SunFest – West Palm Beach, FL – 5.5.18
Saturday was the first full day of SunFest, and people were ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with their favorite artists. I started my day over at the JetBlue stage with a local band called Thoughts. The West Palm Beach quartet played a spunky opening set while smiling ear to ear. The young band put on an excellent show for the early crowd, and are definitely going to go places very soon.
I made the long trek to the Ford stage to check out another band I’ve never heard of called The Sh-Booms. Once again, I was blown away at not only how catchy the six-piece band were, but their energy on stage was unmatchable. They deserved a bigger crowd, but those that did catch them were dancing side to side with the beat of their soulful tracks.
My favorite set of the day came from Grouplove, by a landslide. Their songs are incredibly catchy, and they truly put their all into their performance at SunFest. They opened with their hit, “Welcome to Your Life,” which lead straight into “Itchin’ on a Photograph.” The fans in the front row were screaming the lyrics without missing a beat, and were especially excited when lead vocalist Christian Zucconi hopped off stage to sing with the crowd. The band played until just after 5 o’clock, piecing together an unforgettable 18 song setlist.
A few hours later, I went over to the Tire Kingdom stage to check out Samantha Harvey, who I later learned is a social media phenomenon from England. Harvey mentioned that SunFest was her first US show ever, and that she had a lot in store for the audience. She put together a setlist that contained her own songs, plus some covers, which was a smart decision based on the age of the crowd. She was the last performer before Nick Jonas, and she was the perfect fit leading up to his headlining set.
After walking through a sea of people, I made it just in time for Rae Sremmurd. The duo rushed the stage and the crowd roared in unison. Both Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi hopped down to greet fans multiple times during the first three songs that I witnessed. They even passed a joint to a group of fans in the front row, so of course, madness ensued. Rae Sremmurd easily had the most energy all weekend and made sure they touched every inch of the stage during their performance.
I closed the night out with Nick Jonas, and so did hundreds of others, of all ages. Jonas walked on stage with sunglasses on, despite it being 9:30 p.m., and the crowd lit up. Cheers and screams filled the air as he performed “Teacher,” dancing just enough to generate a reaction from the audience. Later in his set, his brother Joe Jonas of DNCE joined him on stage to perform “Love Bug,” which was almost too much nostalgia for some fans. Nonetheless, people got to close out Saturday night of SunFest with Nick Jonas, which doesn’t sound like a bad time to me.