Gamble Rogers Folk Festival – May 2-4 @ St. Augustine
Over the weekend of May 2-4, the Gamble Rogers Folk Festival will be held in St. Augustine. This annual event celebrates local folk and Americana music each year, and for 2014, the event is even more impressive than previous years. With over 50 acts performing over the weekend, there will be plenty of performers to check out whether you choose to visit the event Friday, Saturday or Sunday. A few acts include The Duhks, Pierce Pettis, Flagship Romance, Matthew Fowler, Bob Patterson and Gatorbone. The event begins Friday 5 p.m. at the Marina Stage in downtown St. Augustine, located on the waterfront near the Bridge of Lions. Ticket prices start at $15 for Friday, $35 for Saturday and $45 for the full weekend pass.
Earl Sweatshirt – May 5 @ Freebird Live
Earl Sweatshirt is a name that was largely unknown two years ago. There are some who knew him from early Odd Future productions. But after his mother exiled him to an academy in Samoa after concerns over where his life was headed, the artist largely fell off the radar. Well, Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, Earl’s real name, is quite well known after the release of his critically acclaimed album, Doris. The album, which was released in August last year, even landed on our Top 25 Album list. OF is known for their high-energy, thrilling shows, often compared to metal or punk rock performances, so don’t miss out on a surefire good time with this one. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Wale – May 8 @ Pure Nightclub
Washington D.C. rapper, Wale, will return to Jacksonville on Thursday, May 8. The well-known rapper, who has been an active artist since 2005, is renown for songs such as “Dig Dug,” “Chillin” and “Lotus Flower Bomb.” In 2012, I saw Wale perform in Gainesville and the concert was brilliant. After performing a few songs on stage, Wale stole the show from headliner B.O.B. when he left the stage and ventured into the audience, continuing his performance amongst the crowd. From then on, I was a Wale fan, and since then, the rapper has continued to release quality hip hop devoid of the stereotypical “gangsta rap.” With his album, The Album About Nothing, set to be released this year, attendees can expect to hear a preview of his album to come.
The Aquabats – May 13 @ Freebird Live
It’s really hard to contain my excitement for this show. For those who don’t know, The Aquabats have been around for quite a long time, and for good reason. Perhaps one of the most legendary ska bands, The Aquabats first formed in 1994, and have become one of the most prominent groups in their genre. For 2014, the band plans to release a new album for their 20th anniversary. Their live shows feature epic superhero-inspired battles, choreographed fight scenes with villains, acrobatic stunts and even pyrotechnics. What more do I need to say? Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Jack Johnson – May 20 @ Saint Augustine Amphitheatre
The man, the myth, the legend … Jack Johnson. When the folks over at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre announced that Jack Johnson would be performing, I think the tickets literally sold out within hours. Now, most of you are wondering why I would bother informing you about this (like you didn’t already know). But there are still ways to get second-hand tickets to see the famous Hawaiian folk singer before he graces the Amphitheatre.
Jazz Fest After Dark – May 24-26 @ Downtown Jacksonville
If you aren’t already excited for the return of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival this month, then let me give you another reason to attend this year’s event. When the sun sets on the Jazz Fest, a special “After Dark” event begins. Following the last act of the regular festival lineup each night, the music continues as participating bars and clubs downtown open their doors to musicians and artists. Venues such as 1904 Music Hall will be hosting local acts including, Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, This Frontier Needs Heroes and Canary In the Coalmine. After Dark runs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and admission is free.
Old Crow Medicine Show – May 25 @ St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Nashville-based string band OCMS have been recording music since 1998. It was not until Doc Watson heard them busking outside a pharmacy in 2000 that the band hit it big. The famed bluegrass musician gave the group a gig on the spot, and the rest is history. When OCMS released their self-titled album in 2004, featuring the popular song “Wagon Wheel,” the band became one of the biggest names in Americana music, rivaling that of Edward Sharpe, and even Mumford and Sons. You’ll hear me singing the words to “Wagon Wheel” as loud as I can when the doors open at 7 p.m.