Tag Archives: HOB – Orlando

The Pretty Reckless Concert Review

Pretty Reckless Concert Review at HOB Orlando

Photo: Andrew Lipovsky
Photo: Andrew Lipovsky

The hottest band in rock ‘n roll came to Orlando over the weekend and delivered a fantastic show.

The venue was the House of Blues, in the heart of the recently rebranded Disney Springs. I arrived as the sun went down and though the line of The Pretty Reckless fans wrapped around the building, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly myself and the other concertgoers made it inside. I have to give credit to the HOB staff for being super-efficient and always friendly.

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Breathing Theory at House of Blues

Breathing Theory at House of Blues

Last week, I was lucky enough to receive tickets to a show at House of Blues starring Breathing Theory, Traverser, Kill the Sound, and Meka Nism. The show was at 8pm, so I showed up at Downtown Disney about 7 to avoid the line, my daughter and nephew in tow. After a short wait, the doors opened, and we found our spot near the stage before the house filled up.

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Big Week For A Brilliant Lie


A Brilliant Lie Prepare for New Album Release

They’re one of the most exciting rock bands in Orlando and as July kicks off, this talented band is pretty damn busy.

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After a whirlwind recording session this Spring, they recently released the track listing for their forthcoming EP Threads: Cutter, which will be a three part series rolling out over the next year. They’ll spotlight the new music at House of Blues this weekend, and they provided the first peek at their new music with a preview on YouTube.

Let’s start with the Album Release show details. A Brilliant Lie will headline this month’s Orlando Rocks at the Downtown Disney HOB, with a show that you can see for a paltry five bucks through this link (Or Free with the promo code “Brilliant”): LiveNation – Orlando Rocks. The band was also recently offering their fans free tix via email at tickets@abrilliantlie.com, which may still be a possibility if you do not have a LiveNation account.

For those of you not familiar with A Brilliant Lie, this fivesome delivers guitar-driven rock fronted by charismatic lead singer Tara Lightfoot. They are a blast on stage and always deliver an entertaining set. On Saturday, they’ll also be joined by the engaging pop-punk of Hero’s Fate.  (They are also a blast on social media and I highly recommend following them for guaranteed chuckles and some damn good rock)

The first single from Threads is a gritty rocker that shows the band pushing themselves in an edgier direction. It’s good stuff, and a track that highlights Lightwood’s voice as never before. Check out “Circles For Sewing” below.

The EP, Cutter, is the first of a trio that we will see released over the next year. It can be pre-ordered here: www.abrilliantlie.com , or picked up at the event on Saturday night, or for you old school  iTunes fans, purchased on-line on the 17th.

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Rock On!

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Threads Cutter Tracklist:
1. Always at Odds
2. Pieces
3. Circles for Sewing
4. Drive til Morning
5. Bittered Bones

Black Mass Tour Concert Review

black mass

Black Mass Tour at House of Blues Orlando Dec 4 2014 Concert Review

Philip Snyder

Due to miscalculating the volume of traffic that would turn I-4 into gridlock to rubberneck a minor accident, my daughter and I made it to Downtown Disney about twenty minutes after the doors opened. That’s okay, I thought, we would just miss part of Drama Club’s set. Since their act seems to be mostly EDM, I didn’t worry too much about it. Having never been to a show at HOB before, I asked a staff member where to go. He pointed to a line that went across the front of the restaurant part of House of Blues.

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Black Mass Tour at House of Blues Orlando Dec 4 2014 Concert Review

Philip Snyder

Making our way to the end of the line at the front, we soon realized the line continued down the side, and to our horror, all the way across the back to the next building in Downtown Disney, about 700 feet by my estimate. I was sure we would miss the entire show by the time we got through that line, but thanks to the efficient staff, we made it inside within twenty minutes, the crazy part being that the line had been repopulated during our wait and was as long as it had been when we got in it.

HOB has a capacity of 3,000 standing, and arriving inside, seemed like it was already full as we pushed our way in, trying to find a good spot. We had missed Drama Club’s entire performance, and Tampa-based Set It Off had taken the stage, performing songs that seemed to me out of place on a tour called Black Mass, as they could have been played just as well in a reception at a megachurch. They mentioned their drummer, Matt Danziger’s hometown was Orlando, which garnered some cheering from the audience.

