty Beaches and The Cougs. With such an eclectic string of musicians and talent, Jack Rabbits will be flooded with tunes all night long. The show starts at 7 p.m., don’t be late.
If pretty-girl rock and old school melodies don’t soothe your musical needs, your last chance is to catch Streetlight Manifesto and A Loss for Words at Freebird at 8 p.m. Rise to the erratic trumpet blares and big-band sounds of the drums banging from Streetlight Manifesto’s stage performance for a more edgy end to your night.
March 12: You’re going to have to make a tough choice tonight. The Ready Set is playing at Freebird at 7 p.m. with The Downtown Fiction, We Are the In Crowd, and You Me & Everyone We Know. The Seedy Seeds will be at Jack Rabbits at 8 p.m and Sugarland is at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena at 7:30 p.m.
You’ve probably heard The Ready Set’s Jason Witzigreuter on the radio singing his hit single “Love Like Woe” and Sugarland’s hit “Need You Now.”
But you probably haven’t yet heard of The Seedy Seeds. This trio stems from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is stopping in Jacksonville on their way across the country toward Austin, Texas, to perform at South by Southwest for the third time.
The Seedy Seeds, composed of Margaret Darling, Mike Ingram and Brian Penick, have just released their third full-length album titled “Verb Noun.” They also have a seven-song EP, “Roll Deep.”
With a combination of accordion, banjo, keyboard, drums, guitar, bass, synthesizer and rockin’ female lead vocals, their sounds will bounce you around in the grooviest way possible.
What is most interesting about the group is that Darling and Ingram started the band not knowing how to play the banjo or the accordion — two key instruments on their albums. Penick joined later already knowing how to play drums.
“We wanted to make the band to learn and use instruments we already owned but hadn’t yet mastered,” Darling, lead singer who also plays guitar and accordion in the band, told the Spinnaker. “We’re pushing new instruments on Brian now. He’s picked up bass guitar and the glockenspiel.”
March 16: You’ve given your ears a break for a few days, and it’s just in time for the next show. The Pauses, Orlando natives and yet another two-man and one-woman trio, are performing at Underbelly in Riverside’s Five Points at 8 p.m. The band is debuting its first full-length album, “A Cautionary Tale,” March 8.
The album was produced by noted indie recording artist J. Robbins and mastered by T.J Lipple. It’s jam-packed with funky electronic blips and bops in combination with guitars, drums, bass, bells and even a ukulele.
“We took a long time to create the album because I wanted to start something that felt more natural to me,” said Tierney Tough, lead vocals, bass and keyboard player for the band.
Jason Kupfer, who plays guitar, bells and ukulele, is the reason for most of the electronic melodies and beats that resonate in each tune. Nathan Chase, who plays drums and adds to the collection of electronic punches, meshed well with Tough and Kupfer. After months of working together as a trio, the band decided it was time to record.
“We finally got to a place where our material was at it’s best,” Kupfer said. “There was a lot of expense, planning and prepping for this album.”
The Pauses will showcase songs from an album two years in the making, and you won’t want to miss it.
If you prefer to savor a bunch of bands all at once, some festivals are coming to the Jacksonville area that will give your ears a reason to binge.
March 11-17: Take your time to celebrate St. Augustine’s first Celtic Music and Arts Festival in this city’s Colonial Spanish Quarter. The festivities begin March 11 and end with a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in downtown St. Augustine. There will be live classical, traditional and modern musical performers from Ireland, the U.S. and the Celtic region of Spain. The festival will also feature food, dancing, workshops and a parade March 12. Tickets range from $10 to $180 per person depending on the selection of dates and features.