KISS isn’t the only band boasting make-up covered musicians with a unique stage act. Last Friday, I had a chance to catch the talented and very distinctive Here Come The Mummies at Plaza Live in Orlando,
Styx Orlando Concert Review
When classic rock bands hit the road, you never know what you are going to see. Is it going to be an incredible concert or a bunch of old has-beens trying to relive their youth and cash in one last paycheck?
Yesterday, Styx came into town and played at our local House of Blues (Orlando). My wife and another couple decided to attend this concert and hoped for the best. From the moment they came on stage and opened with “The Grand Illusion,” we knew that this band still rocked. Tommy Shaw, James Young, Todd Sucherman, Lawrence Gowan and Ricky Phillips gave us a performance that left nothing to the imagination.
These talented performers, played for 2 hours and looked liked they truly enjoyed being on stage. Their music was sharp and fun. You know that these guys work hard on stage when my wife said, “Tommy has smaller jeans than I do”. None of these members were washed-up overweight has-beens just standing still and playing. After their opening number, Styx followed up with a powerful combination of “Too Much Time On My Hands,” “Fooling Yourself” and their first hit, “Lady.”
With the absence of former vocalist Dennis DeYoung, Lawrence Gowan had the job of singing some of Styx’s key songs. Lets just say, he is not Dennis, but tried hard. Some of the other hits that stood out were “Mademoiselle,” and “Suite Madame Blue” which both were outstanding.
The band was animated all night, and were constantly bouncing around the stage. With Shaw changing guitars on every song, his rendition of “Crystal Ball,” “Blue Collar Man” and “Fooling Yourself” were spot on. His talent on the guitar and his voice are both strong. Gowan’s keyboards rotated throughout the show and he put on quite a show spinning around his riser. The stage was quite elaborate for the cozy venue with ramps behind the drum kit and copious lighting.
One of my friend Tammy’s personal favorites, “Come Sail Away” had the packed house singing and dancing. After about 2 hours, Styx finished up with “Rocking The Paradise” and “Renegade.” It was a great, fun and entertaining concert but let’s just say that if Tommy Shaw wasn’t there, then Styx would have been a Grand Illusion.
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Ted Nugent Orlando Concert Review
Attended the Ted Nugent concert last night at House of Blues for the 2nd time in 2 years and was pleasantly surprise. Last year, Ted was more of a politician, constantly complaining about the White House, freedom, liberty, etc., focusing more on politics than the music itself. This year was definitely more about the music.
Nugent is surrounded with a strong band. The group was tight, the music on cue, and the moves well choreographed. You can tell that Mick Brown (drummer), Greg Smith (bass) and Derek St. Holmes (guitar) have been together for a while. St. Holmes has been back with the band for a few years now, and does a fantastic job on vocals on many of the tracks, leaving Nugent to focus on his superb guitar-playing.
Sitting back and watching the packed crowd at HOB rocking to Uncle Ted was also an experience. Ted was a perfectionist in his sound and actions. During the show, he realized that his guitar was not sounding just the way it should so he asked for the crew to change the equipment immediately just to get it right. At 65, Ted still has what it takes to make his guitar sing. This is what I wondered when listening to Ted. Who developed their chops first, Ted Nugent or Eddie Van Halen? Both extremely talented guitarists, both professional and entertaining. With Ted, what you see is what you get. True hard core rock and roll.
Laura Wylde again opened the show and was a demon on stage, entertaining the crowd with excellent guitar and vocals. The main set from Nugent lasted a little under 2 hours and the music was loud. Yes, Ted is a proud American and loves his roots and like he said, “this whole world sucks, but here in the US, it sucks a little less!” And, on this night with Uncle Ted, it was a nice escape for all in attendance.
- Out of Control
- Just What the Doctor Ordered
- Wango Tango
- Turn It Up
- Free for All
- Wang Dang Sweet Poontang
- Red House
- (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
- Live It Up
- Queen of the Forest
- Need You Bad (Greg Smith on lead vocals)
- Hey Baby
- Fred Bear
- Cat Scratch Fever
- Great White Buffalo
- The Star-Spangled Banner
ASIA, Featuring John Payne Show Review
How do you review a show where the band and the audience were falling asleep?
Asia featuring John Payne, was just that… Painful. The Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando featured the band at their monthly Velvet Sessions. The crowd of about 400 people, seemed extremely excited on anticipation of the performance of the band. But, from the moment they came on, all I could think is that these guys are “collecting a paycheck”.
When John Payne started introducing a song that they were about to play, and then said, “wait a minute, we just played that one,” you could sense that they really weren’t there. For the rest of the show, no interaction, no excitement. Lots of “look at me, I’m from Asia” stares. You could sense from everyone, “let’s get this done so I can continue at the bar.”
The only 2 songs that the crowd was really excited about were “Heat of the Moment,” and “Only Time Will Tell.” And, lets not forget “Sole Survivor,” which is what I labeled myself after the show.
Editor: I caught the show, too, and generally have to agree with Luc. The show was uninspiring and rather boring, which is hard to believe with the catalog of hits ASIA had to offer. There was a definite buzz in the room before the band took the stage, but that quickly diminished, to the point where half the crowd disappeared when the open bar did. Thankfully, the Hard Rock staff still does an amazing job with the sessions, the food and the drinks.
