[Concert Review] Two Nights of Ballyhoo! in Central Florida


Aberdeen, Maryland based, Reggae-Punk-Rock band, Ballyhoo! Has kicked off their 2018 by going on the road.

On January 26th, as part of their tour, they passed through my hometown Sanford, Florida, at West End Trading Company, celebrating the release of their latest single, “This Chick is Wack,” which features Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany and Reel Big Fish! This single combines both reggae and doo-wop, both styles which are typically incorporated into their music. For the first time, it’s combined into a song. With its solid artist collaborations, this single could not have been pulled off any better.

As a long-time fan of both Ballyhoo! And Rebelution, it was needless to say that I was excited for the release and to witness its live performance!

I was lucky to not only cover one, but two of their Central Florida shows. The very next day on the 27th, they performed at New Smyrna Beach’s Beachside Tavern.

Both sets were opened up by the best of North Central Florida’s local music.

At Sanford, their set was opened up by locally based The Trees of Life, and St. Petersburg based, NoNeed.

As someone who’s spoken with the members of TToL and have seen them perform numerous times, they never disappoint me. I greatly enjoyed their performance of their hit, “King of the Mountain”.

NoNeed further drew in the crowd. It’s never a dull moment with them as they take their beer break in the middle of their hit single, “Reggae Girl.” With that song and “Why” they added a Spanglish twist just because they can! They did it quite well, and got the crowd dancing!

The Trees of Life



Finally, the long awaited moment, Ballyhoo! 

They kicked off their set with “Jameson and Ginger”.  Among the best tracks from “Girls,” they also sang some of their classics, like “Beach Party”, which was a highlight because it’s a personal favorite of mine that expresses their gratitude for their fans. Other personal highlights were their performance of “Morning Sunlight”, and “Diamonds”.

Overall it was an incredible night and what was better than the set list, was seeing their label mates show up for support, notably, the members of Kash’d Out.

After the set, the band got to hang out with the fans, which is something they commonly do at every venue, and is the greatest highlight of all their shows.

Their frontman, Howi Spangler took a moment to chat with me about his latest single, and upcoming plans for the rest of the year.

The fans and myself have truly enjoyed the album, “Girls,” and it’s been agreed that it’s success would be hard to top.

When asked about this, Howi stated,

“I don’t know, I guess you just gotta play, stay fresh and write real shit, and just come hard with the beats and the melodies. That’s really all I can do, write the best songs you can, just have fun.”

In regards to his latest single release, he stated, “I’m stoked, I’m still excited! I’ve been waiting, I wrote this song in November and then I scrambled, ‘Guys! We’re gonna record this song! I hit up Eric Rachmany and he was down to do it and the Reel Big Fish guys were all down! It worked out really nicely. I knew I wanted to put it out as soon as possible, to kick off the year. Now that it’s out, everybody seems to dig it, so it’s awesome!” 

Whether it’s at the studio or on the stage, Ballyhoo! never disappoints. They always give it their all. They truly enjoy what they do. Even more so, they love to see their fans jamming out, raging and singing along with them.

Their growing fans travel many miles during their tours, which have resulted in lifelong friendships.

If you’re in California, be sure to check them out at the One Love Cali Festival on February 10th.

If you happen to be in Florida, be sure to check them out in Orlando on March 29th and St. Petersburg on March 30th, as they share the stage with Fortunate Youth and Tatanka.

Between spring and summer, Ballyhoo! will be busy at the studio, releasing singles and a new record. Be sure to stay tuned by checking out their website and following them on social media. Check out their music on iTunes and Spotify.

Follow Ballyhoo! On Social Media








About the author

Omayra Lopez

Omayra is a Florida girl, mother of three, and visual artist sharing all things art, fun and the beautiful things in life. She firmly believes that one creates their own reality and applies that to her own life by marching to the beat of a different drum, using her camera as a tool for that purpose. Omayra is a jack of all trades and masters them all. When she's not behind of the camera, she's in front of it. Her experience as a model, helped her develop her eye as a photographer.
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