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Nikki Hedrick’s Favorite Live Music Moments of 2016

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“Life can become hectic, and it’s hard to do everything we would like to do,” says our fearless music correspondent. “Live music can remind us to slow down and let our hair down, and how at the end of the day, we are all very much alike. These are just small windows into why I can’t imagine life without live music.”

Purple & Paisley

The Stage Northside, Pensacola

After Prince’s death, a group of area musicians wanted to come together and do something special in honor of him. It was a selfless endeavor that raised money for local music education and happened to fall right before my birthday. It was a heck of a party.

Velcro Pygmies
Tailfins, Destin

Velcro Pygmies have been around for a nice while—a band that is all about being a bit outrageous and having a good time. This year, tragedy came when bassist Jacob Sanders (24) and his brother Jeremiah (29) passed away after a fishing accident that required extensive searching along the Tennessee River.


This was the Pygmies’ first time back. Former member Jason “Dep” Reed (pictured) picked his bass back up so the band could continue until a new fulltime member was named. We all mourned and laughed together and celebrated the Sanders brothers.

James “Big Lo” Lopez

5eleven Palafox, Pensacola

Big Lo didn’t just release an album, he threw an insanely classy and fun private event to mark the occasion. With drinks and food flowing, it was a personal reminder of how breaking the mold and tackling life from a different angle can yield exceptional results. The night closed with a high energy performance and good vibes all around.

Franko Fest

Trebeache, Santa Rosa Beach

An evening to help Beachcomber Music Awards Hall of Famer Franko “Washboard” Jackson raise funds and meet additional criteria for a liver transplant. An outpouring of love, music and everything that makes me proud to call this community home.

New Earth Army

Imogene Theatre, Milton

This show marked one of Carly Foster’s last with the band, one of those benchmarks that marks our music scene’s growth and changes. A few months later, I was at Melissa Joiner’s first official gig as the band’s new lead singer. Life is funny that way.

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