Smile Empty Soul Rips Through Florida

Sean Danielson of Smile Empty Soul at Bombshell's in Orlando
Sean Danielson of Smile Empty Soul at Bombshell’s in Orlando

Smile Empty Soul Orlando Show Review

Last time we saw this talented Southern California trio, they were hitting the festival circuit in advance of the release of Chemicals, their fifth studio album.

Over the weekend, we caught them on the second of four Florida dates, as they wrapped up the East Coast leg of their headlining tour, before picking their way through the South on their way back home.  On this night, it was a stop at Bombshell’s Tavern in Orlando, a venue we had not previously visited.

The line-up on this tour is quite diverse, with the post-hardcore stylings of Saint Ridley; not my preferred type of rock, but they were into their set. Super bob was up next, and they were a fantastic surprise. Not sure how to characterize their music, but it’s a high energy, visually captivating spectacle, and the band sounds great.  It was damn good, and worth the ticket price alone.

But, the headliners did not disappoint either. Smile Empty Soul took the stage and delivered an hour long set packed with their biggest prior hits, and nicely featuring a half dozen tracks off of their excellent new album.

Lead singer Sean Danielson sounded great, and his guitar was fantastic throughout the set. In addition, he was also a bit more chatty with the crowd than I remember from previous shows. Jake Kilmer with a permanent smile plastered on his face was the powerful force behind the songs. Bass player Ryan Martin was not playing, but his replacement did a nice job on his five stringed bass.

The 13 song set (see the full setlist below) was bracketed with rousing drum-driven tracks off of Chemicals, starting with an energetic “Black And Blue” (Kilmer’s favorite song to play live as noted in a recent interview with us) and the title track, “Chemicals.”  Other stand out offerings included a tender version of “Sitting Ducks,” featuring pristine guitar work from Danielson, and a powerful version of “False Alarm.”

“Bottom Of A Bottle,” their 2003 mega-hit was a hugely popular with the crowd, but the highlight of the night was an excellent rendition of “Silhouettes” that had half the crowd singing along.

For more on Smile Empty Soul, check out the following two interviews:

The venue, Bombshell’s Tavern has recently begun booking more national touring acts, and is a welcome addition to the local Orlando music scene. We interacted with a handful of staff members, and they were all great, highlighted by Linda, the super-friendly bartender in the venue room.  It’s not a big place, but it definitely boasts a blue collar rock ‘n roll vibe, and was a nice room to see a show in.  We’ll be back…

Rock On


Black And Blue
Don’t Ever Leave
Wrecking Ball
Self Inflicted
Hiding Place
Bottom Of A Bottle
False Alarm
Sitting Ducks



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