Preview | Jax rock quartet Skyview tells its celestial stories at Underbelly

Skyview press photo
Credit: Press photo by Pitseleh Pictures, pulled from Facebook

Skyview is doing some of the most interesting stuff in the rock genre right now, and if you don’t believe me, just ask them. Seriously, though, Evan Smith and his colleagues are justifiably proud of what they’ve accomplished in their current incarnation, and they promote themselves with gusto.

It’s not so much a matter of personal pride, though, so much as a real passion for the material, which deals with space–not in the broader philosophical, cosmic sense of the word. Their focus is on the nuts and bolts, literally. Over the last few years, they have endeavored to tell the story of America’s entry into space, song by song, with a level of detail that is positively maniacal. 

Space is the place, as Sun Ra once said, but history has shown that space is certainly no place for normal people. Every single man and woman to ever wear a NASA flight suit, then and now, risks their lives to be part of that elite club, and 15 of them have paid the ultimate price (so far), often in the most horrifying ways you could ever imagine. That doesn’t include the nine astronauts who died without ever breaching the fabled Karman Line, the point at which Earth’s atmosphere technically becomes space, nor the 31 other support staff, technicians and rescue workers who also died in the process. And that’s just the Americans; Russia, China, India, Germany, Japan and Israel have lost well over 100 between them, often due to the failure of US and Soviet officials to share vital life-saving information during the Cold War–which, of course, the space race was the embodiment of.

Skyview tops a bill that also includes the Osceola Brothers, an indigenous rock trio out of Hollywood, FL with heavy hands and a light touch.

Also on the bill is Tori Nance, a veteran drummer in the scene who’s been making a splash of late as a singer/songwriter. Nance is also a member of the Sad Girl Happy Hour crew, a collective of rising female talents who’ve been doing shows around the area for the past year. 

Joining them will be Mommy’s Little Helpers, a young band composed of people whose parents were probably toddlers (at best) the last time Americans walked on the moon. Lead singer Ava Rae Clark is a potent new force in local music, a highly productive songwriter with virtually no ceiling on her potential.

They have no living memory of any of this stuff, but like all musicians (and non-musicians) of today, they have benefitted bigly from the countless technological innovations that helped make spaceflight possible. (Wireless communication, for example, which most of us are using at this very moment.)

Skyview performs with The Osceola Brothers, Mommy’s Little Helpers and Tori Nance at Underbelly on Saturday, March 25. Tickets are on sale.

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