Central Florida August Rock Music Calendar


August Rock Music Calendar

It’s a great month Rock And Roll Animals with a diverse appetite for rock music.  The weekend of May 17th in Orlando is a whole month’s worth of great, and very different rock music packed into three fantastic nights – from the ultimate in classic rock, to some great new punk and a killer free show.  Over the rest of the month there is amazing alternative rock all over the schedule.  Lots of stuff to choose from, especially when you add in Jacksonville and Tampa area shows.  Nice…


8/01 – American Idols Live, Amway Center. We don’t watch the show, so not really sure, but have to imagine at least one or two of the acts are rock…

8/02 – “Big Night Out Tour” – Fuel, Hoobastank, LIT and Alien Ant Farm – this is one hell of a nice 90’s line-up at HOB.

8/09 – Saigon Kick, The Social

8/10 – Adam Ant, Hard Rock Live

8/12 – OneRepublic, Hard Rock Live

8/14 – The Cult, House of Blues. These guys are just great live and this time they offer up their near perfect album “Electric” in its entirety.
8/14 – Hunters, The Social

8/16 – KISS, Amway Center
8/16 – The Killers, Hard Rock Live
8/16 – Icona Pop, House of Blues

8/17 – Victoria Justice, Hard Rock Live

8/19 – Ted Nugent, House of Blues

8/22 – Parachute, Andrew Ripp and Matt Hires, The Plaza Live

8/23 – Scott Weiland, House of Blues
8/23 – Slightly Stoopid, Riverfront Park (Cocoa)

8/24 – Jars Of Clay, The Social
8/24 – Less Than Jake with Badfish, House of Blues

8/27 – Bruno Mars with Fitz and the Tantrums, Amway Center

8/30 – We The Kings, House of Blues

Cheap concert tickets


8/09 – Panic! At The Disco, Jack Rabbits

8/13 – Hunters, Jack Rabbits. RARA’s Farm will be on hand to check out these Brooklyn-based rockers.

8/16 – Victoria Justice, St. Augustine Amphitheatre

8/22 – Slightly Stoopid, St. Augustine Amphitheatre

8/23 – Jars of Clay, Murray Hill Theatre

8/29 – Ballyhoo!, Cafe Eleven (St. Augustine)
8/29 – The Dangerous Summer, Jack Rabbits

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Cheap concert tickets

Tampa Area

8/01 – Whitesnake with Red Line Chemistry, Ruth Eckard Hall (Clearwater). Red Line Chemistry is the real deal…

8/04 – Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

8/09 – Adam Ant, Palladium Theater At St. Petersburg College

8/10 – Panic! At The Disco, Jannus Live (Saint Petersburg)

8/18 – Victoria Justice, Tropicana Field (Saint Petersburg)

8/23 – Phil Vassar, White Buffalo Saloon (Sarasota)

8/24 – Rock ‘N Blues Fest, Ten Years After, Edgar Winter Band, Canned Heat, Rick Derringer, Pat Travers – Some great 70’s guitar rock on one stage! Ruth Eckard Hall (Clearwater)

8/25 – Jars of Clay, State Theare (Saint Petersburg)

8/26 – Santana, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

8/28 – Bruno Mars and Fitz and the Tantrums, Tampa Bay Times Forum

8/30 – Big Country, State Theatre

The Dodos – Carrier – Album Review


The Dodos Album Review

The Dodos Carrier Album Cover
The Dodos Carrier Album Cover

The Dodos – Carrier Album Review by BrokenBirdie

When we packed up the car to head off to Bonnaroo 2010 I had two tickets in my bag and a long list of bands that I wanted to see scribbled on a paper.  At the top of that list for opening night were The Dodos, the San Francisco 2-piece (sometimes three) that first caught my ear with 2008’s Visiter.  Excited for three days and three nights of non-stop musical heaven my heart sank as we began to see signs for the Manchester, TN exit.  The line of cars stretched for as far as the eye could see.  The noon sun baked us in our cars as we waited for seven hours to get into the camping area.  It was about 9:30 by the time we left our camp-site and ventured to the stage areas.  I approached the stage as the last minute of “Jodi” was being played and by the time I could see Meric and Logan on the stage, they were bidding the audience goodnight.  Strike one, Bonnaroo.

