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Spafford “For Amusement Only” Tour + Groove Orient: Jacksonville [Review]

Spafford Jack Rabbits

Spafford sold-out the Jacksonville stop of their “For Amusement Only” tour at Jack Rabbits. If you’ve ever followed Phish on tour or bought a festival ticket for the sole purpose of seeing Phish you undoubtedly loved Spafford’s performance. I’ve recently heard phans calling Spafford Phish’s second coming. You don’t have to listen long to their jams like “Salamander Song” to hear the heavy Phish undertones with a fresh funk that makes their sound one they can call their own.

At the show, phans were packed at the front of Jack Rabbits stage like wild sardines swimming in their overflowing IPAs. The air was electric and the energy remained high with spot on song choices like “America” and “Electric Taco Stand”. One thing remains a constant, those boys can shred. With their Saturday night’s jams I think it’s safe to say we all became Spaffnerds.

What happened to the opening act? Just hours before The Groove Orient was set to take the stage, Spafford announced the cancellation of their opening act due to “production limitations”. Fans were bummed to say the least, but before the boys could head home to Orlando, the accommodating staff of 1904 Music Hall saved the night with a Spafford after party.

As midnight approached, The Groove Orient¬†stepped away from the tightly packed crowd at Jack Rabbits to take their turn on a separate stage not far down the road. The crowd’s presence and enthusiasm spoke volumes for the love Jacksonville has for this band. TGO’s genre is a masterful fusion of rock, blues, and funk and I’m all about it. Their cover of “L.A. Woman” will leave you drifting off to The Doors psychedelic era.

Lead vocals Harry Ong channels the distinctive spirit of Jim Morrison and with Tommy Shugart on the keys the sound will land you in a 1960s state of mind. TGO is a compilation of capable song writers as well and the night was filled with my favorite originals like “Twisted Sister” and “Hot Bandit Woman” (see full set lists below). The night truly worked out for the best as a good number of people who were unable to get tickets to the sold out show were able to reunite with friends at the spur of the moment after party.

the groove orient

The Groove Orient just announced a follow up show at 1904 Music Hall on March 29th. The band is currently producing its first full length self-titled album to be released later this year. Stay tuned!

Jack Rabbits

Set 1:
Steak Sauce
Dream Jam
I shall Be Released (Bob Dylan cover)
The Reprise

Set 2:
Shake You Loose
Slip and Squander
Catfish John (Johnny Russel cover)
Electric Taco Stand
All In

Beautiful Day
Backdoor Funk

The Groove Orient
1904 Music Hall

I Need More Love (Robert Randolph cover)
Bananas, Cannonball (Soulive cover)
Bora Bora
Sewer Rat
Hot Bandit Woman
Sammy A!
L.A. Woman (The Doors cover)
Twisted Sister
Ghost Train

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