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  • Writer's pictureArielle D'Ornellas

Space Coast Music Festival by Arielle D’Ornellas

Created with the intention of bringing local bands and the community together in order to raise money for youth music programs in Brevard County, Space Coast Music Festival took place on a hot and sunny Saturday in the Eau Gallie district of Melbourne Florida.

On the main stage, located in Eau Gallie Square and dubbed “Mustard’s Main Stage” for the event, things were off to a rough start: due to power and sound issues, the first act, “Best Supporting Actor (and Friends)” was unable to perform, with the following act “Men Against Fire” at a late start time, limiting them to only 3 songs. Sound issues continued into the following bands, feedback and muddy sound doing poor justice to the talent at work. Despite these issues, the musicians did a commendable job and rolled with it, bringing high energy and solid performances to the audience gathered near the stage.

Men Against Fire

Comprised of Rayne Melendez on Vocals & Keys, Morgan Griffin and Kurt Lamp on Guitar, Billy Scarborough on Bass, and Oussama Karbiche on Drums, Florida-based Men on Fire gave an intense performance. Melendez is an expressive frontman, both behind the keys and standing alone as a vocalist. His strong, emotive vocals and personal style were evocative of pop-punk and alternative rock heavy hitters of the past, and when there seemed to be a snafu on stage during the first song, he quickly and deftly had everybody back on track in a matter of moments. Live performance is always full of surprises, and a quick and smooth recovery is not something to take lightly. Reminiscent of Stone Temple Pilots and Gerard Way, listeners of post-punk, new wave, and alternative rock should not miss out on this developing act.


Surprisingly, only having formed in August of this year, Anja is a powerhouse pop-punk/rock band fronted by Anja Conklin on guitar and vocals. With the support of Emily Bogenrief, known locally as Gayle, on lead guitar and backup vocals, Kyle Martin on bass, and Lucas Hendley on drums, Anja brings together a tight, talented young group of musicians to give a high energy performance complete with punk styling, strong female vocals, two-part harmonies, a tight rhythm section, and creative melody lines. Anja engages the crowd with confident stage patter between songs, and the energy in the audience was palpable during their set. With such a great start early in their timeline, it will be a treat to follow this group as they grow into their strengths. Evocative of the Runaways and Pat Benatar.

The Sky Club

Brothers Trey Nestor (lead vocals, guitar, keys) and Jake Nestor (drums, background vocals), joined by Jon Torgusen on bass and backup vocals, make up The Sky Club, an alternative rock band based in Los Angeles with roots local to Florida. Using a diverse repertoire of style, The Sky Club performance at SCMF featured spacey guitar rhythms, occasional piano pieces, a solid drumbeat and Nestor’s passionate vocals, deftly shifting from high-energy danceable tunes to moving piano laced ballads and anthems. At this performance, it seemed to take a song or so for Nestor’s voice to warm up, but once it did, it was warm and pervasive, leading the listener on an emotional journey as the band glided through their set. Brought to mind The Killers and The Calling.

See more about the Space Coast Music Festival here...

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