Carrier is The Dodos’  5th full length album and their 1st for Polyvinyl.  After some research it appears to be a state secret as to why they split with Frenchkiss, but the good news is that it appears to have had no effect on the music.

Singer/guitarist Meric Long has a voice that is thoughtful and comforting.   His lyrics are often enigmatic, though clearly very personal to him, and it leaves you free to take from the song what you want.  As much or as little as you needThe boys brought friends and a few new guitars with them this time.  No longer purely acoustic, there are clean sounding electric guitars layered all over this album, occasionally bordering on distorted, most noticeably on “Confidence”.   Paired with Long’s sometimes serene, sometimes frantic , always felicitous strumming and Logan Kroeber’s immaculate drumming, it’s a welcome new dimension that detracts nothing, and adds so much more.

Download on iTunes: Confidence – Single – The Dodos

The acoustic guitar, as always, has that jangly bright sound to it that can only come from a fresh pair of strings. The syncopated drumming still shows up once in a while, but just often enough to reassure you that it is a genuine Dodos effort, and the trombone makes an appearance for good measure.  The last track on the album, the luscious and bitter-sweet “The Ocean,” should have been the first track.  It features a gorgeous string section and I would not be mad one bit if they chose to include strings more in the future.  The song is beautiful and the line “I want to be where I want you to be,” repeated over and over gives such a feeling of sad, desperation that it leaves a deep imprint on the psyche for several minutes after the record ends.

The Dodos’ Wikipedia page states that Kroeber plays his drum set without the use of bass drum.  I’ll have to be sure to catch their live show the next time around to see how he plays the intro to track #2, “Substance.”  “Relief” is, the album’s most reminiscent track, and is also a good showcase of exactly which direction they came from and where they are now.  Starting with a fluttering guitar, Long croons until the other two pieces of the puzzle arrive and it turns into a stomper that was quite common on earlier albums.  With the addition of the electric guitar it falls into a short jam until it comes full circle and ends with the softly fluttering acoustic.

It’s been a while since I’ve listened to a record and loved every song.  The music is still moderately inaccessible to the masses, but I don’t think that it has ever been The Dodos’ ambition to churn out top-40 hits.  If you’re a newcomer to The Dodos it doesn’t matter if you start with Carrier and work your way backwards through their catalog, or vice versa.  These guys seem to know that the way to keep writing satisfying records is to not try to fix what is not broken.   A little bit of tweaking never hurt anybody, though.  Thumbs up.

– Broken Birdie –

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Interested in their earlier albums? Check out iTunes for the band’s full library: The Dodos

Nine Inch Nails Is Headed to Orlando

Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails will be stopping in Orlando as part of their 2013 Tension World Tour.  NIN is just the latest in a quickly growing list of huge acts to route their tours through the city’s fantastic new showpiece, The Amway Center.  The band is renowned for their incredible live performances and imaginative stage show. The show date? October 31st, that’s Halloween – seems like perfect timing.

“‘Tension’ picks up where ‘Lights in the Sky’ left off. This is the full-on Nine Inch Nails live experience realized as we never could before,” says Reznor. For those of you who have not yet captured a live Nine Inch Nails performance, it’s a special show that should not be missed.

They’ll be touring in support of their forthcoming album, Hesitation Marks. The much anticipated release, is their ninth studio album, and first since 2008’s acclaimed release The Slip. It also happens to be 25 years since the uber-talented Reznor created the band in 1988.  The lead single “Came Back Haunted” is available and is already receiving plenty of airplay. (Check it out here: Came Back Haunted – iTunes)

Reznor is the heart and sould of the band – really the only permanent member.  He wirtes all of the songs and is an explosive, dynamic front man.  The band’s live shows always take on a totally different feel live as the musicians and environment change.  You can also expect a cutting-edge state of the art light show.

Visit the band’s website for the Full Tour Schedule

Keep in the know about the Central Florida rock music scene. Follow Us on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, and check back soon!

Mike G.

Brendan James – Simplify Album Review


Brendan James Album Review

Brendan James
Brendan James

Brendan James – Simplify Album Review by BrokenBirdie

Brendan James’ 5th studio album starts off with a twinkling piano on “Windblown” that sounds like a wake up call from the hills and forests of his native New Hampshire. Once James starts singing it’s immediately clear that this is a man with a few things to say. The title track could easily become a protest song. “Stop for a minute and wipe the progress from our eyes, stare at the setting sun that holds us here alive” is a good summation of the track and the album as a whole. Stop, slow down, consider what is really important in your life. Is it money or is it happiness? Is the pursuit of one worth the cost of the other?  The band sounds flawless and the mix is great in that none of the instruments overpower any of the others, including the front man’s piano.

James is not breaking any new ground on Simplify but what he is doing is taking a page from many of the greatest songwriters of the last 60 years. Paul Simon comes to mind more and more often with each listen, but James could also be compared to more contemporary artists like Damien Rice or Glen Hansard.

He is a songwriter of the highest caliber, a troubadour, a storyteller that knows what the score in life is, but rather than sounding down and out, he remains relentlessly upbeat. Even the heartbreaking chorus of “The Skeptic” seems to say “this is what is wrong…this this and this. But! Here’s what is also right” and it’s an admirable and inspiring sentiment to take away from a song. It’s little wonder that, with this attitude, he has already accomplished so much in his young career.

It is clear to me that James has already found his voice and knows what to do with it, but I can’t help having this lingering feeling that he is holding something back. He has the passion but I would bet money that there is a savage howl somewhere inside of him that he is suppressing, and I for one would be absolutely thrilled if he would let it out.

Other standout tracks include the bouncy sing-a-long “Hillary”, and and the philosophical “Constellations.” Simplify is an excellent record from start to finish, an inspiration to fellow songwriters, and will be in rotation on my iPod long after you’re done reading this.

Broken Birdie

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Check out Brendan James on iTunes

Palms – Album Review


Palms Band Photo

Palms Album Review

“Ethereal landscapes covered in broken glass”
“Waterboarding with your favorite stuffed animal”

These are a couple of really abstract descriptions in reference to the new Palms record. Palms is the super collaboration of Chino Moreno of Deftones and Bryant Clifford Meyer, Jeff Caxide and Aaron Harris formerly of ISIS. Upon first listen of the record one might be quick to quip, rather snidely, “….this is just ISIS fronted by Chino”. But, upon further inquiry, Palms becomes a band uniquely enveloped in finding a voice equal parts atmosphere, equal parts brutality.

This record, released late last month, does not take anything away from the individual members respective bands, but rather adds to the mystique of them. There are certain familiarities on the record that are signature of the members, but the record stands firmly on its own.

Out of the gate, “Future Warrior” brings the muted, anticipation, and suspense that Harris, Caxide, and Meyer are known for. Couple this with Moreno’s breathy wail, circling around the rhythm section, teetering from soft whisper to bleeding shriek with hum-along verse, makes for a standout track on the record. “Patagonia” commands the listener to stay within transparent boundaries using space that also asks to explore beyond said constraints. “Mission Sunset” flirts with electronica, but used sparsely, to build uneasy emotion.

All this to say that the album offers the listener the underlying theme of place. Song titles like ‘Tropics”, “Antarctic Handshake” and “Mission Sunset” speak of horizons. They speak of place within place and sound within and without sound. The expanse of making music in nature, they evoke images and feelings that are inherent in our DNA when we hear those names. Palms feels as though it is the bridge between the physical point of place, and the question of spiritual ascension.

“Surfing the Nile on razors”
“Melting with God into the sun”

Either way, it doesn’t take many words to get it.

Mayor Peach

Larry And His Flask Album Review


Larry and His Flask
Larry and His Flask

Larry And His Flask By The Lamplight Album Review

The first time I heard Larry and His Flask, I was captivated by their unique sound. In conversations with others, I tried to describe their music: rock, Americana, rockabilly, gypsy, alt-rock, Cajun? Who the heck knew what to call it, but it was damn good stuff and one hell of a fun listen.

When I downloaded the new album, By the Lamplight, I noticed that iTunes classified it as punk. Yeah, I guess that works, but these guys will never be confused with the Sex Pistols. If they are indeed punk, I think it would have to be that omnipresent Hillbilly Cajun Punk that’s sweeping the music world.

Larry And His Flask most closely resembles the music of Frank Turner and Flogging Molly. On the incredibly diverse new album, we hear tinges of all the aforementioned genres and the very different sounds weave together nicely, but none of those comparisons does this Oregon-based group justice. Their music is their own; lets just call them the first entree into the new Flaskian Punk scene.

On By the Lamplight, we see them at their foot-stomping, thigh-slapping best. It’s a fun journey where the songs are all over the proverbial map, but somehow they weave together perfectly.  You’ll hear prominent stand-up bass, banjo, ukulele, electric guitar, all kinds of percussion, and who knows what else.  Good stuff…

The first track, “Pandemonium” kicks off with a cold a Capella vocal and then abruptly rips into a swinging Dixie jaunt before evolving into a clever rocker. It’s a rarity in today’s generally saccharine, safe rock landscape, but a harbinger of things to come on the album. “Out of Print is a more traditional rocker but still offers a hint of swing with a groove that defies you to sit still. You’ll find plenty of banjo as well, including the romping “The Battle For Clear Sight.”

“Home of the Slave” is a rollicking southern rock jaunt, guaranteed to become a staple in their already dynamic live show.  It’s got some great social commentary, but this song is dominated by the banjo and guitar riffs and addictive vocals. On “Cruel Twist of Fate” and “Tides” we see another aspect of the band’s sound, as they throw in some nice brass.

Listening to By The Lamplight, I frequently found myself drawn to comparing the work to Frank Turner’s. There’s good reason; the band backed him recently in Europe, and released this album on his Xtra Mile Recordings label.  I’m not certain, but do believe Turner’s voice can be found on the album, as well.  This one is not as good as Turner’s masterful Tape Deck Heart (see our review here), but still a creative album worth a listen (Check it out below).

Rock On!

The Mowgli’s Dawn of a New Musical Day


The Mowgli’s Waiting For the Dawn Album Review

Fresh on the heels of their absolutely addictive single “San Francisco,” Los Angeles based The Mowgli’s have released their first full-length album Waiting For the Dawn, giving us a chance to see whether they’re a one-hit wonder, or a band built to stand the test of time.  Without a doubt, it’s the latter. This album is a masterpiece, and clearly one of the highlights of 2013 thus far. It’s a cool summer groove just overflowing with sweet summer rock ‘n roll gems.

The Mowgli's
The Mowgli’s

In a refreshing change from much of the music dominating today’s airwaves, The Mowgli’s offer up a host of tracks about love, hope and unity.  They’re an octet comprised of five LA childhood friends and three more recent acquaintances from the Midwest. It’s a marriage that works very well.

Waiting For the Dawn is an uplifting collection of lyrics accompanied by fantastic music.  Many of the tracks feature Boy/Girl lead vocal trade-offs or animated group gang vocals.  It’s one of the reasons the band reminds me of an arranged marriage between Grouplove and Of Monsters and Men; heady stuff as those bands each finished in our Top 5 albums of the year in 2011 and 2102 respectively.

By now you’ve surely heard the zippy “San Francisco.” It’s a clever catchy song that just oozes the essence of summertime (featured in our Songs of Summer 2013). The rest of the album offers up similar sonic pleasures. “The Great Divide” is actually a more hit-worthy selection than “San Francisco.” It’s a more upbeat song with a catchy riff and better lyrics.   “Clean Light” is another strong cut; this one  dominated by shouts and whistles that will surely leave you reminiscing about the fine music of the aforementioned bands.

There are a few tracks out of their typical comfort zone that work with varied degrees of success, including my favorite track “Time.” It’s the most stripped down song, just a few acoustic guitars and captivating vocals. It starts as a song of desperation, but weaves into a hopeful paean. “I get so down about this world some times. I cannot understand people, no not at all. But I hope to see a change in man, I hope to see us love one another, and I know we can.” Good, good stuff.

