Sunday at Riptide celebrated the grungy rock of the 90's, filled with the hits that were on every mix CD we made in high school. Electronic big beat pioneer The Crystal Method opened up the afternoon on the Underground Stage. The now solo artist, Scott Kirkland, was able to captivate the audience without using flashing lights or pyrotechnics commonly seen in sets these days. Just Kirkland with his signature The Crystal Method headset pulled over his eyes, and a shit ton of energy. While the set was not very long, the time he did have was spent jumping up and down and throwing out funky familiar beats that had everyone dancing and jumping along. The Crystal Method closed out the set covering The Prodigy's “Breathe.”
The electronic party continued over at the Riptide Stage with Matt & Kim. While Matt & Kim may not have been a band for as long as most of the performers on Sunday, their high-key energy, upbeat tempos, and inflatable props were a bright spot on the day. Kicking off the set with “Now” Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino are like feral animals on their kits. Not in a rabid run away kind of feral, but in a primal burst of nature kind of feral. Their eclectic stage presence drew in fans that were milling around in the Village and their crowd continued to grow throughout the set. Matt & Kim included songs by DMX and Travis Scott, catering to both sides of the rap fan age gaps in the crowd. And their inflatables we mentioned? How about a gigantic beach ball that somehow made it's way from Matt & Kim's performance, all the way over to the Gin Blossoms's on the Underground Stage. Oh and sex dolls. Anatomically correct sex dolls at that.
Third Eye Blind is consistently one of my favorite bands to see live (okay, to be fair they're one of my favorite bands in general), and their performance at Riptide was no different. Stephan Jenkins pours his heart and soul not only on records, but every time he steps onto the stage. Keeping with the general 90's theme of the day, Third Eye Blind's thirteen song set included many radio hits we all remember including “Graduate” and “Jumper” but also some of their newer material like the title track from 2015's Dopamine. The band closed their set with two of their biggest hits in their discography “Semi-Charmed Life” and “How's It Gonna Be” and anyone that has the chance to hear Jenkins sing “How's It Gonna Be” while the sun begins to set on the beach – take that chance and don't look back!
Everclear always takes me back to my childhood, I'm not sure there's anyone my age that can't hear “I want the things that I had before” without shouting back “like a Star Wars poster on my bedroom door!” Art Alexakis made jokes with the crowd before kicking into songs like “Father of Mine” and “Wonderful” as the 90's babies shouted along with him. Everclear's cover of Van Morrison's “Brown Eyed Girl” even landed a spot in the set, and on day three of a music festival on the beach, well, there's no doubt that song would trigger a massive sing-along. The set closed out with “Santa Monica” from their 1995 release Sparkle and Fade.
If you remember this summer Collective Soul went on tour across the country with Three Doors Down on the “Rock and Roll Express Tour.” You may also recall how blown away we were by Ed Roland and his incredibly skilled band. Roland is the epitome of the 90's front man. He is still wild and crazy, running around the stage, and thrashing his hair and mic stand around one minute, and then sitting down to his piano to perform songs like “Shine” in the next. The set included many of the same songs we had heard this summer, but the nature of the band onstage makes you feel like you're experiencing them for the first time all over again.. From their biggest hits “Heavy” and “December” Roland seems to put himself entirely on the line on stage, and the fans love every second of it. The set finished out with “Where the River Flows” the ultimate Collective Soul rock song.
For the third year, Riptide Music Fest has grown, and for the third year we walked away from Fort Lauderdale beach in December having an absolutely killer weekend. With it's home stationed right on the heart of the beach on Las Olas, this festival can only continue to get bigger and better.
311, LIVE, Third Eye Blind, Matt & Kim, Just Loud
Collective Soul, Everclear, Gin Blossoms, The Crystal Method, Silent Rival