THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Two important local concert institutions notch big anniversaries
this week: live series Southern Fried Sunday
(10 years) and show promoter Norsekorea
(five years). Presenting countless hours of good times and great bands, these are two of the most respected names
in the Orlando music scene. So big salutes to them both for all their work and scene enrichment.
SFS’s recent blowout celebration (Jan. 17, Will’s Pub) met the occasion with sheer scale. What began as a scrappy little down-home gathering at the old Copper Rocket has, under the loving stewardship and supernova spirit of Jessica Pawli,
has graduated to a primetime pillar
of the local scene, sometimes even spilling beyond the walls of its current base of operations at Will’s Pub and taking over other venues and lots along the Mills Ave. strip during special editions. For its momentous 10th anniversary, SFS popped the cork by bringing a studded large-venue package deal (Reverend Horton Heat, Unknown Hinson, Nashville Pussy and the Red Elvises)
to the most colorful neighborhood in the city for a crazy bargain ($10 advance, $15 door). That there is going big.
With all the major headlining action happening on an outside stage in the Will’s Pub parking lot, the scene was total festival atmosphere,
only with a shitload more motorcycles and hot rods than your usual. And the music justified all the buzz.
After some core lineup changes, Red Elvises frontman and guitarist Igor Yuzov rechristened the act Igor and the Red Elvises
and built a new band that’s now all ladies. Smart man.
But the goofy-great showmanship
that’s made the Red Elvises such a stalwart party band? Still essentially the same, thankfully, with all the beloved show signatures (crowd-weaving conga line, drum solo, audience participation) still intact.
Once the almighty Nashville Pussy
got on, gears switched fast from campy Russian levity to unapologetically lurid American pulp. But like the Red Elvises – and all the other members of this tour for that matter – nothing much changes in what they deliver live. And when it’s a strapping set of ass-kicking, dick-swinging rock
like this, that’s a very good thing.
Also reliably solid was the Reverend Horton Heat.
But the night’s single most special treat was when this headliner played as the backing band
for cult hero Unknown Hinson.
a formidable setup worth triple the price of admission – if anything, just for the legendary guitar dream team of two outstanding leading men concentrated onto one stage.
Amid all the hard-rocking national headliners, however, some of the highlights of the event were the quietest. One was local roots-rocker Mike Dunn
doing a warm, chest-swelling acoustic cover of the Replacements’
“Bastards of Young.” The other was the Reverend Horton Heat himself praising local rockabilly trio the Wildtones
onstage and then asking them offstage to tour with him.
Nothing sums up just how far and deep Southern Fried Sunday has woven itself into the Orlando cultural fabric quite like standing there in the thick of the large, rocking congregation gathered for the celebration. Despite the significantly expanded special-event scale, it still had that famous familial vibe.
That’s because, even more than a Horton Heat show, it was Southern Fried Sunday. That’s why it’s one of those truly great Orlando things.
And it was some party.
If you weren’t there, you missed one for the ages. But chin up, sweetheart, you can still catch the other big local fete. The Norsekorea anniversary
will span this entire upcoming weekend with Day 1 (Jan. 23) at Backbooth with Shannon & the Clams, Golden Pelicans, Wet Nurse, Guy Blakeslee and Dumber Bunnies
and Day 2 (Jan. 24) at Will’s Pub with the Attack, Panther Camp, the Areolas, Vicious Dreams and Clay Monster.
This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.
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