Tag Archives: Hard Rock

Welcome To Rockville Set Times and Recommendations

Welcome To Rockville Schedule Released

Well, the set times are out for the area’s primo Rock ‘n Roll festival, Welcome To Rockville.  The line-up is basically a “Who’s Who” of today’s hottest hard rock acts.  The full schedule follows, including our choices for the can’t miss artists performing April 26th and 27th at Jacksonville’s Metropolitan Park.

Make sure you Like Us on Facebook (to the upper right) and Follow Us on Twitter for frequent concert updates before and during the sets and pictures from the festival!

You can check out our Festival Preview here: Welcome To Rockville

Here’s your key to the schedule and our recommendations:

RARA’s Prime – These artists are “Can’t Miss”
RARA’s Choice – These artists are highly recommended

Saturday, April 26

Monster Energy Fire Museum Stage

11:15 AM         Digital Summer
12:30 PM         Rev Theory    RARA’s Choice
2:00 PM           Adelitas Way    RARA’s Choice
3:30 PM           Hellyeah
5:15 PM           Chevelle
7:15 PM           A Day To Remember    RARA’s Choice
9:40 PM           Avenged Sevenfold    RARA’s Prime

Monster Energy Metropolitan Park Stage

11:45 PM         Gemini Syndrome
1:15 PM           Middle Class Rut
2:45 PM           Chiodos
4:15 PM           Alter Bridge    RARA’s Choice
6:15 PM           Volbeat    RARA’s Prime
8:20 PM           The Cult

Jägermeister Stage

11:15 AM         World Gone
12:30 PM         Silvertung (Jägermeister Band)
2:00 PM           Evergreen Terrace
3:30 PM           Smile Empty Soul
5:15 PM           Memphis May Fire
7:15 PM           We Came As Romans    RARA’s Choice

Ernie Ball Stage

11:45 AM         Cathercist (Ernie Ball Battle Of The Bands Winner)
1:15 PM           Monster Truck
2:45 PM           We As Human
4:15 PM           Devour The Day
6:15 PM           Fozzy    RARA’s Choice

Sunday, April 27

Monster Energy Fire Museum Stage

Noon                Within Reason
1:15 PM           Sick Puppies    RARA’s Choice
2:35 PM           Black Label Society
4:15 PM           Seether    RARA’s Prime
6:25 PM           Five Finger Death Punch
8:50 PM           Korn     RARA’s Choice

Monster Energy Metropolitan Park Stage

12:35 PM         The Pretty Reckless     RARA’s Choice
1:55 PM           Black Stone Cherry     RARA’s Choice
3:25 PM           Theory of a Deadman
5:15 PM           Staind
7:35 PM           Rob Zombie      RARA’s Choice

Jägermeister Stage

Noon                Ghost Of War (Jägermeister Band)
1:15 PM           Kyng
2:35 PM           Lacuna Coil
4:15 PM           Emmure
6:25 PM           Motionless In White

Ernie Ball Stage

12:35 PM         Twelve Foot Ninja
1:55 PM           Nothing More    RARA’s Prime
3:25 PM           Butcher Babies
5:15 PM           Trivium

Prima Donna Impresses Orlando

Prima Donna's Kevin Preston at Hard Rock Live - Orlando
Prima Donna’s Kevin Preston at Hard Rock Live – Orlando

Prima Donna Concert Review

Like the majority of the folks packed into the Hard Rock, we had come to see the latest incarnation of 80’s New Wave superstar Adam Ant.  Fortunately, we also managed to catch the fantastic opening set from his special guest Prima Donna. Quite honestly, Prima Donna sounded better, put on a more passionate show and were a bit more entertaining.  Ant and his band did not suck by any stretch of the imagination, but this quintet out of Los Angeles absolutely rocked.

I pride myself in having my finger on the pulse of the current rock scene, but somehow over the past ten years this talented group slipped past my radar, despite a couple of huge tours supporting the likes of Green Day, and a few excellent albums of their own.  How did I miss them? Maybe it’s the years of bourbon abuse, but I suspect it’s more driven by their lack of a true radio hit – they have a slew of very good songs, but haven’t had that big breakthrough YET. I’d best describe their recipe of rock as power rock, with a dash of glam and spot of garage stomp – Good, good stuff!

From the minute the lights came on, they set the expectations for the night. Front man Kevin Preston immediately directed the crowd, “Don’t use the seats, don’t use them!” Most of the Antmaniacs, stuffed into their old costumes took in the set from the comfort of their seats, and a few groups in the crowd complied, dancing and bouncing for the entire thirty minute set, but everyone enjoyed the show.  

It’s easy to see why Prima Donna has caught the eye of superb performers like Green Day and Adam Ant. Preston and his band mates are consummate performers. They play power-packed passionate rock ‘n roll and constantly interact with the audience.  They’ve got a big sound and a bigger personality and offered a tremendous set.

Preston had a comfortable rapport with the Orlando crowd: “If we look a little rough,  it’s because we’ve been enjoying Florida a little too much. I love it except the humidity is bad for the hair.” He’s a charismatic front man, with a killer voice.  Another highlight was guitarist Erik Arcane, who also put on a great show, playing fantastic lead guitar and entertaining the crowd throughout the set.

Prima Donna's Kevin Preston at Hard Rock Live - Orlando
Prima Donna’s Kevin Preston at Hard Rock Live – Orlando

During “Bless This Mess,” one female fan offered Preston a rose which he grabbed with his teeth, while never missing a note with his guitar. “Bless This Mess”the title track off of their recent album,  is a rapid-fire rocker that had the crowd thoroughly engaged.  Other highlights included “Demoted,” “Sociopath” and their final selection “I Don’t Want You To Love Me.” (See full setlist at end of article)

 Thirty minutes was just enough to get a nice taste of what these guys are all about. Now that I’ve finally got them on the RARA’s Farm radar, we’ll look forward to their next visit to Central Florida, where hopefully we’ll have a chance to see them play a full headlining set.  In the meantime, grab the album linked below and enjoy their music.

See our full photo album on our Facebook page, and we’d love it if you Like Us while you are there! Prima Donna Photos

Rock On!

Related Link: Adam Ant Hard Rock Live Orlando Show Review

Soul Stripper
Like Hell
Bless This Mess
Fern Children
I Don’t Want You To Love Me

Adam Ant Delivers for His Faithful Orlando Fans

Adam Ant Concert at Hard Rock Orlando
Adam Ant Live in Concert at Hard Rock Orlando

Adam Ant Concert Review

Nearly twenty years since his last full American Tour, uber-talented rock icon Adam Ant has hit the road again. Saturday night he visited Orlando’s Hard Rock where he offered a captivating two hour set to a fervid fan base.  The set featured all of his eighties hits, a nice sampling of newer tracks and some deeper selections from across his vast library.

He has become legendary for the theatrical performances he offers live, and this night was no different. Ant constantly played to the crowd with his facial and body expressions and was bouncing across the stage throughout the entire show, despite the years now under his formidable belt. The stage set-up was striking and the light show excellent.

When I last saw him perform live, Ant was travelling with an eleven piece band including a brass section.  On this night, the smaller four piece supporting band led to new takes on some of the classics.  One thing that remains constant is Ant’s penchant to stack his band with two talented drummers and two full drum kits. It’s a unique arrangement that gives the live show a fantastic full sound. The absence of a brass section, however, did leave two of the classics, “Desperate But Not Serious” and “Goody Two Shoes” sounding a bit more hollow than the original versions.

