Date: Friday, March 30th, 2012
Line up: Passafire, Spred The Dub, Roots Shakedown, Common Wealth
Location: Propaganda. Lake Worth, FL
For weeks my Facebook was flooded with Passafire related status updates and all my friends could talk about was seeing Passafire at Propaganda in downtown Lake Worth. By the time the doors opened at 8:45pm on Friday there was already a line around the block. Eager fans quickly filled the small venue and the atmosphere was instantly charged with the collective anticipation.
Before Passafire took the stage though three local bands, Spred The Dub, Roots Shakedown, and Common Wealth, got the crowd ready for the craziness that would surely ensue. The show was sold out, and people were crammed in shoulder to shoulder, the stale air infused with the stench of sweat and body odor, but that didn’t stop anyone from getting down and having a good time.
When Passafire finally took the stage at almost 1:00am they wasted no time. Opening the set with Shapes and Colors off their latest album, all the people who ran outside for a smoke, were engaged in their own conversation, or visiting one of the merch tables was immediately drawn to the front of the stage. From there the guys mixed it up with some old and new favorites like Feel It, Divide, Dimming Sky, and Ghost.
Then, they called Spred The Dub’s trombone player, Sam Szpendyk, to the stage for an awesome rendition of the classic Rude Boi off their first album. With the energy (and the temperature) at an all time high there was not a still body in the entire place. Even those who were outside satisfying their munchies from the gourmet hot dog food truck PS561 were getting down in the parking lot.
After a few more favorites from their new album including Rubber Bands and Lorelie it was almost two a.m. and the guys were getting the “wrap it up” signal from the sound booth. But the crowd just wasn’t having it so the guys tried to please everyone with the powerful Spring tour anthem, Start From Scratch. And with a “Thank you! We are Passafire!” they were gone. But I don’t blame them.
It was so stifling hot that right after their set ended lead singer, Ted Bowne, ran outside and laid in the street basking in the cool breeze before heading back to the merch table for autographs, pictures, and a dry shirt. Before the show the guys were free to roam the venue, hang back and vibe to the other bands – afterwards, they were completely mobbed. But they didn’t seem to mind as they eagerly posed for picture after picture and handed out plenty of high-fives and fist bumps.
Passafire and their crew couldn’t have been any nicer. When I introduced myself to Bowne and told him that I also reviewed Start From Scratch, which won album of the year on The Pier, he smiled and gave me a high-five “Yes! I read it! Thanks!” Even their sound guy, who I met when he toured with Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad last year, asked if I remembered him. It was like hanging out with a bunch of friends and they seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves when I realized that this is what these guys do every single day. This is what makes driving in a cramped van full of smelly guys for over twenty-four hours, missing home, and eating greasy fast food everyday, all worth it.
Since Passafire tours relentlessly throughout the year and it must be terribly difficult to be away from their families and loved ones, but seeing them interact with the fans it all makes sense. They would have it no other way.
Even as the venue started to clear out and the gear was packed up and carried away, the band wasn’t quick leave. They hung around until the last minute chatting with the stragglers and soaking (pun intended) in the moment right along side the fans.
Passafire’s Set List
Shapes and Colors
Casting of the Cares
Kiss My Head
Start From Scratch
Article & Photos By: Ashley Allred