The quiet, little venue off Florida A1A was transformed into a psychedelic funkatorium when Grammy-nominated ensemble LETTUCE rocked the the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, Jan. 5.
The band’s vibrant performance lit up the Concert Hall in an array of colors and psychedlic patterns as the audience, mostly seasoned fans who’d seen them perform at music festivals before, danced away in their Woodstock-esque attire.
Seattle-based American soul-jazz group Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio (DLO3) kicked off the evening. After a few groovy songs, the trio played an instrumental cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” bringing some 90’s grunge to the new decade. The trio happily greeted fans after their set.
“We’ve been together for five years and we’ve played in Florida before, but it was our first time in Ponte Vedra,” Delvon Lamarr said.
Based on the applause they received, it probably won’t be their last.
After a quick intermission, the stage lights shone red and the audience of “LETTUCE-heads” swarmed up front. The symbols came first, then the brass and as the lights shined brighter, drummer Adam Deitch dropped the beats and everyone cheered.
The band took a brief pause after hyping the crowd with a few songs. Then, a familiar melody faded in, trippy 70’s patterns lit up the hall and multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Nigel Hall began to sing, “Welcome to your life…”
Fans “wooooooed,” heads bumped and bodies swayed to the euphoric vibes and colors while LETTUCE played their cover of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”
“They’re so fun,” said long-time fan Alexis Dillard, who first saw LETTUCE play at Hulaween, a Florida-based music festival at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak. “This was my first time seeing them outside a festival.”
“Hulaween is one of our favorite places to play,” said Deitch, who spoke with the Recorder. “We love Suwannee Park.”
But they love playing smaller venues just the same, he said, explaining that both are grand, but different experiences.
“We see the people dancing and all their faces, so it’s very personal,” Deitch said about performing in smaller venues like the concert hall. “People can really be part of the show. It’s great.”
This was LETTUCE's first time performing in Ponte Vedra Beach and the psychedelic ensemble didn’t know what to expect, but were thrilled with the outcome: fans drank, danced and rejoiced.
Deitch had promised a “a real, feel-good show” from the band, and they absolutely provided.