Sunfest, the largest waterfront music and art festival of Florida, has been taking over West Palm Beach for over three decades. Days before our 2018 kick off, we were threatened with heavy storms in the area, but with Sunfest occurring yearly during the beginning of rainy season, not even weather prevented massive crowds from flooding the streets of Clematis. In years past the first day eased into the party with only two stages being used on day one, but after cutting Wednesday from the fest lineup, Sunfest decided to kick off strong utilizing all three stages for performers with music starting Thursday evening around 5pm.
The O'My's are a five piece from Chicago melding soul, funk, and raw vocals with some blues undertones. The Windy City band put our their first EP Potty Mouth back in 2011 and most recently released a second EP, Keeping the Faith in 2015. In 2012, fellow Chicagoian, Chance the Rapper joined The O'Mys on their track "The Wonder Years." Maceo Haymes (vocalist) addressed the crowd with a low and smooth voice, yet he sings at a higher pitch that flows symbiotically with the music. With their set wedged between Jamaican singer/songwriter/producer/DJ Marley Waters and new-age rapper royalty Logic, The O'My's were the perfect blend to the keep the crowd entertained and moving while the sun set over West Palm.
As if we had traveled back in time, Billy Idol, joined by original guitarist Steve Stevens, took the stage to remind everyone lucky enough to see that some music is truly timeless. Both looking and sounding great, Billy belted through hit after hit all while dancing like he always had, complete with his trademark sneer. Add to the fact that long time guitarist Steve Stevens sounded flawless, and you got treated to a perfect night of 80’s awesomeness. Starting off with "Shock to the System" and following with "Dancing With Myself" Idol taunted the women of the front row that were literally trying to climb the barricade to touch him (security was a riot to watch). The real frenzy started, however, as Idol peeled off his sweaty t-shirt before his finale and threw it to the screaming crowd. “Thank you West Palm Beach, for making my life so fucking great,” he prowled the stage with his fist raised in the air. “Thank you Steve Stevens, for making my like so fucking great! Show them what a hit song sounds like, will ya?” Idol grinned back to his bandmate and friend. Night one on the Tire Kingdom Stage closed out with the sounds of White Wedding ringing out with subtle undertones of a Billy Idol shirt being torn to shreds in the crowd.
Shock to the System / Dancing With Myself / Flesh for Fantasy / Scream / Prodigal Blues / Eyes Without A Face / Guitar Solo / Don’t Need a Gun / Rebel Yell / White Wedding
A sea of people were anxiously awaiting as Logic came out to celebrate the end day one on the Ford Stage. Unlike other acts, he didn’t need flashy stage effects or gimmicks to keep things interesting, just him with a microphone and a modest backline. It was clear right from the start that Logic loves his fans. Making sure to interact with and include the crowd at every opportunity. Perched on her dad's shoulders at the front of the crowd sat thirteen year old Marley, “I love you so much and I love listening to your music because I have anxiety and it helps me with that” she told Logic as he came down to her. He thanked her, he complimented her nails, and most of all, he cared about what she said, that much was obvious. Truly humbled by the experience of playing the festival and with a constant grin he never once took the vibe for granted. "'Make me Mom of the Year, get my son to rap with you'?" Logic laughed as he read a sign from the crowd. "Where is your son? What's his name?" After locating 16-year old Liam, Logic brought him on stage, "I'm shaking right now," Liam admitted. “That’s OK,” Logic told him. “We’ve got your back.” The two performed a verse from 2014's Under Pressure as Logic hyped up Liam, filming him with his cell phone. "Oh my god!" Logic repeated over and over as the kid performed in front of the massive Sunfest crowd. “If you came here, I want you to have fun,” Logic yelled. “Everyone in the crowd, look to the person to your right, now your left. Now, whether you know those people or not, tonight, they’re your family. You’re here. I want everyone to feel safe and have a good time.” Sure, tons of artists say that, but Logic embodies that value and the dedication he puts into his fans is an incredible thing to watch.
Everybody / Under Pressure / Killing Spree / Contra / Fade Away / Super Mario World / Take It Back / Indica Badu / Midnight / Wizard of Oz / Freestyle / Black SpiderMan / BoomTrap Protocol / Flexicution / 1-800-273-8255 / Everyday
photos and review by Megan Garzone and Dan Karanikis