It was a soggy Saturday (5/14) night in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. The rain came down in sheets, pinning people in small alcoves along Las Olas to wait out the downpour. Lightning flashed and thunder boomed, but inside Revolution Live, patrons kept dry drinking and digging the alternative rock sounds of Jacob Jeffries Band, Ghosts of Gloria and The Light Exchange.
It felt like a Zeta concert (you remember 94.9 FM ZETA Rocks, don’t you?) in there. There were many short, stocky men with short haircuts and almost out-of-character facial piercings milling about. They wore their Alice In Chains t-shirts proudly. Revolution’s headliner, a remnant from the lighter side of the 90’s grunge movement in Seattle called Candlebox, would take the stage at around 10:15 p.m. But that wasn’t the only thing going on.
Right next door, America’s Backyard was flooded with wet teenagers. The outdoor venue was playing host to a sold out performance by rapper Mac Miller. The kids didn’t seem to mind some rain.
Now, I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert on current trends in rap music, but this Mac Miller fellow seems to be somewhat of a big deal. Outside, a blonde girl sat against the wall next to the box office glumly staring at her phone. Lauren was her name. She said she couldn’t get into the sold out Mac Miller concert. The friends she came with abandoned her to catch the show. Either this concert is THE concert event of the decade or Laura has some pretty crappy friends. My guess is the latter. Her face lit up like a Christmas tree when I offered to get her in as my plus-one. That was my good deed for the week.
Inside America’s Backyard, there was a crush of high school kids pressed up against the stage. When Mac Miller took the stage, the crowd broke out into a wave of applause that matched the peals of thunder sounding through the night.
After calling out the audience for booing one of the opening acts, Miller went on to do what he does best—rap about everything a mother doesn’t want their impressionable young teenagers to hear about. Sex, drugs, I think there was something about money… You know, the usual.
The kids loved it. When Miller raised his hands, the crowd raised their hands. When Miller jumped, the crowd jumped. I’ll give this to him— he sure has fan support.
At one point, Miller pulled one kid up onto the stage. His name was Jordan and he was 14 years old. Miller asked if he had a girlfriend. Jordan proudly said, “Yeah.” Miller chuckled to himself. “I was tryin’ to get him some pussy,” said Miller, “But he says he already has a girlfriend!”
"Jordan" and Mac Miller
The kids ate it up. Wow. Mac Miller is so cool. He was totally going to get that guy—excuse me—that little boy some sweet vag. I won’t lie, I laughed out loud. Never would I have thought I’d see a white rapper try to pimp out a 14-year-old boy at a sold out concert. At least he gave the kid some decent advice, to be faithful to his girlfriend. I was touched. Once I had my fill of laughs, I made my way back into Revolution to catch the Candlebox performance.
Candlebox started at about the same time as Mac Miller, so they were a little ways into their set. The crowd wasn’t as thick, or as young, as the Mac Miller crowd, but they certainly were enjoying themselves.
The Candlebox set was better than I expected. Alternative rock isn’t really my bag, but I could dig it for a while. With teases of popular tunes by AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, Candlebox’s set was a good time and full of energy.
Singer Kevin Martin climbed off the stage and over to the side railings to shake hands with some fans. The guitar players threw a number of Planet Wave guitar picks into the sea of fans.
The band came to their biggest single, “You,” towards the end of the set and shortly afterwards, they wrapped it up and left the stage. Cries for an encore brought the band back out for a couple more tunes, but before they started, Martin invited someone up to the stage.
A man climbed onto the stage. He brought a blonde woman with him. The man told a short story about how his first date with his lady friend was a Candlebox concert, so it was only fitting to pop the question onstage at a Candlebox concert. He pulled a small black box from his pocket and asked her to marry him. The woman flung herself at him and hugged him tightly. The kiss that followed must have meant yes.
By that point the rain had, for the most part, subsided. It was as good a time as any to head back to the car. In the end, I’m glad I went. It was a better time than I thought it’d be. And thanks to Mac Miller, it was a hell of a lot funnier too.