Shout Out

Stuff Respectable Street Still Cool At 30

The old expression “Don’t trust anyone over 30” (now more than 50 years old) has always been a sentiment not to be trusted.

Does turning 30 immediately render one uncool? Tell that to Kendrick Lamar (30 on June 17) and Drake (Oct. 24). Do you automatically lose a step, Lionel Messi (June 24)? Is Rhonda Rousey (Feb. 1) no longer tough? Is supermodel Brooklyn Decker (April 12) less super? Is Zac Efron’s (Oct. 18) six-pack no longer packed? I mean, if you can’t trust Tim Tebow (Aug. 14), who can you trust?

Respectable Street, the live-music mecca in downtown West Palm Beach, will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 23, with a free party that proves the club and owner Rodney Mayo have lost none of their vitality.

Offering 30 bands on five stages, the 8 p.m. event will feature headliners She Wants Revenge coming in from Los Angeles, and leading locals such as Aceskully, Church Girls, Everymen, Old Habits, Astari Nite, Octo Gato, Lavola, Milk Spot, Desnudes, Dead and Loving It, and the Watercolors.

“I had a two-year plan when I first opened,” Respectable Street owner Rodney Mayo says. “Everybody said nightclubs last two years, so I was going to be in and out.”

With wallet-friendly admission, a commitment to local bands and a discerning ear for what young people wanted to hear, Mayo’s iconic checkerboard dance floor at 518 Clematis St. became one of the in rooms for live music in South Florida.

Mayo’s two-year plan became five, then 10, then …

“I said there’s no way I’m going to be here when friends of mine’s kids are coming to Respectable’s. And that was the 20th,” Mayo says, laughing. “At some point, when 20 became 30, I said, ‘Who cares? Might as well make it a retirement home.’ ”

Mayo says he remains energized by the process of nurturing local music. Describing a fallow period on the scene, stretching back to the heyday of West Palm Beach’s Surfer Blood (which broke out with the album “Astro Coast” in 2010), Mayo is seeing reasons for optimism.

“There were so many great local bands that I would go out to see, and then for a while, there were only a couple. Now, it seems like it’s picked back up,” he says.

Asked which locals are on his favorites list these days, Mayo mentions theatrical Fort Lauderdale rockers Aceskully, Church Girls, Everymen, Lavola and the Watercolors.

“I think it’s true that when there’s more angst in the world, there’s better music,” Mayo says.

Along with free admission, the Respectable Street party will include an open bar from 8 to 9 p.m. and free pizza while it doesn’t last. For more information, visit

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