Tag Archives: House of Blues

Yellowcard to Break-up, Say Farewell in Orlando

They’re one of Florida’s most successful alternative rock bands of all time and after a tremendously successful career, the Jacksonville quartet has decided to call it quits. But not until they release YELLOWCARD, their tenth album, and treat their fans to one final tour, where they wrap it all up with a show right here in Orlando.

Credit: Joe Brady Photography
Credit: Joe Brady Photography

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Central Florida November Rock Concert Calendar

Here’s the cream of the crop for Central Florida area concerts this month. Lots of great shows at some of our favorite area venues.  Support these awesome clubs, the Central FLorida rock scene and all of our hard-working local bands!

David Boyd of New Politics o stage at The Big Orlando - photo by rarasfarm.com
David Boyd of New Politics at The Big Orlando – They’ll be in Jax on 11/6 and Orlando 11/7.  photo by rarasfarm.com

Continue reading Central Florida November Rock Concert Calendar

The Dead Deads, Mr. Bella, Leaving Haven Concert Review

Local Bands Highlight HOB Showcase Night

I got the opportunity to see Leaving Haven live at House of Blues on Friday. I brought my daughter and some of her friends so they would get a chance to see a real live rock band, and expose them to something besides that pop music they’re always listening to.

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I got the opportunity to see Leaving Haven live at House of Blues on Friday. I brought my daughter and some of her friends so they would get a chance to see a real live rock band, and expose them to something besides that pop music they’re always listening to.

The last time I was at HOB was in December for the Black Mass tour, and things at Downtown Disney have changed a lot! The whole place is a big construction site, traffic is a mess, and parking is very different. Aside from that, we made the show right after the doors opened, and were rewarded by a group I’d never even heard of: The Dead Deads.

If you can imagine the result of Rob Zombie having love children with the Go-Go’s, who are then mentored by The Ramones, you might come up with this group. The Dead Deads are a five-piece, all-girl band hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. They have toured with Halestorm, and are part of the lineup of September’s Motörboat, along with the likes of Motörhead, Slayer, Anthrax, Budderside, and many others. They took to the stage wearing black x’s across their eyes, walked up to their instruments and began their sonic assault on the audience with their upbeat, pop-punk song “Rainbeau”, during which singer Meta Dead broke her guitar and had to borrow one from another band that was there.

Recovering from their brief technical difficulty, the Dead girls continued to thrill those of us who attended the show with Hella Dead performing trippy synth effects, Meta and Betty Dead shredding through heavy riffs, Daisy Dead rocking her bass, and Billy Dead keeping it all together with rapid-fire drumbeats. They seemed genuinely happy to be at HOB, and kept us very entertained, interacting with the audience and smiling the whole time while performing songs like “Blackout”, “Sour Blooms”, and “Lemonade”.

We met them at their merchandise table after their set, where they were very amicable, posing for pictures with their fans, including my daughter, selling and signing stuff, and encouraging people to tag themselves at the show via social media. They informed me their next stop was in Jacksonville, and I later found out about their gig on the Motörboat. If you are lucky enough to have a Motörboat ticket, be sure to check out The Dead Deads. I know if I see them on a billing somewhere, I will be there if possible! Like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedeaddeads, and tell them Rarasfarm sent you. You can pick up their music at their website: http://www.sonicbids.com/band/the-dead-deads/audio/ .

Up next was a quartet from Tampa called Mr. Bella. Their music was like a fusion of hard rock and pop, vocalist Erin Marie’s style somewhere between Christina Aguilera and Amy Lee of Evanescence. Her band seemed kind of stiff, lacking a lot of showmanship. I feel like they could have brought more energy to the stage, but their sound was good, as they rocked through their set which included “Hurt Like Hell”, “Words”, and “So Long to Sanity”, which will receive airplay on WJRR when it is released this Halloween. For more information about Mr. Bella, here is their site: http://www.mrbella.com/home.php .

Leaving Haven was next up, and clearly the hometown crowd favorite. As the curtains opened, the attendees collectively cheered as the Melsenti brothers, Madison Macko, Mike Strippoli, and Trevor Hastings appeared from backstage, and began playing “Just Like You”. I’ve not yet been to a show where one band played hard rock, did an acoustic song, and performed a hip hop medley, but then I’d never witnessed Leaving Haven in their element before.

Hastings’ voice was silky smooth, his vocal style reminds me somewhat of Adam Levine of Maroon Five, and the rest of the band had a modern rock sound, but varied from song to song. They flawlessly performed such hits as “Hearts and Arrows”, my personal favorite “Johnny Greed”, and the house favorite “Look So Good”, which why I’ve never heard on the radio still eludes me.

