Our music columnist gets immersed at the Acre for John Vanderslice
This Little Underground
Published: November 20, 2013
For all the celebration that a one-time 10-year anniversary reunion of celebrated local band Precious (Nov. 10, Will's Pub) suggests, the cause was rather heavy. Frontman Steve Garron, a beloved figure in the Orlando music canon, has for years been battling kidney disease and is now trying to get a transplant. Yeah, pretty serious shit. But I much prefer the prospect of rallying to help save a still-viable life over a lost member of the music community. And that's why the reunion happened, and it earned an impressive $4,300. However, Obamacare notwithstanding, this is still America, and it's gonna take much more to fulfill Garron's need. So if you couldn't make it like me, you can donate at stevegarron.com like I did. Good luck, Steve.
Indie popsmith John Vanderslice tours through Orlando frequently. But this locally powered show (Nov. 12, the Acre) was very different. It's been a while since anyone around here put on a really special, one-of-a-kind event. Enter scene shaker Dave Plotkin. Although not typically a concert organizer, he is someone who makes things happen, stirs shit up. And his signature efforts in everything are nothing if not creatively elaborate.
From the outset, this wasn't just about putting on a concert; it was about creating an experience. And it began weeks before the show with the tickets. Made from personal photos from Vanderslice's past decade of touring, the artistically handmade souvenir tickets, each unique, were a boldly visual, tactile first step. After leaving Park Ave CDs and beholding mine, this was looking like it could be a full sensory journey. It was.
Live, Vanderslice performed accompanied by drummer Jason Slota, with both doing double duty on instruments. But his set included notable collaborations with local musicians Moon Jelly and Tierney Tough (the Pauses).
But, on a balmy evening at the enchanted mise en scène of the Acre (theacreorlando.com), the Floridian aura was just as much a star in this exceptional experience. Enjoying music alfresco in the mild autumn night air just ahead of an advancing cold front, well, that's atmosphere difficult for any club to match.