During the Room Full of Strangers set during I-4 Fest hosted by Austin’s Coffee, lead vocalist Mick McIuan strut through the crowd like he owned the place. And for about 25 minutes, he really did.
Mcluan shimmied and shook and crooned and spun around like a man on a mission. And here I thought the genre of 1920s was dead and buried, but it’s been hiding in the lungs of this burly guy, right here in Central Florida.
I must mention Austin Wulff, on drums, who sported a mustache straight out of a 70s porno and worked his magic on the crowd. As the sweat dripped off his naked chest, he could be seen smiling the throughout the entire show.
This has been the dream of the American man since the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. To be free, to be macho, and to party like a rock god are all a guy needs in life, or so it seems.
Out of the 26 bands that on July 4, Room Full of Strangers delivered some of the best energy to the crowd. The promise of free beer from Shipyard was not fulfilled as all four taps on the van parked conspicuously close to the outdoor stage ran dry by 11, but I saw someone with a cute little picnic basket on his back that was full of beer and no one seemed to mind his sharing with a few bands in the parking lot between shows.
It really was a rare treat to see these fellas play Thursday night and I can still hardly believe my favorite coffee house was transformed into this mini-Hippie-love-fest for the holiday. I can’t say I’ll look at the graffiti-saturated brick walls the same ever again.