To quote Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle, "Thank God for the rain." If not for the recent deluges that have left Central Florida reservoirs overflowing, this weekend's Independence Day blowouts would be going the way of last year's: burned out and dried up.
But with the need to conserve our watery, blaze-busting resources momentarily reduced, Orlando has renewed its plans for a celebratory trial by fire. The only risk is that the Noah-like torrents will continue long enough to put a damper on outdoor festivities. We can beat the British and stamp out forest fires; why can't we win the war on irony?
The producers of the Saturday, July 3, Red, Hot & Boom! '99 at Cranes Roost Park are counting on a lucky break, placing an unusually strong lineup of performers on the venue's floating stage. Former New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight brings in the bubblegum set with his first solo foray onto a local stage, but the trump card is Sixpence None the Richer, whose Cranberries-without-the-accents single "Kiss Me" was the one true bottlerocket launched from teen comedy "She's All That." The fireworks show simulcast on WXXL-FM (106.7) is perfect for anyone who thinks the chorus of bangs and gasps is the best part of any pyrotechnic display.
Things aren't so hot downtown, where the WJRR-FM (101.1) "Dependence Day 2" concert has gone up in smoke. A planned move to Cocoa followed by an unsuccessful attempt to return to festival to its traditional Central Boulevard site appears to have lost "Dependence Day" its foothold as the radio-rocker's noise picnic of choice. Hard Rock Live provides a Sunday, July 4, haven for the displaced Orgy, though it's unclear whether any of the other refugee acts will follow. But what's there to do after an Orgy, anyway?
Meanwhile, hometown DJs and dance impresarios are out to prove that fireworks can ignite indoors. Barbarella residents Brad Sisson and Jim Serrano provide the foundation for Sunday guest shots by local e-band Prophecy and Euro-house pop vocalist Sam Mollison. Sapphire's The Loop boasts holiday visits by primal percussionists Umöja, Gavin Hardkiss (a.k.a. Hawke), Q-Burns Abstract Message and Three, with added spinning in the neighboring Bar-BQ-Bar.
Finally, the Mastermix Tour stop at Cyberzone brings an international flair to Sunday's celebrations, with the French electro-duo Pills and Australian breakbeat pair Frontside joining Yankees Juan Atkins, Expansion Union and former Beastie Boy 'table terminator DJ Hurricane. National pride is one thing, but even on the Fourth of July, no club kid is an island.
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