When I interviewed him last week, Jacuzzi Boys bassist Danny Gonzales pushed back against the characterization of the Miami rock trio as a mere party band, and then promised its show at Churchill’s Saturday night would be a party.
You knew it was a different sort of night when the normal process of entering Churchill’s — walking through the front door — got an extra step: waiting in a long damn line. The only other time I’ve had to queue to get into Churchill’s (in the recent past, at least) was for the Del the Funky Homosapien show back in May, which actually filled the dive to capacity.
Your second “different sort of night” clue was the people in the line. Yeah, Churchill’s regulars were well represented in all their “This old thing? Why, I only wear it when I don’t care how I look” glory. But the show cast a broader net than Churchill’s usual fare, which accounted not only for the long line at the door and the unprecedented (and fleeting) scent of cologne inside the bar, but also for the Grolsch rep who, God bless her, kept pouring me and anyone else that looked capable of doing a kegstand free drinks.
All of which is to say that, with the release off of their latest album, Glazin’, the Jacuzzi Boys are far and away the Most Popular Band in Miami. I’m not yet ready to declare them the Best Band in Miami — ANR has a frothing dog in that fight — but their performance did deliver on the perfunctory hype that comes with having an LP premier in SPIN.
Taking the stage after the Loose Stools, Snakehole, and The Jameses, the Jacuzzi Boys jammed over the din and joyful chaos of a nearly capacity crowd galvanized by a core of limb-swinging, elbow-throwing, beer-spraying, grin-flashing, All-City dudes …
… and a few game dudettes.
It was a fun scene insofar as it scared quite a few bystanders and contrasted explosively with the bob-your-head, tap-your-foot reception that other worthy Miami rock bands too often encounter. Of course, this is to the Jacuzzi Boys’ credit. They blazed through their 14-song set, smiling widely throughout, even when someone gave the giant speaker strapped precariously above the stage a suicidal/homicidal tug and when an overzealous stage-diver (is there any other kind? no one casually tosses their mortal coil upon a crowd of slippery hands, right?) unplugged frontman Gabriel Alcala’s guitar no fewer than three times, forcing the band, in one instance, to stop cold in the middle of “Glazin’”, the damn good title track of their new album.
The incident didn’t stop Alcala (photo above) from proclaiming his adoration to the crowd repeatedly. “Miami, we love you so fucking much,” he said again and again, his mouth and mutant-wide eyes barely visible behind his sweat-matted hair.
It was obvious Saturday night that Miami loves the Jacuzzi Boys back. As the band prepares for a 30+ date tour, the question now is, How will the rest of the country feel?
Planet of the dreamers
Space cake ’85
Bricks or coconuts
You can see many more photos from the show on our Facebook page, including: