Pensacola, Florida
Monday December 22nd 2014

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Staff Picks

by Hana Frenette

Florence and the Machine

Florence’s voice is soulful and airy-light at the same time. The stomps, claps, and jingle bells often included in the song arrangements give the music a tribal tangibility.
The band’s music videos often make use of dark imagery contrasted by Florence’s ever-gauzy and flowing ensembles, making for an enigmatic show that’s hard to stop watching.

Florence’s style and theatrics have gained her almost as much note as her music, and she has become somewhat of a fashion icon as of late. She was recently on the cover of “British Vogue” and was asked to sing at an underwater-themed Chanel fashion premiere from inside a giant shell.

And if national recognition of her music, magazine covers and fashion parties aren’t quite enough, Florence recently befriended one of music’s reigning power couples: Beyonce and Jay-Z. Florence took the couple to dinner and told the Sunday Times, “I made Jay-Z laugh a few times and he high-fived me, and Beyonce didn’t look bored. All in all, I’d say it was a success.” The girl is on a roll.

FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE
7-8 p.m., Sunday, WindCreek Stage

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Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam has long outlasted the plaid shirts and dirty hair that loomed around them in their ‘90s heyday of fame. They’ve battled with Kurt Cobain, boycotted Ticketmaster, and spent much of their time deflecting their own fame rather than basking in it. The band has released nine albums, with lead singer Eddie Vedder releasing a solo album in 2008 that served as the soundtrack for the film, “Into the Wild.”

The band has stayed busy. In between touring and recording, they’ve become increasingly involved with politics and have spent a great deal of time combating the effects of people on the environment. Pearl Jam strongly encourages voter registration and involvement in elections. They have also played several shows and festivals only to donate the money to charities, such as Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, and the Jazz Foundation of America.

Gone is much of the angst from their hits of the ‘90s like “Daughter” and “Alive.” Here to stay is the fiery anger and passion that leads the band to denounce presidential figures while performing, and fight for pro-choice rights on stage. This band cares about the world and the direction it’s headed. Thankfully, they’re not just whining about it.

PEARL JAM
9:30-11:45 p.m., Friday, DeLuna Stage

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Joan Jett

Joan Jett has been hailed as the queen of rock ‘n’ roll. Her glam-rock style, fierce attitude and punk-rock roots helped to define her image right from the start. Early on in her career, Jett and whatever band she happened to be in, toured the world opening up for acts like the Police, Queen, Aerosmith, and Cheap Trick. Her version of “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” has become somewhat of an anthem and has been featured in dozens of movies and video games.

After touring and playing with just about everyone in rock, she decided to add another notch to her belt and started producing. Jett’s record label, Blackheart Records, has released records by various alternative bands, from Bikini Kill to Peaches.

In 2010, the film, “The Runaways,” depicting Jett’s first band debuted. The film featured Kristen Stewart as Jett, and Dakota Fanning as Jett’s band mate Cherie Currie. The film sparked some controversy over some girl/girl kissing and did nothing but renew the forces of Jett’s popularity and the public’s interest in her.

Jett is still touring the world and recording new music. She is currently one of two women that “Rolling Stone” magazine deemed worthy enough of putting on the list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” Joni Mitchell is the other. She has three albums certified platinum and at 53, doesn’t seem to be slowing down in the least.

JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS
6:15- 7:15 p.m., Saturday, WindCreek Stage

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The Wallflowers

One would think you might be a little wary of starting a musical career when your father is Bob Dylan. Those are big, ramblin’, influential shoes to fill. Jakob Dylan doesn’t seem to mind. He started The Wallflowers in 1989 when he was just 20 and has continued to record and tour ever since.

Their retrospective, thoughtful, ‘90s-esque rock music continues to appeal to fans across the country. The band even won a couple Grammys in 1998 for best rock performance by a group and for best rock song for “One Headlight.”

The band is releasing a new album, “Glad All Over,” just a few weeks after their performance at DeLuna Fest. It will be the first album since the band’s hiatus.

THE WALLFLOWERS
4-5 p.m., Sunday, DeLuna Stage

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Dwight Yoakam

Dwight Yoakam is a modern day renaissance man. He’s won a Grammy. His brand of food, Bakersfield Biscuits, is carried across the country at Wal-Marts and Walgreens. He’s been in a slew of popular movies and Johnny Cash once cited him as his favorite songwriter.

Yoakam got famous in the early ‘90s with songs like, “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere,” and “Guitars, Cadillacs.” His songs are twangy, lamenting tunes guaranteed to be heard any given Saturday night at Sir Richards, or wherever else karaoke is thriving in America.

Dwight has released 11 studio albums so far, and his song “Honky Tonk Man” was the first country music video ever played on MTV.

His 12th studio album is set to be released just a few days before his performance at DeLuna Fest, and features collaborations with Kid Rock and Beck. Like his previous work, it will no doubt have just enough angst, playfulness, and country to be great.

DWIGHT YOAKAM
8:30-9:30 p.m., Friday, WindCreek Stage

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