Ant is touring in support of Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter, his first studio album in eighteen years.  It’s a rocking album, excellent stuff, but a bit different than the stuff that made Ant a legend, and his touring band The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse were perfectly suited for the new tracks. “Cool Zombie” and “”Vince Taylor” were two strong new tracks that were spotlighted and “Shrink” was one of the highlights of the show. It’s a powerful new rocker that perfectly utilized the duel drummers – one of my favorite parts of the entire night.

Ant had a few fun interchanges with the audience. At one point offering, “Hello Orlando, now we’re going to play all of my love songs. This is the one…” He then shared a story about his girlfriend leaving him before kicking into a nice version of “Wonderful.” He followed that with a Fifty Shades of Grey reference before kicking into his ‘other’ love song “Whip In My Valise.” Good stuff…

Other show highlights included a powerful, crowd-pleasing version of “Stand And Deliver,” and a mini striptease in “Strip.” We were also offered up a nice surprise during the four song encore when the band offered an homage to T Rex with a great version of “Bang A Gong,” as well as killer version of “Press Darlings.”  (see the full setlist below)

Despite all of the years that have transpired since Antmania was sweeping the New Wave landscape, it was evidenced in full-force at The Hard Rock.  The predominantly middle-aged fans who packed the house were on their feet the entire show, many of them dancing throughout and a slew of them looking resplendent in their pirate and period costumes.  Many of the fans apparently pulled the outfits from the deep reaches of their closets and shoehorned themselves into the costumes oblivious to the twenty-five years and pounds that have passed since their last wearings.  Interesting sight…

Los Angeles based rockers Prima Donna opened the show, and offered up a superb thirty minute set.  The band sounded fantastic and put on a killer stage show. Definitely a band that I’ll be looking to catch again in the future.  We’ll publish a full review for the Prima Donna set in the next few days…

All told, it was a fun night of rock, with plenty of fun flashbacks as well a glimpse of Ant’s powerful new music. Nearing sixty, Adam Ant still puts on a strong show, and at two hours, a generous value. It’s a concert that any Adam Ant fan needs to catch when they come to your city.

If you were there, let us know what you thought of the show, and make sure to Like Us and Follow Us to keep up with the latest Florida rock news and reviews.

(Check out our Adam Ant photos)

Rock On!




Toad The Wet Sprocket Show Review


Toad The Wet Sprocket at Orlando's Velvet Sessions
Toad The Wet Sprocket at Orlando’s Velvet Sessions

Toad The Wet Sprocket Concert Review

Sixteen years after their last studio album, Coil, Toad The Wet Sprocket is on the verge of releasing a long-awaited new album. From what we heard at Hard Rock’s Velvet Sessions, the fans of the band are going to be quite pleased with the sound of the new stuff.  Like that comfortable old sweatshirt from your college days, the band is back with their distinctive familiar feel.

The setlist included a few of the new tracks, highlighted by the title track “New Constellation” which had folks in the packed house dancing unabashedly.  The songs have that same clean, slick feel we’ve grown accustomed to, and the band sound still possesses that smooth 90’s Alt-rock vibe.

Lead singer Glen Phillips still takes the stage bare-footed and looks much the same as he did all those years ago. His voice is as pure as we remember. His band mates miraculously remain the same guys who started the band out of high school in 1986 – amazing seeing a band that has stood that test of time without any personnel changes.

On this night, drummer Randy Guss was absent for a family emergency and as Phillips noted regarding his replacement “this guy has had two days to learn twenty songs,” and he did a damn good job (unfortunately, I did not catch his name). Phillips chatted with the crowd throughout the set in an affable way, at one time sharing humorous thoughts on his first album ever, Saturday Night Fever.

Dean Dinning on bass and Todd Nichols on guitar (and occasional lead vocals) haven’t missed a beat and were joined on stage by guest keyboardist Jonathan Kingham. The band did not have an electric triangle player on stage (there’s a reference for you Monty Python fans familiar with the derivation of the band’s name).
toad phillips dinning 2 (800x542)

Highlights of the sets included the aforementioned “New Constellation,” a stripped down version of “Whatever I Fear” and the killer harmonies of “California Wasted.”  The band’s hits were also very well received by the diversely aged crowd, highlighted by “All I Want,” “Something’s Always Wrong,” the dance-inducing “Fall Down” and the final song of the night, the singalong vibe of “Walk On the Ocean.”

As the band exited the stage, Monty Python’s clever “Always Walk on the Bright Side of Life” piped through the speakers, an apt way to end a bright and hopeful return to the rock music landscape.

The band’s new album is an independent release fueled by an uber-successful Kickstarter campaign. The targeted release date is mid-Septemeber. Check it out, and in the meantime, take advantage of the increased opportunities to see these guys live.

Rock On!

The Setlist is provided below.
Check out our Photos from the show, including a handful of the fans: Toad The Wet Sprocket Photos


The Moment
Good Intentions
New Constellation
All I Want
Whatever I Fear
Come Back Down
Nightengale Song
The Eye
Crazy Life
Way Away
California Wasted
Something’s Always Wrong
Fall Down

Come Down
I’ll Bet on You
Walk on the Ocean

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

Flock of Seagulls – Space Aged Flashback

New wave pioneers A Flock of Seagulls played an entertaining set at Hard Rock Cafe’s Velvet Sessions Thursday night. Founding member and lead singer, Mike Score brought the current rendition of the band back to Orlando, 30 years after the band experienced their greatest success as stalwarts of the early 80’s MTV Video generation.

They are often unfairly associated as a one-hit wonder (“I Ran”) when in fact they were talented musicians with a string of hits and a nice collection of solid rock tunes.  On this night, we had a chance to experience all of those hits, as well as a few newly recorded tunes. Score, who now sports a cleanly shaven head instead of his infamous ‘Flock of Seagulls’ hair, still sounded much as he did back in the band’s prime.

Score spent most of the night playing his trademark keyboards, but also picked up the guitar for a few songs including “She Won’t Let You Down” and “Naked.” The first half of the set was relatively bland, but the band began to show off their musical prowess during a nice extended version of “Man Made.”

They closed the 70 minute set in grand fashion with five excellent tracks from their early catalog.  The first four were predictable and just what the crowd was waiting for: “Telecommunication,” “Space Age Love Song,” “Wishing” and the encore “I Ran.”  Then Score introduced a surprise finale as a “song I wrote back in 1979 when I didn’t know what I was doing,” and they kicked into their fun, punk cut “Messages.” A nice end to a fun flashback.

Mike G.

Mickey Thomas and Starship Touch Down in O-Town

When I first heard that Starship featuring Mickey Thomas was playing at Hard Rock’s Velvet Sessions I was ambivalent about attending.  I was a big Jefferson Starship fan, but “We Built This City” was one of those eighties rock songs where I felt rock music was jumping the shark. Then I remembered how much I enjoy the cozy venue at Orlando’s Coolest Rock ‘n Roll cocktail party: The Velvet Sessions at Hard Rock Hotel.  I made a late decision to attend the show and Damn, am I glad that I did!

In 1992, after ten years of leading Jefferson Starship to unprecedented chart success, Thomas created Starship; and for the past twenty years, he’s been touring with his own incarnation of the band, playing many of their classics hits. His recognizable voice  is still as pure and powerful as ever, he looks fantastic and is backed by an excellent band. Thomas got the show off to an energetic start, strutting around the stage and belting out a strong version of “Layin’ It On the Line,” featuring longtime Starship keyboardist Phil Bennett.

From there, the setlist was jam packed with the highlight tracks of the Jefferson Starship era, coupled with some nice surprises. Thomas interacted with the crowd throughout the evening and seemed to be having a great time. The band offered up powerful versions of classics “No Way Out” and “Jane” and then slowed things down with monster hits “Sara” and “Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now.” The latter featuring a nice duet between Thomas and the beautiful Stephanie Calvert.

