Acting a Fool at the First Fool’s Paradise

The inaugural Fool’s Paradise two day concert was a fantastic weekend for visitors to the oldest city in the country, St. Augustine. The music flooded the St. Augustine Amphitheatre and featured Lettuce, Griz, Chris Robinson, and many more incredible artists. There were occasional showers in the forecast but nothing serious enough to deter the music lovers from dancing and enjoying the music. This event had a wonderful first year and offered some unique activities reminiscent to jam cruise.

On Friday at six the power duo Goldfish took the stage. The two multi-instrumentalists are currently touring South America, The United States, and Europe, sharing their latest release Games Continued.  After watching a few minutes of Goldfish their talent is impossible to deny. Both musicians hail from the most southern tip of Africa and have been called, “the duo to see this year.” The duo play upright bass, flute, saxophone, and synthesizers.

Up next was Lettuce who played a powerful set that got everyone dancing and set the tone for the rest of the evening. Following was fellow headliner Griz. The set was powerful, dynamic and was the perfect mix of funk, and electronic jams. Mid set Lettuce joined Griz for a perpetual groove that radiated from everyone’s feet up through their fingertips. The energy was high and the audience absorbed the music and recycled its energy into non-stop dancing.

The music ended at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre at 10:30 due to the venue’s proximity to local residents. This was by no means the end of the party. Many attendees had previously purchased late night show tickets for sets that would be held in the Elk’s Lodge which was practically on the premises. Friday night’s late night featured both Vulfpeck and Lettuce side project Break Science.

It was previously mentioned that Fool’s Paradise is reminiscent of Jam Cruise because of the fun and exciting excursions that could be taken with the artists. The excursion tickets were sold separately and included mini golf with Jesus Coomes, and Adam Deitch of Lettuce, sailing with Shady Horns and a zip-line adventure Borham Lee at The Alligator Farm   The greatest part of these excursions was being up close and intimate with the artist doing something you both like.

The amphitheater also had a healthy array of eats and crafts vendors to explore.  

The Shipwreck Stage, located near vendor row in the parking lot of the amphitheater started the party rocking each day before the amphitheater stage opened.

Saturday began with the Groove Orient, and Herd of Watts on the Shipwreck Stage. After the stage closed for the weekend, Brasstracks started the amphitheater grooving. Nikki Glaspie and the Nth Power followed and brought the funk.  Vulfpeck took the stage at five-thirty and also provided some background music for a spontaneous wedding which happened right on the amphitheater stage.  The crowd cheered for the happy couple as they eagerly read their unique self-penned vows.

Vulfpeck was quite engaging with the audience and lead everyone in singing three part harmonies while dancing to their funky beats. One thing is undeniable, each member of the band is extremely versatile. Every few songs the guys would switch instruments with each other,  transforming their whole sound. The lead singer was especially energized because it was his 30th birthday. He took a picture and sent it to his mom for all the people at the festival.

Chris Robinson’s Soul Revue was a once in a lifetime line up. The band’s all-star cast featured George Porter Jr. of The Meters, Ivan Neville, Nikki Glaspie, Eric Krasnoyarsk and Neal Casal featuring the Shady Horns. The bass was thumping and the horns wailing. Their set was definitely one of the high points of the weekend.

The artist at large was Cory Henry of Snarky Puppy. Henry effortlessly alternated from keys to drums numerous times and was a great addition to every band that he sat in with.

Lettuce’s final set also featured Nigel Hall, and Cory Henry. Late night sets followed at the Elk’s Lodge with Goldfish and Fools of Funk which was a collaboration between some of the members of Lettuce, Nigel Hall, Weedie Braimah, Eric “Benny” Bloom, Ryan Zoidis, and Cory Henry.

Fool’s Paradise was an intense, fun, and funky weekend in an amazing venue. The St. Augustine Amphitheater has excellent amenities and terrific staff. Purple Hat Productions did a bang up job in creating such an incredible concert. The talent was limitless, the production quality was seamless. The crowd was harmonious. See you next year in Fool’s Paradise  After year one you can expect anything to happen in paradise.

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