The inaugural Moonstone Festival just kicked it up a notch. Already boasting KISS, Def Leppard, The Flaming Lips and Kansas, today the Orlando-based festival announced a slew of exciting new acts. Read on for the highlight acts, but simply put, this is shaping into one hell of a special event.
March Rock Music Calendar
Lots of good Alt-Rock in March. Twenty One Pilots, Against Me!, The Rocket Summer, Mother Mother, AWOLNATION… And, one killer show at the Amway Center on March 9th with Shinedown, Three Days Grace and P.O.D.
03/02 – Daryl Hall & John Oates, the “Bands, Brew & BBQ Concert Series” Sea World Orlando Adventure Park
03/02 – Bruce Cockburn, The Plaza Live
03/02 – Dropkick Murphys, Hosue of Blues
03/03 – REO Speedwagon, Downtown Orlando. Another excellent free concert from the good folks at WMMO. Visit their website for VIP seats.
03/03 – Darius Rucker, the “Bands, Brew & BBQ Concert Series” Sea World Orlando Adventure Park
03/07 – Coheed And Cambria, House Of Blues (Lake Buena Vista)
03/09 – Shinedown, Three Days Grace, P.O.D. at Amway Center – Some of the biggest rock acts today, this one is the show of the month. Shinedown was one of our Top 5 albums in 2012.
03/09 – Sunbears!, Will’s Pub
03/10 – Pinback, The Social
03/13 – Faster Pussycat, No Edge Saloon (Edgewater)
03/14 – AfroMan – The West End (Sanford) – A fun local venue…
03/15 – Great White, No Edge Saloon (Edgewater)
03/16 – Matchbox Twenty and Matt Hires, Universal Studios
03/17 – Bad Religion, Against Me! and Polar Bear Club, House of Blues. Great line-up on St’ Patty’s Day, Against Me! is just great live.
03/20 – The Rocket Summer, The Social – great live show – check out our review of their 2012 show
03/20 – Twenty One Pilots, The Beacham – saw these guys in Jacksonville this summer (see the review here), and they are fantastic live.
03/22 – Bruce Hornsby, The Plaza Theatre
03/22 to 3/24 – The Guess Who, “Flower Power Concert Series” at Epcot
03/22 – Queensryche, House of Blues
03/22 – Chuck Ragan, “The Revival Tour” The Social – Chuck is a great performer, with a soulful rock voice.
03/30 – Maroon 5, Owl City and Neon Trees, Amway Center. Do not miss Neon Trees, they are fantastic live, check out our recent review for an idea of what to expect.
03/03 – Bruce Cockburn, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall (Ponte Vedra Beach)
03/06 – Current Swell, The Standard (Saint Augustine)
03/08 – Sister Hazel, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall (Ponte Vedra Beach) – always put on a good show.
03/12 – Orgy, The Roc Bar
03/14 – Pinback, Freebird Live
03/16 – Awolnation, Blondfire, Mother Mother – Ponte Vedra Concert Hall (Ponte Vedra Beach). This is a fantastic line-up. Three great new Alt-Rock bands. Here’s our review of Mother Mother’s latest album, The Sticks
03/17 – Matchbox Twenty and Matt Hires, St. Augustine Amphitheatre (Saint Augustine)
03/21 – Twenty One Pilots, Jack Rabbits
03/23 – Chuck Ragan “The Revival Tour,” Jack Rabbits
03/26 – Eric Clapton and The Wallflowers, Jacksonville Veterans Mem. Arena
03/29 – Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Florida Theatre
03/03 – Dropkick Murphys, Jannus Live (Saint Petersburg) – Great Irish punk – always a fun time.
03/03 – Goo Goo Dolls Willie Nelson, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
03/06 – Coheed and Cambria, Jannus Live (Saint Petersburg)
03/06 – Daryl Hall & John Oates, Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater) – Daryl strays from his house for a few shows this month.