Arriving on the second floor, we squeezed into a spot along the railing where we could see vocalist Cody Carson crowd surfing the packed show floor while singing an inspiring anthem called “Why Worry” from their freshly released album Duality. After finishing their set, Carson invited everyone to come meet him, and promised to sign any of the band merch fans had bought, which I thought was pretty classy.

With excited chatter, the concert goers waited impatiently for Falling In Reverse, from sunny Las Vegas, cheering as the techs set up the stage and did sound checks in full view of the audience. When they finally showed, the cheering of mostly screaming young ladies was deafening, and frontman Ronnie Radke whipped the crowd into a frenzy, encouraging them to crowd surf, and rush the stage as confetti cannons blasted the audience with shiny bits of foil, and long streamers. They performed hits such as “I’m Not a Vampire”, “Sink or Swim”, and “The Drug in Me is You”, flawlessly. The Basketball-jersey clad band projected great energy as they performed, using every square inch of the stage, and Radke’s vocal range was astounding, ranging from guttural growls to high-pitched cries.

At one point, they had members of the crowd attempt to make baskets through hoops that formed the backdrop and framed the drum kit with inflated pool toy basketballs. Even when the people didn’t make a goal, they were still tossed a FIR shirt, which was cool. The audience loved Falling In Reverse, singing along to every song, including some from Ronnie’s old band, Escape The Fate, my favorite “Why Do Good Girls Like Bad Guys”, and even a rap song. If FIR were the only band that night, their act alone would have been worth the admission price, but the best was yet to come.

FIR thanked the crowd, and a big curtain was drawn across the stage, as the techs readied Black Veil Brides gear. The crowd chanted their name like a mantra, eager to see the main attraction. When they finally came on, CC took to the drums amid dramatic lighting, then the rest of the band made the stage, prompting crying, and shouts of “marry me!”

Vocalist Andy Biersack led the crowd through songs like “Faithless,” “Heart of Fire” and “Rebel Love Song” holding the mic stand out over the audience, who knew every word by heart, to sing with him. He would occasionally pause and strike a pose, pointing at, and subsequently melting the heart of random fans with his movie star smile. The fact these guys hail from Hollywood was very evident, as they put on such a show.

Andy did not hog the limelight, however, as each of the band had some solo piece, at one point Jinxx was even playing a violin, and Andy took time to introduce some of his family members who live in the Orlando area. They also thanked the fans for selling out the venue, and for ensuring that their new self-titled album debuted at #10 on the Billboard charts. They played their final song, then exited the stage, leaving fans screaming for an encore, until BVB came back out and played the popular “In The End”, which seemed a fitting end to an awesome show.

We had been on our feet for four hours, sweaty and sore with our voices hoarse and raspy, but we would have done it all over again in a second. My only complaint is that HOB is a bit small, perhaps next time Black Veil Brides comes to Orlando, they should sell out an arena instead.

Philip Snyder

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Rise Against Deliver Powerful Orlando Performance

rise1 (506x362)

Rise Against Show Review

They’re undoubtedly one of the premier Alternative rock artists of this century, and somehow, until Saturday night, I had never caught them live.  No clue why I waited so long, but this powerful quartet out of Chicago was definitely worth the wait.  And, based on something we heard that night, the next time we see them might just be right around the corner.

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Led by charismatic frontman, Tim McIlrath, they delivered 90 minutes of non-stop, searing rock ‘n roll to their passionate fans crammed into the sold out House of Blues in Orlando.  The full band has been together for nearly a decade, with McIlrath and bassist Joe Principe there since inception, and it shows on stage, as the band is incredibly tight, especially considering they’re constantly bouncing around the stage.

Rise Against has shifted a bit from their days of punk rock stalwarts, and their music might now be a bit less political, but their fans are still fully bought in.  On this night, there were very few moments where the entire venue wasn’t singing along loudly with McIlrath.  The singer encouraged the interaction, seemed to revel in it, and was humbly appreciative.