I saw ASIA in their heyday. This was not ASIA. Sure, John Payne played with the band as the replacement for John Wetton, basically after he, Carl Palmer and Steve Howe left. That version of the band released a slew of mediocre albums that never got a sniff of airplay and rightfully disappeared into oblivion, where they should have stayed. This crowd was here to see the ASIA songs that were hits, and that’s not what Payne delivered; instead we got the Payne-era mediocrity.
Truthfully, the musicians were talented and we did get a nice drum/keyboard solo in the middle of the set, but these guys are understandably not at the level of the original line-up. If Payne is going to take advantage of the name, it is unconscionable that he doesn’t put his pride aside and play all of the early stuff. It’s pretty simple; precious few folks were there to see John Payne, they were there to hear ASIA hits. Next time, make it less Payne-ful on everyone and give the people what they want.
Brit Floyd Show Review
So here I go again attending another cover band on Sunday night. I guess since I really can’t afford the prices of the real band, cover band it is. Brit Floyd (Pink Floyd cover) played on Sunday at Hard Rock Live in Orlando. This was a new venue for Brit Floyd because they had never played at the Hard Rock. The crowd of about 2000 people were treated to a musical and visual smorgasbord that showcased the band’s professional and musical talents.
The talented band consisted of Damian Darlington (Musical director, guitar, lapsteel and vocals), Ian Cattell (Bass guitar, vocals) , Bobby Harrison (guitar, vocals), Rob Stringer (Keyboards, vocals), Rick Benbow (Keyboard), Arran Ahmun (Drums), Carl Brunsdon (Saxophone, bass, percussion, clarinet, keyboard), Emily Jolland, Jacquie Williams and Rosalee O’Connell (Vocals).
This Brit Floyd concert, was more of a rock show than just music. Granted, the music sounded incredible, but the stage show with lights, lasers, video and choreographed movement by everyone was really a spectacle for all senses.
The show opened with “In the Flesh” with Carl Brunsdon alone on stage with a clarinet which then exploded into the full spectacle of the song. It showed the audience what they were going to experience over the remainder of the set. With Pink Floyd, there are so many great songs to choose from and this band did a great job of playing all the best from across their entire catalog. When the band changed from one album to another, we viewed a video of a child going through different albums and picking out the one in which the songs were being played from – a cool touch.
As expected, “Money,” “Mother,” “Wish You Were Here” and “Comfortably Numb,” received the biggest pop from the crowd and the encore of “Run like Hell” was a great finish to a great show.
I walked into the Hard Rock with minimal expectations and 2 1/2 hours later, walked out thinking, I am glad I was here…
In the Flesh?
The Thin Ice
Another Brick in the Wall Part 1
The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)
Welcome to the Machine
Us and Them
Any Colour You Like
Pigs on the Wing Part 1
Take It Back
Coming Back to Life
The Great Gig in the Sky
Wish You Were Here
One of These Days
Run Like Hell
Editor: This is what happens when you’re a small website on a tight budget. Denied press coverage for the Muse show, we reached out to our intrepid Canadian Beat Reporter, Luc to crash the party. He wasn’t familiar with the band, but as you’ll see quickly figured them out.
Muse- A perfect combination of music, lights and atmosphere
Being one who had never heard of Muse, I didn’t know what to expect. I had heard that tickets sales for the band’s show in Orlando was low (6,000 or so), so I knew getting a ticket would not be a problem. So, I headed down to The Amway Center to check out the show.
In relation to this band, I wondered: “Was this going to be a grunge rock band, heavy metal, easy listening or a scream fest?” What I didn’t expect was what I experienced at the Amway arena on Monday night. A great show that was a collection of electric, modern and symphonic rock. Matthew Bellamy (guitar) Chris Wolstenholme (bass) and Dominic Bellamy (drums) had a mind blowing show for me to experience. With the combination of lasers, lights, sound and smoke, not only was the show incredible to watch, but incredible to listen also.
One of the highlights of the show was the audience participation, and how much they loved the band. Just watching the crowd rock back and forth to the music was fun to watch. As for the excellent music, the band reminded me a little bit of RUSH. Very precise with all the music, sound and show.
They opened with “Supremacy,” the latest single release off of their 2012 release The 2nd Law, one of RARA’s Farm’s Top 25 Albums of 2012, and featured a number of songs off of that excellent album, as well as a good selection of their earlier stuff from across the prior decade. They closed their set with “Uprising,” before their encore of “Starlight” and this year’s Olympics them “Survival.”
Trust me when I say that I was pleasantly surprise and know that if Muse ever comes back, I will make sure I get my ticket.
Check out a video from the show: Time Is Running Out
Map of the Problematique
Supermassive Black Hole
Knights of Cydonia
United States of Eurasia
The 2nd Law: Unsustainable
Time Is Running Out
The 2nd Law: Isolated System
If anyone is looking for a fun, inexpensive show to go and see, check out Hell’s Bells. They are a cover band out of Kentucky and can really put on a show.
For 2 hours, I could almost believe that I “might be” at a AC/DC concert. The band was loud and had plenty of energy to get the crowd’s fists pumping all night long. I was happy to hear “Thunderstruck” as the opening song and was not disappointed by the guitar showmanship. Everything from Hell’s Bells (with a smaller bell onstage) , to the firing cannons of “For Those About to Rock.”
The set list also included: “Big Balls,” “Have a Drink On Me” and my personal favorite “Whole Lotta Rosie.” So if you put up with the fact that their lead singers is a tad larger than the real Brian Johnson and the lead guitarist reminded me of my science teacher in high school, then I know you will be entertained all night long.