Leaving Haven

But the most fun part of the entire set was the mixed bag of rap hits they snuck in, playing small parts of “Trap Queen”, “Gin and Juice”, “Turn Down for What”, and others, while Strippoli’s guitar reverberated through, giving the hip hop tracks a metal edge, which I loved, and Trevor rode a big wheel tricycle, then started break dancing. You other bands should be taking notes here. Leaving Haven absolutely killed it.

There was another band from L.A. called True Violet, but their music wasn’t really within my range of preferences, so I made my way to Leaving Haven’s merch booth, where I was thrilled to meet Mike Strippoli. He was kind enough to sign my daughter’s arm, and hook me up with some CD’s. Then I gathered up my troop of tired teens and we headed for the van. The next show, according to the website: http://leavinghaven.com/ is on August 8th, on the Victory Casino Cruise ship in Port Canaveral, but I would recommend if you have the chance to see these guys, you should definitely go. I know I will.

The website also has links with their tracks on it. Check it out, there’s some great music for everyone!

Philip Snyder

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Bastille Storms HOB-Orlando

Bastille plays at House of Blues Orlando

Dan Smith of Bastille at House of Blues in Orlando
Dan Smith of Bastille at House of Blues in Orlando

Friday night, Orlando hosted Bastille, one of today’s hottest Alt-Rock bands; and boy, was it a night to remember.

Before the wildly popular Bastille took the stage, Wolf Gang, an interactive and entertaining British band, welcomed the sold out crowd with a strong set – more on them below.

This night was about the main event…Bastille. Starting their performance at 9:40, with one of their most popular songs, “Bad Blood,” Bastille put on a performance that the audience will remember for the rest of their lives. Dan Smith, the band’s lead vocalist, came on stage and danced like there was no tomorrow. Many in the crowd wanted to jump on stage and bust a move alongside him.

One of the many unique perks about Bastille is the fact that many of their songs have such powerful meanings behind them. While playing “Laughter Lines” you couldn’t resist from tearing up; the song hits your heart. They took the crowd’s breath away during an awe-inspiring performance of “Oblivion.”  During the song, Smith stayed center stage and belted out the song while paying the piano. The lights were a subdued dark blue and purple; everything about the performance was perfect.

There were little things that added a nice touch, like how bassist Will Farquarson wore a Mickey Mouse shirt or when Smith, clad in a House of Blues shirt, made the audience laugh when he stated “As you can tell from the past hour, I am potentially the worst dancer.” It all helped add up to made the night more memorable. Nearing the end of their performance, Bastille had one more surprise for the audience.

Smith decided to walk through the entire venue. Yep, you heard that right, Dan Smith zipped up his hoodie and marched through House of Blues while singing the song “Flaws.” He even climbed up the stairs and toured the balcony! I’ve been to many concerts before, but never have I seen something as brave as this. Can you imaging walking through hundreds of screaming fans while singing a song?

Bastille at House of Blues in Orlando
Bastille at House of Blues in Orlando

After finishing their performance, the crowed chanted “ONE MORE SONG!” repeatedly until Bastille came out for their encore, where they played two final songs before closing the concert.

The first encore song that they sang was “Of the Night,” a melody of two songs, “Rhythm of the Night” by Corona and “Rhythm is a Dancer” by Snap!. During their performance of this song, the band had the whole crowd moving. Smith had the audience crouch down and jump up during the chorus, leaving everyone smiling and dancing alongside the band.

Bastille ended the concert with their “Billboard top 10” hit “Pompeii.” The crowd went crazy to say the least. Smith didn’t even need to sing, as the crowd was belting every lyric to the song. Before the bridge of the song, the crowd sang the lyrics without hesitation. You could see the band’s faces light up when hearing the crowd sing the song without the help Smith. It was obvious the band members love what they do, which only added to their breath-taking performance. There is so much more to come from this young top-notch band, and I strongly suggest listening to the band to everyone I cross paths with. They are quite astonishing.

You can check out our show photos here: Bastille HOB Photos. (We will be loading more over the next few days, so Like Our Facebook for Alerts)

Back to the opening band, Wolf Gang, they were quite entertaining. During the nine song set, my friends and I gawked over lead singer Max McElligott’s distinctive British accent. Every time he talked to the crowd, our inner twelve-year-old girl was screaming. We were also gifted with bassist James Wood’s prominent stage presence and hair performance. His hair took center stage as it bounced along with Wood, with every note the band played. Believe me, most girls at the House of Blues envied his hair. Lucky for us, Wolf Gang sang a few brand new songs that will be released on their new album, Black River. If you haven’t listened to them before, I encourage you to start.

Stay crazy,

Wolf Gang Impresses in Orlando Return

Max McElligott of Wolf Gang at House of Blues Orlando
Max McElligott of Wolf Gang playing to the crowd at House of Blues in Orlando

Wolf Gang Orlando Concert Review

Ever since the release of their critically acclaimed breakthrough album Suego Faults in 2011, Wolf Gang has been poised on the precipice of success. Capitalizing on a personal relationship with Bastille frontman Dan Smith, they’ve kicked off a huge tour of the United States, playing in front of packed houses every step along the way.