03/08 – Sunbears!, The Crowbar
03/10 – Orgy, State Theatre (Saint Petersburg)
03/15 – Queensrÿche, The Ritz Ybor
03/16 – Bad Religion, Against Me! and Polar Bear Club, The Ritz Ybor
03/17 – The Moody Blues, Mahaffey Theater (Saint Petersburg) – Under-appreciated legends of rock ‘n roll.
03/18 – Leonard Cohen, Carol Morsani Hall
03/21 – Bruce Hornsby, Capitol Theatre (Clearwater)
03/22 – Roger Hodgson, Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater). The voice of Supertramp and an excellent performer.
03/23 – Twenty One Pilots, State Theatre (Saint Petersburg)
2012 was blessed with some fantastic rock songs, and it has taken weeks to whittle down the long list of worthy songs to find the 25 best of the year. Not quite sure this is perfect, but damn sure that these are 25 great rock songs. Check out the list and see if you agree.
At the conclusion of the list, you’ll find a playlist on iTunes that links to all 25.
25. “It’s Time” – Imagine Dragons: It’s Addictive. It’s always cool when the drummer is lead vocalist. It’s great to hear a viola in a rock tune. It’s good stuff.
24. “Bully” – Shinedown: Love the message in this one, and the song is pretty damn good, too. One of three bands with two songs on this year’s list.
23. “Little Talks” – Of Monsters and Men: It’s Mumford & Sons with a bit more of an edge from the amazingly talented band out of Iceland.
22. “45” – Gaslight Anthem: Great straight forward rock tune from the Garden State’s newest successor to the Boss. Also love the lyrics and the 45 metaphors.
21. “We Take Care of Our Own” – Bruce Springsteen – Yup. still on top of his game. At times this reminds you of vintage E-Street band, but it also has a nice modern flair, and a big sound.
20. “Oh Love” – Green Day: What’s old is new again. this one brings back nice memories of songs from across the band’s past two decades. Billie Joe sounding great again.
19. “Love Interruption” – Jack White: The sparse arrangement works great. The guitar and Wurlitzer fling you back into the 60’s but the vocals and lyrics are totally 2012.
18. “Ho Hey” – The Lumineers: Amazingly successful debut song from American Indie rockers that’s impossible not to singalong to and as a nice bonus, it features nice mandolin.
17. “Gold On the Ceiling” – Black Keys: Great organs, hand claps and a blast to listen to. Dan Auerbach channels his inner Paul Rodgers. Nice guitar solo, too. They had two songs on last year’s list and two more this year!
16. “Simple Song” – The Shins: Beautiful harmonies, chaotic guitar played off against sweet piano and James Mercer singing fantastically.
15. “Reboot the Mission” – Wallflowers: Jacob Dylan makes a killer comeback – with a ska single! And, joined by Mick Jones of The Clash. Super cool.
14. “Tongue Tied” – Grouplove: Another great song off of 2011’s Never Trust A Happy Song. It’s a blast to listen to with great boy/girl vocals and stellar music.
13. “Hold On” – Alabama Shakes: It’s an instant classic with such a comfortable Southern Rock feel, coupled with Brittany Howard’s soulful vocals that evoke memories of the great Janis Joplin.
12. “Burn It Down” – Linkin Park: The same roaring electro-power rock we’ve come to expect from the lads from Aurora, California – this time with even more memorable hooks.
11. “Breathing Underwater” – Metric: Excellent song in which Emily Haines offers up beautiful vulnerable vocals in a song about a relationship still struggling to survive against the odds. The only band with two in our Top Dozen.
10. “Default” – Django Django: A cool dance rock track that at different times reminds me of surf rock, classic T-Rex and 80′s new wave. Yeah, it’s a crazy mix, but it’s pretty damn fun.
9. Polarized – Luke Dowler – Great song about a relationship that just isn’t working. The music is excellent, but the lyrics are phenomenal. So many different scenarios where they are perfectly fitting. Every time I hear this, I think about our dysfunctional government (both parties) in the nation’s capital.
“He’s left, you’re always right
Polarized, You think he’s weak because he won’t decide
We’re disconnected – we’ve been infected
We’re building up defenses – protecting deadly interests”
8. “Kill Your Heroes” – AWOLNATION – My favorite inspirational lyric all year in a song that is both powerful and addictive. “Never let your fear decide your fate.”