The album cover from their latest release The Black Market served as a haunting backdrop as they took the stage to an explosive version of “Ready To Fall.”  Huge “RI” and “SE” letters flanked the stage and constantly shifted colors in cadence with the music.  The early highlight of the set was an interactive version of”Give It All” that featured McIlrath held aloft by the crowd as two thousand fans sang harmony for him. (See the full setlist at the bottom of the post)

Guitarist Zach Blair bounced around the stage doling out sharp hooks all night. He was joined by Drummer Brandon Barnes and Principe who pounded out a constant, aggressive musical bed all night.  Other highlights included a raucous version of “The Good Left Undone” and a smoking version of “I Don’t Wanna Be Here Anymore,” one of only two tracks off of The Black Market.

McIlrath interacted with the crowd throughout the set, at one time reminiscing about one of the band’s first Orlando visits, an opening slot for Strung Out at The Social.  As noted earlier, he also hinted at an upcoming return to The City Beautiful. He was coy about it, as the official announcement is still forthcoming.  Perhaps they get added to The Big Orlando lineup?  See our festival preview here: The Big Orlando.

The other offering from the new album was a stripped down, haunting rendition of “People Live Here,” which featured McIlrath on acoustic guitar with a bit of help from Blair, which was followed up with a tender “Swing Life Away,” with McIlrath alone on stage with a little help from the sold out crowd.

They closed the night with a riveting ten minute long version of “Savior,” a great way to close a fantastic show.

Check out our Black Market album review here.

Radkey, a trio of brothers from Missouri opened the night with a killer punk-infused set, and earned high praise from McIlrath who noted how the band reminded him of Rise Against as they came up through the ranks, offering “I hope they remember us when we’re opening for them.”  (Check back soon for our review of their set) Touche Amore took the stage next, and were a bit of a disappointment despite their energetic set.  Thankfully, those memories were quickly washed away by the talented headliners.

Rock On!

Ready to Fall
Give It All
Re-Education (Through Labor)
Behind Closed Doors
Long Forgotten Sons
The Good Left Undone
Like the Angel
I Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore
Help Is on the Way
Chamber the Cartridge
Last Chance Blueprint
Prayer of the Refugee
Alive and Well
Audience of One
People Live Here
Swing Life Away
Make It Stop (September’s Children)

Ted Nugent Review- Who came 1st, Eddie or Ted?

Ted Nugent at HOB-Orlando
Ted Nugent at HOB-Orlando

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.


Set List


Central Florida January Concert Calendar

It’s a slow start to the year, but there’s still a few gems to be found across Central Florida in January.


01/01 – B.B. King,  Hard Rock Cafe / Hard Rock Live

01/05 – Donna The Buffalo, The Plaza Theatre

01/10 – Justin Townes Earle, The Social

01/11 – The Darkness / Hell or Highwater, Hard Rock Cafe / Hard Rock Live
01/11 – The Dropa Stone, The Social (check out our album review here)
01/11 – Burning Tree, West End Trading Co. (Sanford) – Reggae rockers playing a free show!

01/12 – The Supervillains, West End Trading Co. (Sanford)

01/13 – Sevendust and Candlebox with Tremonti at HOB-Orlando. Johnny Damon Foundation Presents Johnny JaM’13

01/17 – Tab Benoit, The Social

01/18 – Big Head Todd & The Monsters, House Of Blues
01/18 – Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, Backbooth
01/18 – Kansas, The Plaza Theatre

01/25 – Ron White Hard Rock Cafe / Hard Rock Live – Yeah, I know he’s not a rock artist, but he’s just damn funny.

01/28 – A Silent Film, The Social – Great young band out of the UK, with one of our Top 25 Rock Songs of 2012
01/28 – Of Mice & Men, The Beacham

01/30 – G. Love & Special Sauce, The Plaza Theatre

01/31 – Ed Kowalczyk (of Live), Hard Rock Hotel


Cheap concert tickets


01/06 – B.B. King Florida Theatre

01/09 – Justin Townes Earle Cafe Eleven (Saint Augustine)

01/25 – Marshall Crenshaw Ponte Vedra Concert Hall (Ponte Vedra Beach)

01/26 Candlebox Freebird Live

01/31 G. Love & Special Sauce Freebird Live

Cheap concert tickets

Tampa Area

01/05 – B.B. King Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater)