Calvert took the spotlight a bit later in the set, as she conquered the Jefferson Airplane era Grace Slick anthems “White Rabbit” and “Somebody To Love.” Calvert took the songs and made them her own. The the band was spot on, with Jeff Adams on bass and Darrell Verdusco on drums powering the classics and having a blast doing so.

Thomas then returned to the stage and shared a great version of Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around and Fell In Love,’ a song he sang for Bishop’s band a few years before replacing Marty Balin in Jefferson Starship. The guitar work of Mark Abrahamian was solid all night, and he lent a fantastic solo to this one. He carried that through as the band closed the set with a fantastic extended version of “Find Your Way Back.”

For the encore, it was a little bit of the predictable and a nice dose of the unexpected.  They belted out a pure version of fan favorite (my least favorite) “We Built This City.” Then, as a few band members stripped off their instruments, Thomas grabbed an acoustic guitar shouted something to his mates, and started “Now somewhere in the black mountain hills of Dakota. There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon.” It was his second Beatles reference of the night, as earlier he slipped into a spontaneous stanza from “Sgt. Pepper.”

For “Rocky Raccoon” it was the full song, and it got the packed house dancing and singing along throughout.  Starship put their own twist on it, and it came off perfectly, a fitting way to end a great night. We spoke with Calvert after the show, and the diminutive rocker said “Rocky Raccoon” was a bit of an Orlando tradition.  Good stuff and a great end to a great show!

Check out their greatest hits on iTunes, or page down to see the setlist.

Rock On – Cretin


Layin’ It On the Line
No Way Out
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
Winds of Change
Set the Night to Music
White Rabbit
Somebody to Love
Fooled Around and Fell in Love
Find Your Way Back

We Built This City
Rocky Raccoon

Lemonheads Leave a Sour Taste

Funny thing about concert reviews is that the more positive it is the more likely it will be widely read.  Bands and fans tend to pass on links for the good reviews; not so much for the negative ones. That tendency coupled with the amazing lack of interest and passion I witnessed from Evan Dando and The Lemonheads has convinced me that the right approach would be a half-assed review that reflects the band’s effort at Hard Rock’s Velvet Sessions in Orlando on Thursday night.

For all intents and purposes, The Lemonheads are Evan Dando plus two revolving players.  The other two members of his trio has literally included at least two dozen members over the last twenty years. That’s a lot of turnover. Chuck Treece, a journeyman drummer who has played with some notable acts over the years was on drums.  We expected to see Fred Mascherino (Taking Back Sunday) on bass, but he was not in the line-up this night.

The tour is featuring a 20th Anniversary tribute to The Lemonheads’ fantastic breakthrough album It’s a Shame About Ray played through in its entirety. He raced through it in under 30  minutes, spent the entire set staring at the setlist and never acknowledging the small crowd. The only sign of life from Dando was a whimsical smile as he wrapped up “Frank Mills.” He did not play “Mrs. Robinson,” still peeved that most casual fans like the song as much as any of his self-penned hits.

After wrapping up the album set, Dando played a few acoustic songs. I have the set list, but just don’t feel like typing out the songs.   The highlight of the show for me? During this acoustic set, I walked over to the bar and tried Abita’s IPA. An excellent, smooth beer with just the right level of bitterness.

Dando’s voice is still unique and poignant, but on this evening his guitar playing was uninspired. He really didn’t look his old beautiful self.  I have pictures to prove that, but why spend the effort to upload them? Through the years, I’ve read enough Lemonheads concert reviews to know it’s a crapshoot on what Evan Dando version is going to take the stage. Looks like we got the poor version. Perhaps he was under the weather again?

The other two members of the band returned to the stage to rip through a few more songs, including a few crowd favorites. I’m sure you know the ones…

51 minutes later: Exit Stage Left. The pain for Dando and the fans was thankfully over.


Here a link to the featured album, which despite the lame show remains a 90’s masterpiece. Just don’t listen to Track 13…