West Palm Beach is way more about tradition than Miami or Broward. That's why it's no surprise that Respectable Street is celebrating 31 years of its annual block party. The landmark music venue is older than most of the people in black who'll be there. Each year, the hangout for the tri-county-party elite throws down with an unbeatable lineup.
This year will not disappoint. The free party offers one of the founders of Joy Division and New Order, Peter Hook, who will perform with his band the Light. Respectable Street owner Rodney Mayo explains why this booking is a personal triumph. "I am the biggest Joy Division fan. I've been trying to get Peter Hook to play for 30 years," he says. Now that's commitment.
"My life has revolved around Joy Division," Mayo continues. "I had a magazine named Closer and another named Unknown Pleasures; our company group is named Subculture," all of which are Joy Division song or album titles. "I have seen Peter Hook many times, flown around to see him, as well as New Order." Mayo watched them perform at the 2012 Ultra Music Festival and says his favorite performance was at Manhattan's Roseland Ballroom.
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Respectable Street opened in 1987 in a former '20s Salvation Army building on Clematis Street as the first of Mayo's many ventures as part of the Subculture Group — among them bars that will never be über-popular like South Beach's Lost Weekend, Kill Your Idol, and the intimate West Palm lounge Voltaire. The group also has a variety of food spots such as Delray's gorgeous house-turned-restaurant Dada, historic diner Howley's, and Subculture Coffee. Mayo runs down a list of some of the other huge names that have graced his stage: Flock of Seagulls, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Misfits, Death Cab for Cutie, Of Montreal, Surfer Blood, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, Chris & Cosey, Revolting Cocks, and others.
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This year's party will take over the 500 block of Clematis Street Saturday, June 2. Participating venues include Hullabaloo, Voltaire, and the Subculture Alley. Expect an open bar from 7 to 8 p.m. and free pizza.
The lineup this year is as big as Mayo's triumphs. It includes locals made big such as pop-rock band Surfer Blood, chillwave maestro Millionyoung,
Here's the full list: Afrobeta, AnastasiaMax, Astari Nite, the Band, Boston Marriage, the Burrito Supremes, Castafellas, Church Girls, Dénudés, Everymen, Foul Play, Heller Floor, Inside Jokes, Millionyoung, the Muggles, Nervous Monks, Never Loved, Old Habits, Peter Hook & the Light, Poparazzi, Prison Warder, the Ricca Project, Space Coast Ghosts, Supergold, Surfer Blood, the State Of, Wake Up, Watch Glass, the Wombombs, Yardij, and the Zoo Peculiar.
Respectable Street's 31st-Anniversary Block Party. 7 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at Respectable Street, 500 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-832-9999; sub-culture.org/respectable-street. Admission is free.