7. “Little Black Submarines” – Black Keys: Really two songs in one love the tender opening, and LOVE the electronic jam on part two – sweet, powerful guitar and drums.
6. “Runaways” – The Killers: They’re back after a four year hiatus, this saga is a Springsteen-esque anthem that is pure old school Killers. Brandon Flowers at his best.
5. “What Makes a Good Man?” – The Heavy: Soulful rock from the Bath, England quartet with screaming guitar that would make Jack White proud.
4. “Youth Without Youth” – Metric: A great driving beat on a song that reminds me a bit of the most rocking Smiths’ tunes. This is a dark one about a young person who has grown up in a troubled environment and raced past their youth.
3. “Danny, Dakota and the Wishing Well” – A Silent Film: It’s a grandiose rocker you’d have expected from The Killers. Love the keyboards, the vocals and the story!
2. Unity – Shinedown – Soaring melodies, Brent Smith’s superb vocals and fantastic guitar in yet another uplifting song from one of the year’s best albums, Amaryllis.
1. “Everybody Talks” – Neon Trees: OK, so, this is a wee bit overplayed – Got it. But it is an absolutely fantastic song. Tyler Glenn’s vocals are mesmerizing, and the guitar and drums are pure old school rock.
Let us know what you thought. Was your favorite on our list? Also, we’d love to see what you think about our 2012 Rock Albums of the Year.
The Summer doldrums are over. Lots of excellent rock headed Central Florida in the next month or so.
10/3, Public Image Limited – Firestone Live
10/4 – 10/7, Starship featuring Mickey Thomas – Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Series. These shows require amusement park admission. Starship always puts on a good show, it will be interesting to see how they handle the recent death of long-time guitarist Mark Abrahamian. Check out a recent concert review here.
10/5, Bombay Bicycle Club – The Social
10/5, Renaissance – The Plaza Theatre
10/7, Band of Skulls – The Social – Alt-Rockers from the UK with a great fresh sound.
10/8, Gotye, with Givers – House of Blues
10/11, Rehab – The West End (Sanford) – Heard these guys are great live.
10/11 – 10/12, Smash Mouth – Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Series
10/12, Jack Russel’s Great White – The Garage Bar at Route 46 (Sanford) – two consecutive nights of good rock in Sanford!
10/12, The Marshall Tucker Band – Sanford Bikefest, Fort Mellon Park – One of the original legends of Southern Rock. These guys put on a good show. Check out our recent review.
10/12, Candlebox – Wall Street Plaza
10/12, Flobots – Backbooth
10/12 The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – The Beacham
10/13, Matt and Kim – The Beacham
10/14, Nightwish – House of Blues – These Finnish rockers have a powerful, unique full symphonic sound.
10/15, Ingrid Michaelson – The Beacham
10/18 – 10/19, Gin Blossoms – Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Series
10/20, Temper Trap and The Neighbourhood – House of Blues
10/22, Passion Pit – House of Blues
10/22, Xavier Rudd – The Beacham
10/25, Awolnation with Imagine Dragons – House of Blues – Two talented new alternative rockers come to HOB.
10/25, Soul Asylum – Hard Rock Hotel – This month’s Velvet Sessions is their last show of the year and also their annual Halloween party.
10/26, Lynyrd Skynyrd – The biggest name in Southern Rock makes a visit to UCF’s campus.
10/26, Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson – WJRR Halloween Roast at Tinker Field. Love this pairing…
10/29, Psychedelic Furs w/ The Lemonheads and Juliana Hatfield. The Furs always put on a good show. The Lemonheads might be good, depends on the day…
10/1, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes w/ Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Jannus Live (St. Pete) – A nice double bill.
10/4, Joe Cocker w/ Dave Mason – Cocker is a legendary rock front man with an amazing, distinctive voice.
