There are 2,000 pounds of bacon waiting to be served to 2,000 people gathering on Saturday for the sold-out BaconFest Florida at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. But before you do the math, factor in another 350 pounds of Bacon: Kevin and Michael.
While having the Bacon Brothers Band headline this inaugural celebration of sliced pork may seem like a hickory-smoked natural, it’s also a head-scratcher for anyone who has kept track of the brothers’ sophisticated film work.
Kevin, of course, is a critically lauded actor whose post-”Footloose” career is a complicated catalog of simmering roles in such films as “JFK,” “The River Wild,” “Mystic River,” “The Woodsman” and “Frost/Nixon.” The husband of Kyra Sedgwick, Emmy-winning star of the long-running TNT crime drama "The Closer," is currently seen on Fox’s smart new hit thriller “The Following.”
Michael studied music composition with Pulitzer Prize winner John Corigliano at Lehman College in New York and has gone on to a career as an Emmy-winning composer for a diverse set of abstract and emotion-rich films, from acclaimed PBS profiles “Truman” and “The Secret Life of the Brain” to the Golden Globe-winning feature film “Losing Chase” and the Oscar-winning documentary “King Gimp.”
But they won’t bring any of that up if you don’t. They just want to rock.
“We don’t seek out bacon festivals,” Kevin says, with a chuckle. “But if they come along and offer a good opportunity to play, we’re not opposed to it.”
Speaking by phone from their respective homes in New York, the brothers say that the hankering to perform their music together takes them to many offbeat locales, from small towns in Middle America to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and December’s ComicCon gathering in San Diego.
“Believe me, there is nothing strange about the Bacon Brothers playing a bacon festival,” says Kevin, who admits to putting plenty of bacon into his notoriously lean physique. “It’s definitely in the mainstream of what the Bacon Brothers do.”
What the Philadelphia-raised siblings will do at Saturday’s 21-and-older event is play the kind of rootsy, guitar-fueled Americana (with Michael's occasional cello) that they’ve been performing for nearly 18 years live and on albums, including the 2011 release “Philadelphia Road: The Best of the Bacon Brothers.”
As you might expect, Bacon Brothers crowds tend to be mostly female.
"Unfortunately, yes," Michael says. "I say 'unfortunately' because we love seeing guys out there. We're playing rock and roll, which should appeal to more male fans. But the great thing about our band is that while there aren't a ton of fans, they are very dedicated. We're not dependent on that [celebrity]. People care enough about the music."
Saturday's set may include a rarity: the song “Why Do Northeast Girls Love Florida,” a lament written by Michael from the point of view of a guy living in New England whose girlfriend can’t hide her dreams of an idyllic life in the Sunshine State.
“We’ve never played it in Florida,” says Michael, while alluding to the song’s connection to his own past. “We definitely have to play it.”
Part of the reason the Bacons hit the road together with their six-piece band is to enjoy the brotherly bond (Kevin is 54, Michael nine years older), but it also allows Michael to explore music in a different way than when he is cloistered away composing for film or teaching.
“There’s a lot of travel involved, sound checks, meet-and-greets, but the actual time onstage, that hour and a half, if it’s gone well, can be extremely rewarding,” he says. “It fulfills all the things I want to do musically.”
Filling down time on “The Following” (just wrapping Season 1 filming, delayed by the devastating storm Sandy) makes perfect sense for Kevin. This is a guy who followed his brief-but-memorable role on the hit film “Animal House” with a job waiting tables.
“I had to ask for time off to go to the premiere,” he recalls.
Kevin’s career may never be the same after “The Following,” a prime-time serial-killer thriller with literary ambitions that drew an audience of 20.34 million for its debut episode (including DVR viewings), which is “in line with some of the biggest TV dramas in years' past,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Kevin isn’t taking any credit (“if you look at my resume, you’ll see I’ve made a whole bunch of things that nobody saw”), saying the script and the team (including creator Kevin Williamson and co-star James Purefoy) drew him to change his mind about TV and “take the plunge” on a six-year contract with Fox.
Some critics have taken issue with the vivid violence on “The Following,” but Bacon says it’s a necessary piece of the story.
“If somebody tells me they’re making a comedy, I’ve gotta be laughing out loud,” he says. “If it’s a moving story, I need to feel real tears. And if you’re making an edge-of-your-seat thriller, it better be thrilling. I’m proud of it, I can tell you that.”
IF YOU GO
When: 6-11 p.m. Saturday; Dan Band, 7 p.m.; Bacon Brothers, 9 p.m.
Where: Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 NW 40th St.
Cost: The main event is sold-out. A limited number of tickets for access to the entertainment area only are $15 and go on sale at 8 a.m. Friday via Ticketmaster.com and 10 a.m. Saturday at the casino box office.
Contact: 954-977-6700 or SeminoleCoconutCreekCasino.com
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