01/16 – Natalie Merchant Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater)
01/16 – The Supervillains Jake’s Tavern (Sarasota)
01/16 – Tab Benoit Skipper’s Smokehouse

01/19 – Kansas Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater)

01/25 – Candlebox Downtown Clearwater (Clearwater)
01/25 – Jackyl State Theatre (Saint Petersburg)

01/28 – Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes Capitol Theatre (Clearwater)

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Sweet Breath of Southern Air in Orlando

So when is the last time you went to a rock concert and had the violinist steal the show? Saturday night Yellowcard made a much anticipated appearance in their home state of Florida at House of Blues Orlando. The band recently kick-started a worldwide tour to promote their powerful new album “Southern Air” and made Orlando one of their first stops. (Check out our review of Southern Air)

On Saturday night, a packed house exhausted their voices after an engaging two hour long, nineteen song set list. I’ve rarely seen a group of music enthusiasts truly love every selection their band played as I witnessed with the Yellowcard fans on Saturday. There wasn’t a single song that Yellowcard played that didn’t have roars of approval from their fervent crowd, including those cuts from their new album.

Yellowcard Live at HOB-Orlando
Yellowcard Live at HOB-Orlando

The quintet broke right into the music and kept the crowd jumping and screaming from the first notes of “Awakening” through their first handful of songs.  The first two cuts were identical to the first two on Southern Air, but thereafter, it was a nice mix of selections that spanned their robust catalog.

The band boasts impressive talent from every member of the band and wonderful vocals from Ryan Key. Things really picked up when they kicked into “Rivertown Blues” off of the new album, Key implored the crowd to have everyone rotate together in a circle which ratcheted up the energy level another notch, and then finished the song off with an impressive lead guitar solo. “Holly Wood Died,” “Hang You Up” and my personal favorite, “Believe” all showcased impressive violin performances by Sean Mackin. “Believe” was dedicated to Mackin’s mother who was present at the show and he took center stage as he blew the crowd away with an exhilarating solo. It was one of many highlights for the affable Mackin who was in the spotlight all evening.

It’s always impressive when a lead singer can perform an entire set while playing guitar and keeping the crowd on their feet. Key did a wonderful job of keeping the show a true pop-punk spectacle. Sean Mackin receives most of my credit for the night, though. I was continuously blown away by the energy and talent brought to a rock show by a violinist, and he didn’t stop there. He also did an excellent job on the back-up vocals and was very interactive with the crowd.

Another song worth noting was “Lights and Sounds” off of their wildly popular album Paper Walls. The crowd seemed to reach a fever pitch, jumping and screaming throughout; but then again, that was only until they performed “Ocean Avenue.” There is no better way for Yellowcard to close a high energy show than with a passionate performance of  their most popular song. I nearly lost my voice after this show and my legs were most definitely sore the next morning.

For anyone who hadn’t heard Southern Air before attending this concert, I can say that every song performed from the album blew me away and absolutely convinced me to give the CD another listen. Some of my favorites were “Southern Air” and “Always Summer;” both very relatable to us “Floridians.”

Yellowcard has been around for 13 years and is still making music that people love and they’ve earned the allegiance of their loyal fans who keep coming back for their energetic love of the band’s music. In 2008 Yellowcard did a small acoustic tour before going on a two year hiatus I had the opportunity to see Key perform acoustically and was floored by a heart stopping performance of “Dear Bobbie” dedicated to his grandmother. This night was a nice return to seeing the whole band back together rocking the stage like they are meant to.

I would always recommend to anyone to spend a night with Yellowcard rockin’ the house.

Check out the setlist below

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Set List:

  1. Awakening
  2. Surface of the Sun
  3. Way Away
  4. Breathing
  5. Shrink the World
  6. Rivertown Blues
  7. Light Up the Sky
  8. Always Summer
  9. Holly Wood Died
  10. Five becomes Four
  11. Hang You Up
  12. With You Around
  13. Believe
  14. Lights and Sounds
  15. Only One
  16. Southern Air
  17. ENCORE: Sing for Me
  18. ENCORE: Here I am Alive
  19. ENCORE: Ocean Avenue