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Friday, May 24, 2024

Indie Night packs High Dive full of music and music-lovers alike   

The ongoing tour brought together four local bands Saturday for a night of crowd surfing, stage diving, head banging

Quail Hollow performs during Indie Night at High Dive on Saturday, March 23, 2024.
Quail Hollow performs during Indie Night at High Dive on Saturday, March 23, 2024.

On Saturday night, local bands Half Gone, Quail Hollow, Rohna and Madwoman energized a crowd of indie music fans in an exhilarating concert as part of the Indie Nights Florida tour. 

Indie Night, established in 2021 by Rohna bassist Andres Hernandez, seeks to bring local music together all across Florida. 

Hernandez, a 25-year-old University of South Florida alumnus, sought to revive the local music scene following the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the local music scene.

“As shows start to happen again around late 2021, early 2022,” Hernandez said. “My band was thinking of cool ways to bring the scene back together.”

Rohna could potentially achieve this by creating a series of indie-themed shows and booking Gainesville-based bands to perform across Florida, Hernandez added.

“Late 2021, we did our first official show as Indie Night,” Hernandez said. “And it did really well, so we started to grow it from there.”

Hernandez said he chose the High Dive to host this year’s Indie Night due to its capacity and tendency to source local acts. Through Indie Night, Hernandez said he aims to give back to community venues and give up-and-coming bands a platform to promote their music and perform live.

Madison Reedy, a 21-year-old USF public relations and advertising student, said Gainesville is part of the Indie Night Florida tour.

“In every single city Indie Night comes to,” Reedy said. “Each show is completely unique.” 

Indie Night came to Intuition Ale Works in Jacksonville Sunday. 

As the High Dive doors opened for the concert at 8 p.m, Half Gone began as the opening act at 8:30 p.m., filling the crowd with adrenaline with its song, "Melatonin," which can be listened to on Spotify.

As the night progressed, High Dive slowly attracted a diverse range of concert goers, some from outside of Gainesville.

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Troy Gagne, an 18-year-old University of Central Florida hospitality management student, came to Indie Night with several friends upon the week of their spring break.

Gagne said he had known about Indie Night before he even enrolled at UCF.

“When I was in high school two years ago, I had heard a lot from friends and the internet,” Gagne said. “I found out about their last show and subsequently found out about this show here in Gainesville.”

Following Quail Hollow, which was the second set of the night, Rohna went on to perform to a thunderous greeting from the crowd.

Nicholas Rovello, a 25-year-old lead vocalist of Rhona, said he’s performed with Hernandez since the two were eighth graders.

“I didn’t even sing or anything,” Rovello said. “It was just me playing guitar power chords. It was so bad.”

The time and effort expended to make shows like this happen is a difficult compromise, he added.

“I have to miss certain things, like spending time with my girlfriend or my family,” Rovello said. “It’s also a thing you love doing as well, but you feel guilty, so there’s some form of selfishness.”

The night concluded following Madwoman’s performance in addition to a small meet-and-greet with the performers at their respective merchandise tables. 

Contact Benjamin Miller at Follow him on X @men_mbiller.

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