A white tour van, an instrument-lined wooden room and a beach scene were stages for flipturn’s livestream concerts from March to September. The Jacksonville-native indie band’s audience was a computer screen. After each performance, they only heard a slow applause from their manager, Sam Heekin, and saw comments flow in from the viewers online.
After months of solitude, flipturn performed live for the first time since March at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 2. The formerly local band and Gainesville favorite released a recording of their performance “Six Below” from the drive-in concert Friday.
The video, produced by DownStream Media, shifts between each band member and glows blue and red with the set. The beat directed the band as they each flipped their long hair and bounced their feet.
Although the video doesn’t show the crowd, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Dillon Basse said it captures the band’s intimacy.
The drive-in concert had more than 1,000 people in the audience, Heekin said. Basse said cars were separated by six feet and stretched as far as he could see, reminding him of a music festival. Some cars twinkled with fairy lights, bassist Madeline Jarman said. Above them, a waxing moon shone, which Basse urged the band to look at while performing.
They selected “Six Below” to feature because it was their opening song at the concert.
“I remember when we first walked out, we hadn't had that feeling in a really long time,” he said. “You start to just let yourself go and let yourself have a good time.”
On the band’s last tour, Basse started crowd surfing. That physical interaction was absent at the drive-in, but he said everyone still felt connected.
Jarman said the exchange between the band and the audience is magnetic.
“We feed off the audience, and then they feed off of us,” she said. “It's kind of like that kinetic energy, kind of like electric.”
Long-time fan and concert-goer Emmanuelle Victor, a 19-year-old Santa Fe business sophomore, said she misses flipturn’s concerts more than any others.
“It's like they're singing to the crowd at all times,” she said. “It just feels really like a connected space.”
Also hailing from the Jacksonville area, Victor said flipturn’s music returns her to her hometown.
“If I'm ever stressed, or I just want to feel like I'm back with my family on a summer day, like heading to the beach kind of thing, or like that warm, fuzzy feeling of being at home, I listen to flipturn,” she said.
The band’s roots in a Fernandina Beach garage ground them, Jarman said. They still sing and write in that garage as they collaborate on their new album.
Jarman said they are currently writing songs and reflecting on what story to tell with the album.
“There's a lot of music we have in front of us, and we just need to sift through it,” lead guitarist Tristan Duncan said.
Victor said flipturn’s music has evolved from alternative to darker and more serious tones with their last EP, “Something You Needed.” Because the band has no-skip songs, she said, she can’t wait to hear the new music.