Options to celebrate Independence Day are always myriad in South Florida—even if the weather conditions, if you believe the forecasters at the time of this writing, might not be hospitable.
But if you’re like me, one factor to consider when choosing a July Fourth celebration is the quality of the live music. Most of the city events have familiar trappings—children’s activities, food trucks, patriotic fanfare. But a good (or lousy) band can make or break the evening. Here’s a rundown of the sounds to expect at city events in Palm Beach and Broward counties tomorrow night, organized by their proximity to Boca Raton. Meanwhile, we’re all crossing our fingers for open skies.
Boca Raton: The All-Star Band will play classic rock ‘n’ roll covers for the parents in attendance, while the children will want to flock to the nearby satellite stage, where a DJ will spin contemporary pop hits and host “dance-offs” and kids’ games. Both run from 6:30 until 9 p.m. (Countess de Hoernle Park, 1000 Spanish River Blvd.)
West Boca: The Fabulous Fleetwoods have been living up to the superlative in their moniker for more than 30 years, performing a durable blues-rock sound influenced by George Thorogood and the Nighthawks. Perhaps a few of their originals, which number in the thirties, will slip into the covers-driven set when they perform from 7 to 9 p.m. (Sunset Cove Amphitheater, 20405 Amphitheater Circle)
Delray Beach: Solid Brass, a horn-driven group playing brassy music from Stevie Wonder to Chicago, takes the stage at 5. At 7, California alternative pop act Echosmith performs its youthful, accessible rock, likely appealing to fans of Lorde and Tove Lo. The U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors headline with a patriotic send-off from 8:15 until 9 p.m. (The beach at A1A and Atlantic Avenue)
Boynton Beach:Listen up, night owls: The city of Boynton’s Fourth of July festivities run later than other cities’. The seven-piece Paradigm Party Band plays its diverse set of classics, ballads, rock and dance hits, and Top 40 favorites from 7:30 to 9 p.m., then returns after the fireworks for another set from 9:20 to 10:30. (Intracoastal Park, 2240 N. Federal Highway)
Deerfield Beach: Deerfield Beach’s eclectic entertainment lineup spans five bands for a full day of revelry. Reggae/funk fusion act Jahzilla braves the midday heat at noon, followed by singer-songwriter Jay Valor at 1:30 p.m., Boston tribute act Smokin’ at 3 p.m., young blues rockers Shaw Davis & the Black Ties at 5:15, and national country headliner A Thousand Horses at 7:30 p.m. (Main beach parking lot, 149 S.E. 21st Ave.)
Pompano Beach: Nostaljah, a Cape Coral-based quartet that plays roots reggae with dollops of R&B and neo-soul, will open the festivities at 5 p.m. with a set likely to include its many influences, from Bob Marley to Lauryn Hill. R&B group L Tribe will headline the event with upbeat party music from 7 to 8:45 p.m. (On Pompano Beach near the pier, 222 N. Pompano Beach Blvd.)
West Palm Beach: The city of West Palm Beach is pulling out all the stops for the 30th anniversary of its beloved Fourth on Flagler event, with six bands taking three stages. Derek Mack and his six-piece band will open with party music from the 1960s to today at 5 p.m. at the Meyer Amphitheater, followed by the rousing Air National Guard Band of the South at 6:30 p.m. A country-music double bill featuring Liddy Clark at 5 p.m. and Andrew Morris at 7:30 p.m. mixes things up on the Discover The Palm Beaches Stage, while the Post Park stage features third-wave ska revivalists Brass Knucklehead at 5 p.m. and veteran reggae-rock fusionists The People Upstairs at 7:30 p.m. (the West Palm Beach waterfront)
Greenacres:Perhaps Greenacres is the place to be on Independence Day, particularly if you like dynamic original music, which is what local favorites the Rogue Theory Project provide. The group, which takes the stage from 6 until 9, traverses styles thanks to an eight-piece band that hasn’t met a genre it hasn’t embraced. (Samuel J. Ferreri Community Park, 2905 Jog Road)
Fort Lauderdale:The city’s music lineup begins at 4:30 p.m. with the jocular five-piece band Making Faces playing its patented blend of “roggunk”—that’s rock, reggae and punk, for you uninitiated. The nine well-dressed gentlemen of N2 Nation play the greatest hits of the Motown era from 6:30 to 9 p.m. (A1A and Las Olas Boulevard)
Sunrise: Last but far from least, Sunrise always attracts a national headliner for its Independence Day bash, and this year is no exception, with classic rock legends Grand Funk Railroad headlining at 7:45 p.m. They’ll be preceded by the hard-rocking cover band Mr. Nice Guy at 6:15 and reggae/R&B act Skotch Bonnett Band at 5. (Outdoors at the BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway)