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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Cheap concert tickets


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


Four Nights Gone Six Pack Interview

Four Nights Gone Logo

Four Nights Gone’s Alex Basovskiy Six Pack Interview

Four Nights Gone formed in Staten Island, New York in the summer of 2010, and have built an avid local fan base, and they continue to gain more followers across the rock music universe on the heels of the release of Resilience, their new EP.  They’re hard rockers, influenced by bands such as Breaking Benjamin, Thrice and Chevelle, now working on their second full length.  RARA’s Farm recently shared a quick six pack of questions and got a chance to get to know bassist Alex Basovskiy a little bit better.

RARA’s Farm: What was the first album that moved you to want to be in the music business?
Alex Basovskiy: Second Stage Turbine Blade by Coheed and Cambria

RARA’s Farm: Who are your greatest influences?
Alex Basovskiy: I’d have to say everyone from Glassjaw to Miles Davis, Radiohead and Thrice.

RARA’s Farm: Which venue has benn your favorite place to play?
Alex Basovskiy: The Ottobar in Baltimore. We only played there once, but it was a good show and the venue has a great sound system.

RARA’s Farm: Best concert you have ever seen?
Alex Basovskiy: One of the best concerts I’ve been to would be Circa Survive, Touche Amore, O’Brother, and Balance and Composure at Terminal 5. I also recently saw Emery at Webster Hall Studio, and they were phenomenal.

RARA’s Farm: Favorite rock album ever?
Alex Basovskiy: It’s tough to pick but I’m going to have to go with Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy (See RARA’s Farm’s listing of the best Zeppelin albums ever to see where we ranked Houses of the Holy)

RARA’s Farm: One band you never saw, who you’d love to see re-formed to play for one show (dead or alive)?
Alex Basovskiy: I know it’s a bit of a cliche but I’m going to have to go with The Beatles.

Thanks  to Rebeccah Milburn for her help pulling this together.

Mike G

Cool Change for Little River Band

Little River Band Orlando Concert Review

Let’s start with a confession: I saw this band at a free show five years ago and felt like I was ripped off. They were boring, seemed passionless and the sound mix was a mess. I was expecting the same this night, but oh my, how wrong I was! Simply put, these guys put on a great show in every sense of the word.

Longtime member, Wayne Nelson is the heart and soul of the band. He’s played bass and shared lead vocals for the band for decades, and is a comfortable, gregarious front man. The remainder of the players have been together for awhile and play extremely well off of each other. Guitarist Greg Hind shares lead vocals on a handful of songs and fills in admirably for original lead singer Glenn Shorrock. The musical highlight of the night was lead guitarist Richard Herring, who nailed numerous pristine solos and entertained the entire show.

Nelson seemed energized by the Hard Rock audience and interacted with the welcoming crowd throughout the entire ninety minute show.  He was friendly and witty and made the already comfortable environment feel like a neighborhood get-together from the minute he hit the stage with “I love this Velvet Sessions venue.”  He highlighted his humorous side when he introduced “Happy Anniversary” with, “If you’ve been in a grocery store or the dentist’s office anytime in the last twenty years, you know this next song.”

The stories and descriptions of the songs were captivating and made the show even more memorable, but the true focus of the night was the crisp performance of the band’s robust catalog. At one point, Nelson offered “This is your party, we’re just the band,” and the party was on.  Highlights from the set included popular hits “Take It Easy on Me,” “The Other Guy” and “Help Is on Its Way” (see the full setlist below). I was also impressed by the two new cuts offered from their forthcoming album “The Lost and Lonely” and “My Own Man.” (Before you jump down my throat about using the wrong titles, I did not have the official setlist and guessed at the song names.)

For me the highlight of the set was a killer version of “Cool Change,” which kicked off with a fantastic keyboard/piano solo from Chris Marion and evolved into a full crowd participation event.  Fun stuff…

As he sipped from his Perrier bottle, Nelson toasted the Florida rock music fans, who back in 1976 were the first Americans to welcome the Australians in Little River Band (today, Hind is the only Aussie in the line-up). The band then kicked into a nice extended instrumental introduction to “Lady.”  After taking their bow, the quintet returned for a fun singalong encore of “Lonesone Loser,” but only after Nelson took a slew of crowd photos from the stage (which you can see here on their Facebook page).

It was a fun end to an excellent night of classic rock and roll, and one of those times I was happy to eat a little crow.  Definitely a band that I would highly recommend in the future. (Check out their Greatest Hits and the show setlist at the end of the review).

Mike G.
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It’s a Long Way There
Man on Your Mind
Happy Anniversary
Take It Easy on Me
The Other Guy
The Lost and Lonely (new)
My Own Man (new)
Help Is on It’s Way
The Night Owls
Cool Change
Playing to Win

Lonesome Loser

Legendary Bad Boys of Reggae Rock The Social

Inner Circle Show Review

Legendary Jamaican reggae band Inner Circle wrapped up their Spring Tour with an intimate show at Orlando’s Social Thursday night.  The staying power of these accomplished performers is a testament to their perseverance, commitment and premier musical talent.  They’ve suffered hardships and lost key band members over their forty year history, but they still sound as good as ever and continue to impress fans everywhere they go.

Founding members and brothers Ian and Roger Lewis have been the heart of Inner Circle since their childhood and still sound great today.   Roger is slowing down a bit and spends most of his time playing his guitar seated, but Ian is still a fantastic showman and is all over the stage while playing a killer bass. Bernard “Touter” Harvey is another long-time band member and a tremendous keyboard player, who stole the show this night.

Inner Circle at Social Orlando
Inner Circle at Social Orlando (see more photos at the conclusion of the review)

The band spotlighted selections from across their vast catalog throughout the ninety minute set and also threw in some nice classic reggae covers.  The band sounded fantastic all night, featuring two guitarists often trading off leads, including a few that would make any rocker proud. Ian Lewis had a constant smile plastered on his face and offered up a creative bass solo that included a playful snippet from “Billie Jean.”

The setlist highlights included “We A Rockers,” “Real Soldiers,” “Games People Play” and a nice tribute to deceased former front man Jacob Miller.  The high point of the set for the Social audience was a ten-minute extended version of “Sweat” which had the crowd dancing, immediately followed by the band’s biggest hit “Bad Boys,” which they stretched out to an entertaining fifteen minutes. It was a great way to wrap up a killer set.

The crowd pulled them out for an encore and after announcing that this was the last night of their tour and their last stop before home, they freelanced a bit and gave the house an unexpected treat.  They offered up a few more classic covers, before all of the band members walked to the front of the stage and sang an a cappella version of Bob Marley’s iconic “One Love.” with a nice assist from their fans. It was the perfect way to end a great night of music from a band that’s still entertaining fans across all genres.

All that being said, I need to do a little bit of whining about Orlando music fans. They’re just generally too damn safe.  You’ll drop hundreds to see the over-rated and over-priced Eagles, but we couldn’t scrape up 100 fans to spend a few bucks to see an entertaining band of this stature. That’s weak – and a poor reflection on our city’s music fans. Next time Inner Circle is in town, make sure you check them out, and while you’re at it, check out our concert calendar and take a chance on a band you don’t know well. You’ll be happy you did….

Check out photos from the show on our Facebook page.

Rock On!

Pepper’s New Spin on Summer Music

Pepper Album Review

Sometime in 1997 guitarist/vocalist Kaleo Wassman, vocalist/bassist Bret Bollinger, and drummer Yesod Williams started jammin’ together in their small hometown of Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Lucky for listeners, the trio has been making music together ever since. Pepper was born out of greatness and good vibes that day, and since has released five albums, with the release of their self-titled album on July 16th, 2012, marking their sixth installment.

A lot of bands that stick together for as long as Pepper has, end up tweaking their musical style as the band evolves and grows. The problem with this for most bands is that, as they change their style, hardcore fans are left feeling betrayed. Often times, as bands produce different sounding music, fans that were listening from the beginning are left longing for new music, from the band they once knew, the band that first grabbed their attention and made them a fan in the first place. On the other hand, as bands evolve they are also opening the doors to an entirely new audience. In this way, as long as a band is making good music, they will retain a fan base, even if it’s not the same fan base they we’re aiming for when they first started playing music together.

However, Pepper is not like most bands. The trio has accomplished something nearly impossible with their new self-titled album. The album is so many things that the old albums just weren’t, while retaining all the best parts of the classic Pepper style. If the older Pepper albums were good, the newest installment is great. They have tweaked their musical style but certainly have not forgotten their roots. At the end of the day Pepper has always been about groovy melodies and good vibes; and that will never change. Some of the songs on the album, like “Hunny Girl,” are a little more “poppy” than any previous Pepper songs, while other songs just sound more clean than what you would expect from Pepper. Yet, even with these stylistic tweaks, listeners can’t help but feel the sand between their toes as they tap their feet to the groovy island sounds. This is what makes Pepper’s new album so great; it’s so hard to call it “different” when you can just call it “better”.


The new album was produced by Matt Wallace, a producer who has worked with bands like Maroon 5 and O.A.R.. Choosing Wallace to produce the album may have been one of the trio’s best moves ever. Not only does the album sound as crisp as any Pepper album ever has but Wallace also helped guide the band through the spiritual journey that is creating an album. The band members even compared their experience with Wallace to their own version of college. Yesod says that Wallace really helped the band “focus on the art of songwriting” and he showed the guys that “it’s important what you do play as well as what you don’t play, creating both spaces in the songs”. I believe it is this very sentiment that helped the band find their new and improved sound.

When all is said and done, Pepper’s new self-titled album is a triumphant success.  I must have listened to the album 420 times and I still can’t get enough of it. I urge fans of good music everywhere to give the new album a listen; it doesn’t matter if you’re a diehard Pepper fan or a Pepper virgin; you will not be disappointed.


(Editor: Joey Farese is a talented writer from Tallahassee. Follow him on Twitter, then follow us as well, as we continue to build Florida’s community of Rock And Roll Animals)

Night Beds in Orlando

Night Beds Orlando Show Review

The Americana music space has been dominated recently with talented singer-songwriters. Night Beds, the creation of talented twenty-three year-old Winston Yellen is another fresh offering in that genre. Yellen, a Colorado native who now calls Nashville home, brought his distinctive country-twinged Indie Rock sound to Orlando’s cozy Will’s Pub this weekend.

The music on Country Sleep, the band’s first full-length album, is dominated by tender, vulnerable songs with heart-touching lyrics. The songs spotlight Yellen’s fantastic voice, which translated well for the live show. Yellen’s mature voice belies his youth, but on-stage we saw several raw, unpolished glimpses of his still developing visage as an entertainer.

The show started just as the album does with a cold a cappella vocal and the song “Faithful Heights.” It was a brave and stirring start to the show, and Yellen pulled it off well. Most of the selections this evening were from the debut album, including the bouncy crowd favorite “Ramona,” which had the crowd dancing. It was one of a select few upbeat songs this night which was dominated by more mellow acoustic selections spotlighting Yellen’s dynamic voice.

Night Beds' Winston Wellen Will's Pub Orlando
Night Beds’ Winston Wellen at Will’s Pub Orlando – bc

Listening to Country Sleep, I was drawn to comparing Night Beds to Justin Vernon’s critically acclaimed Bon Iver.  Watching Yellen and mates on stage, I certainly saw the potential for them too to reach such heights.  Today the band is solely about Yellen and his majestic voice, but there’s room for them to grow as they’ll hopefully incorporate the other band members as they evolve.

Yellen seems like he’s becoming more comfortable being “the man” in the spotlight. He joked around with the crowd several times during the set, including playfully offering, “You’re the best crowd ever, but this heat does make me hate you.”  It was one of several fun interludes during the show.

“Vulnerable” was a prevalent theme to this show.  Yellen’s voice perfectly accompanies the soul-searching lyrics. He’s a young man with a great propensity to convey his most heartfelt feelings and life experiences in his songs and lyrics. He’s humble, as well. Before kicking off “Borrowed Time,” Yellen noted “I like singing low like Randy Newman. I hate hearing my voice singing high.”  He delivered a nice version of the song in his “low” voice, but absolutely undersold the pure quality of his higher falsetto voice.

The highlight of the show were the last two songs of the evening. The other three band members, including Yellen’s brother on drums exited the stage for a delicate acoustic version of “Cherry Blossoms” followed by the rousing full-band closer “Head For the Hills,” which ended with Yellen jumping into the crowd and personally thanking many of the ardent fans in attendance.

(See the setlist below)

Mike G.

Faithful Heights
Even If We Try
Borrowed Time
Lost Springs
You Were Afraid
Was I for You?
Cherry Blossoms
Head for the Hills

Stephen Kellogg Releases one of 2013’s Best

Stephen Kellogg – Blunderstone Rookery Album Review

Similar to the Dickens’ character who Blunderstone Rookery was named in honor of, we experience the album as poignant autobiographical vignettes of Kellogg’s life.  The collection of songs is as creative as it is supremely enjoyable. It’s a rambling tour through Kellogg’s memories and a great listen.

He’s spent most of the past decade fronting the critically acclaimed Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers.  When the band announced they’d be taking a hiatus in late 2012, Kellogg was provided the opportunity to once again create something all his own. The result is a fantastically diverse album that is destined for year-end “Best Of” lists.

Blunderstone Rookery is the boyhood home of Kellogg’s favorite Charles Dickens character, David Copperfield, and appears to be a metaphor for the shaky foundation he has recently experienced in his life with the loss of his grandmother and mother-in-law, as well as the aforementioned break from his longtime band.  It’s a great backdrop for songwriting, and Kellogg capitalizes, without portraying his protagonist as too desperate or depressed, but rather hopeful and positive.

Stephen Kellogg Blunderstone Rookery
Stephen Kellogg Blunderstone Rookery

The breadth of the album is nicely spotlighted in the differences of the first three tracks, all quite different, yet quite strong in their own right.  The introspective “Lost and Found” is a comfortable acoustic track, backed up by the bluesy romp “The Brain Is A Beautiful Thing,” which is one of many tracks with deep contemplative lyrics.  The third track is “Forgive You, Forgive Me,” a bouncy country-rock groove reminiscent of the Traveling Wilburys. Kellogg’s vocals are excellent throughout, whether the song is a powerful rocker or tender ballad.

The remainder of the album follows the same recipe; yup, the one where Grandma just grabbed a handful of this and a little bit of that, casually threw it together and delivered a fantastic memorable meal.

Other highlights include the touching ballad about a rocker’s life on the road “I Don’t Want to Die On the Road,” a song just as poignant as Jackson Browne’s “Load Out” – the stuff that is destined to stand the test of time.  “Good Ol’ Days” is probably the most hit worthy song of the bunch and is 4:02 of good ol’ honky tonk rock, nicely accented with sax and impeccably mixed.  It’s just one of many examples of the superb album production of Kellogg and and his longtime collaborator Kit Karlson (of the Sixers). The effort is exceptional with various instruments purposefully meandering in and out of the tunes at the precisely perfect time.

The penultimate track, “Thanksgiving,” is a masterpiece. It’s ten minutes that flies by; an epic ode to nostalgia; a musical journey that offers deep personal reflections, observations and desires.  It ebbs and flows through sadness, bitterness and hope.  Perhaps, something to finally supplant Alice’s Restaurant” as a Thanksgiving radio staple.  It’s a fantastic track (that should have closed the album) that will appeal to any music fan.

“Blunderstone Rookery” is not perfect, but it’s pretty damn good. Make sure you pick it up June 18th.

RARA’s Ranking: 9 out of 10

Rock On!

Ours Brings Back American Rock

Ours Ballet the Boxer 1 Album Review

On Ballet the Boxer 1, Ours comfortably reaches back to their mid-90’s hard rock sound, and more intriguingly hearkens back a few decades to the raw powerful rock of the late 70’s.  The resultant release is a creative and refreshing mix of passionate rock with a comfortable, pure feeling, too often absent from today’s new rock releases. It’s refreshing rock music coupled with poignant lyrics.

OURS_-_Press_Shot_2013 (640x278)

Although Ours has been together for almost two decades, this is only their fourth full-length album.  The band has seen significant personnel changes over the years but maintain their cohesiveness and consistency mainly through the presence of frontman Jimmy Gnecco who remains the one constant.

It’s in the juxtaposition of the two key terms in the title, Ballet and Boxer, that you understand what Gnecco is trying to capture in his writing. “I feel like we are in a time where we are divided more than ever as people,” writes Gnecco. “We are all fighting for our lives out of survival, and this fight is necessary, but I am trying to not lose sight of this.”

Ours is pure American rock and roll, and that’s never more evident than in the lead-off track, “Pretty Pain.” The song is a muscly rocker featuring powerful drums and a clever guitar riff.  Gnecco offers “And I am at my best then; I’m lying at your feet. Am i just like the rest there? My pretty pain.”  It’s heady honest stuff and a fantastic accent to the addictive musical arrangement. Gnecco’s multi-octave range is featured throughout the album, but absolutely sparkles on “Pretty Pain.”

“Coming For You,” actually reminds me a bit of the New Jersey rock scene for a few decades back, no surprise as the L.A. based band actually started in the Garden State.  The guitar riff reminds me a bit of Springsteen’s “Adam Raised A Cain” and are perfectly complemented by Gnecco’s vocals. Other highlights include the tenderly introspective “Devil” and the bouncy rocker “Sing.”  The latter is the most likely hit on the album and is simply a blast to listen to; again powered by hard-driving drums, Gnecco’s versatile voice and slick guitar.

The production throughout the album takes more of a minimalist approach.  It works well, as it helps focus on the raw emotion of Gnecco’s vocals and the pure music that drives the songs. It’s an album that ebbs and flows, spotlighting the band’s versatility, but also finding a few mediocre offerings. In the end, it’s a RARA’s recommended buy. Check it out below on iTunes, and let us know what you think.

Rock on!

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