The band is comprised of eight members, which lends nicely to their propensity to offer sensational harmonies, the fun gang vocals, and lots of slick musical vignettes.  “Leave It Up To Me” features a few nicely placed guitar solos and some sweet melodica.  “Emily” is another gift, it’s a subtle musical orgy with so many intricate instrument switches weaving in and out.  The album offers up a bit of perfectly placed cello, stand-up bass, mandolin and trombone, and who knows what kinds of percussion.  It’s truly a creative masterpiece, and one that is immaculately produced.

Pick it up and give it a listen (linked below), as this one is going to be one of the albums that defines the year.

Rock On!

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Referenced Links

iTunes: Waiting For the Dawn – The Mowgli’s
The Mowgli’s website
2013 Songs of Summer
Best Albums of 2011
Best Albums of 2012

Central Florida July Rock Concert Calendar


July Rock Music Calendar

Lots to choose from as we head into the dog days of summer. This month, we start off with Jacksonville, as we received a great submittal from Mariah Holland, one of our new contributors. Mariah includes a great look at the local acts playing the Jacksonville music scene, which we’ve woven in with the national acts.

Vans Warped Tour is probably the biggest area event with stops in both Orlando and Tampa.  Make sure you follow us for all the latest concert information, show announcements and presale offers.


7/03 – Saltwater Grass, Bonnie Blue, Jacksonvegas, Dirt Floor Krackers, Freebird Live

7/05 – Impending Doom, Gideon, Wolves at the Gate, Fit for a King w/ Others, Murray Hill Theatre

7/05 – Allele, Endo w/ Others, Brewster’s Megaplex

7/05 – Alter Eagles (Eagles Tribute), Bryce Alaxtair Band, Freebird Live

7/08 – Relient K, The Almost, The Rocketboys, Freebird Live

7/10 – Authority Zero and Ballyhoo, Freebird Live
7/10 – Matt Pond, Jack Rabbits

7/14 – The Maine, A Rocket to the Moon, This Century, Freebird Live

7/17 – I Am Endseeker, Islander, Skyburner, Murray Hill Theatre

7/20 – Sublime with Rome and Pennywise, St. Augustine Amphitheatre

7/23 – Mychildren Mybride, I Am the Witness, Cadience, Murray Hill Theatre

7/24 – Toad the Wet Sprocket, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall

7/25 – Pschedelic Furs, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall

7/26 – Appetite for Destruction (Guns N Roses Tribute), Red White & Crue (Motley Crue Tribute),
Poison’d (Poison Tribute), Freebird Live

7/27 – Decided By Fate, Phinehas, Beware the Neverending, Leaders, Awakener, Murray Hill Theatre

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7/11 – Authority Zero and Ballyhoo, The Beacham
7/11 – Matt Pond, The Social

7/13 – Gregg Allman and Hank Williams Jr., UCF Arena

7/16 – The Maine, Rocket to the Moon and This Century – Nice triple bill at The Beacham

7/18 – Marilyn Manson, Hard Rock Live

7/20 – The Dropa Stone, Orlando City Soccer Club

7/25 – Toad the Wet Sprocket, Hard Rock Hotel

7/26 – The Psychedelic Furs, Plaza Theatre

7/28 – Vans Warped Tour, Central Florida Fairgrounds. A ton of bands invade the city including Hawthorne Heights, Forever the Sickest Kids, Reel Big Fish and The Used.


Cheap concert tickets


Tampa Area

7/04 – The Guess Who, Sutton Park (Palmetto)

7/05 – Soul Asylum, Hogan’s Beach

7/06 – Candlebox and Saliva, Ed Smith Stadium (Sarasota)
7/06 – We the Kings and The Ready Setc

7/07 – Thomas Wynn & The Believers, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall

7/12 – Ballyhoo! and Authority Zero, Jannus Live (St. Petersburg)

7/12 – Matt Pond, New World Brewery

7/20 – Marilyn Manson, Jannus Live (St. Petersburg)

7/23 – 311, Pennywise and Sublime With Rome, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

7/26 – Vans Warped Tour, Vinoy Waterfront Park (St. Petersburg)

7/27 – Toad the Wet Sprocket, State Theatre (St. Petersburg)

7/28 – Psychedelic Furs, State Theatre (St. Petersburg)

7/29 – Black Sabbath, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

7/31 – Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival: Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch and many others, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre


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