10/5, Bret Michaels – The Largo Cultural Center
10/5, The Wailers – Jannus Live
10/6, Public Image Limited – Cuban Club
10/6, Renaissance – Capital Theatre (Clearwater)
10/7, Buckcherry – Cuban Club
10/8, Band of Skulls – State Theatre (St. Pete)
10/10, Flobots – Orpheum
10/12, Journey w/ Pat Benatar and Loverboy – 1-800 ASK GARY Amphitheatre. Fun line-up of three classic rock stalwarts. RARA’s will be at this show.
10/13, Warrant – The Lakeland Center
10/13, Rehab – Jake’s Tavern (Sarasota)
10/14, Band of Horses – The Ritz Ybor
10/17, Matt and Kim w/ Oberhofer – The Ritz Ybor. Matt and Kim are the bigger name, Oberhofer is the band I’m most interested in seeing.
10/23, The Temper Trap – State Theatre
10/24, Awolnation and Imagine Dragons – The Ritz Ybor
10/24, Lynyrd Skynyrd – Ruth Eckard Hall (Clearwater)
10/27, Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie – 1-800 ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
10/27, The Psychedelic Furs, The Leomonheads. Juliana Hatfield – State Theatre
10/5, Band of Skulls – Freebird Live
10/13, Flobots – Jack Rabbits
10/17, Gin Blossoms – Whiskey River – a chance to see to see these 90’s rockers without dropping a C-Note at Disney.
10/24, Pennywise – Plush
10/28, Blues Traveler – Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
10/30, Lemonheads – Jack Rabbits
First a few reminders, then some random rock thoughts.
We reviewed the latest release from Lovedrug, Wild Blood today. Check it out here: Wild Blood Album Review
And, in case you missed it, we had a fun interview with David Uosikkinen, the drummer from The Hooters. Read about his latest project: In The Pocket
Some thoughts on some of the better new music I’ve been listening to lately:
- I know I mentioned this before, but Provo Utah’s Neon Trees has absolutely nailed it with the first single off of their forthcoming Picture Show album. “Everybody Talks” is a great song that truly highlights Tyler Glenn’s excellent vocals. The full album hits the streets in late April.
- Civil Twilight’s “Fire Escape” brings back memories of early U-2 Bono with a different sound. The song is excellent with or without the Bono feel. The South Africans’ album will be released on March 26th.
- While we are comparing new music to legendary rock icons, let’s chat about Chappo. It’s quirky stuff, but damn, it’s addictive. And, Alex Chappo conjures up good memories of the great Neil Young. Check out “Come Home“
- I love Shinedown’s “Bully.” It’s an excellent song with a powerful and timely message. This should be mandatory heavy rotation in all high school cafeterias.
- Walk The Moon had a great, fun, passionate song with last year’s release of “Anna Sun“ They signed a major label deal and truthfully saw all of the life get sucked out of the song. It’s getting more airplay, but they wrecked the song.
- From the “I Can’t Believe I Love This” department. Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know (feat. Kimbra)” – this one continues to grow on me.
- The Boo – “I Want Revenge.” Yup, there’s good reason it reminds us of Green Day. It’s Billie Joe Armstrong’s family project, featuring sons Jakob and Joe, as well as his wife Adrienne on vocals. It’s a blast, but unfortunately not yet available on iTunes.
- Yukon Blonde’s “Stairway” is another fun poppy alt rock tune, this one from North of the Border.
- “Not Your Fault” from AWOLNATION is another one that keeps growing on me. Aaron Bruno’s vocals are distinctive and carry the song.
- Trans-Siberian Orchestra meets Abba and it’s a beautiful thing. Finland’s Nightwish tears it up with their classic metal and their powerful “Storytime.”
Lots of good new rock these days, and with a bunch of albums headed our way, it only promises to get better.
As for some of our Veteran Cosmic Rockers, the Moody Blues have started their 45th Anniversary tour! They are in Florida this week for anyone interested in checking them out. Back in the day, they put on a pretty good rock show, and their collection of rock classics is quite deep. Moody Blues Tour Dates
As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, a quick shout out to the best Irish band in the country: Black 47. They’ll be in their second home of New York City this weekend. Another damn good Irish band is Flogging Molly – here’s our review of their recent show in Orlando.
Rock On! – Cretin