On Friday night, they came to House Of Blues in Orlando, where they opened the show in front of a zealous Sold Out crowd.  It’s not the first time they’ve toured with popular national acts (Coldplay, The Naked And Famous and Keane), but this tour with Bastille seems to be the ideal pairing,

When they took the stage, the house was already packed and at a fever pitch, and the five lads from London quickly commanded the stage.  Led by versatile frontman and founder, Max McElligott, they kicked into “Black River,” the title track off of their current EP and forthcoming full-length.  The song, a hard-driving hit waiting to happen shows the band in a new light, perhaps a bit more full of a sound, but still maintaining a bit of the ethereal qualities that identifies their sound.

It was clear early into the set that since their last visit to The Sunshine State, the band has jelled and become more cohesive. We interviewed McElligott before they hit the stage, and the affable performer noted that the fellow band members have taken a more active role in crafting the new music and it translates well onto their live show.  (We’ll have the full interview posted in about a week, so Follow / Like Us to make sure you don’t miss it).
wolfgang setlist

Twitter follower, @sammiecolella, offered up a setlist from the Miami show the prior night, but it was definitely different from what we listened to, and with so much new content being played, I can’t offer too many comments about specific songs. What I can share is that the new stuff was excellent, including more of a focus on Gavin Slater’s creative guitar work. Unfortunately, the full album release is still a few months away, but all indications are that this one will be worth the wait.

James Wood of Wolf Gang  at House of Blues in Orlando
James Wood of Wolf Gang playing to the crowd at House of Blues in Orlando

Throughout the show, bass player James Wood never stopped moving. He was a human pogo-stick, bouncing around the stage and seemingly having a great time.  McElligott, who played all instruments on Suego Faults traded off a few different instruments during the show, but his greatest talent was his voice. His range is fantastic and he sounded strong all night, highlighted by beautiful vocals on “Midnight Dancers.”

The crowd favorites were the band’s two earlier hits, “Lions And Cages, their closer, and a rousing rendition of “The King And All His Men,” which had the entire arena clapping rhythmically and harmonizing perfectly.

The only downside was the sound mix downstairs at the House of Blues, where the vocals and guitar were a bit lost at times.  We went upstairs for the last half of the set and the sound was much better.

You can see our photo album from the show here: Wolf Gang at HOB-Orlando

McElligott noted that the band would be touring again later this year, hopefully presenting another opportunity for Florida fans to catch this talented young band.

If you were there, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the Comments section below. (Hey, we’re only 10 Followers from 1,000 – Follow Us and we’ll be forever grateful!

Rock On!

Styx Was No Illusion at House of Blues

Styx Live

Styx Orlando Concert Review

When classic rock bands hit the road, you never know what you are going to see. Is it going to be an incredible concert or a bunch of old has-beens trying to relive their youth and cash in one last paycheck?

Yesterday, Styx came into town and played at our local House of Blues (Orlando). My wife and another couple decided to attend this concert and hoped for the best.  From the moment they came on stage and opened with “The Grand Illusion,” we knew that this band still rocked.   Tommy Shaw, James Young, Todd Sucherman, Lawrence Gowan and Ricky Phillips gave us a performance that left nothing to the imagination.

These talented performers, played for 2 hours and looked liked they truly enjoyed being on stage.  Their music was sharp and fun. You know that these guys work hard on stage when my wife said, “Tommy has smaller jeans than I do”.  None of these members were washed-up overweight has-beens just standing still and playing. After their opening number, Styx followed up with a powerful combination of “Too Much Time On My Hands,” “Fooling Yourself” and their first hit, “Lady.”

With the absence of former vocalist Dennis DeYoung, Lawrence Gowan had the job of singing some of Styx’s key songs. Lets just say, he is not Dennis, but tried hard.  Some of the other hits that stood out were “Mademoiselle,” and “Suite Madame Blue” which both were outstanding.

The band was animated all night, and were constantly bouncing around the stage.  With Shaw changing guitars on every song, his rendition of “Crystal Ball,” “Blue Collar Man” and “Fooling Yourself” were spot on.  His talent on the guitar and his voice are both strong.  Gowan’s keyboards rotated throughout the show and he put on quite a show spinning around his riser.  The stage was quite elaborate for the cozy venue with ramps behind the drum kit and copious lighting.

One of my friend Tammy’s personal favorites, “Come Sail Away” had the packed house singing and dancing.  After about 2 hours, Styx finished up with “Rocking The Paradise” and “Renegade.” It was a great, fun and entertaining concert but let’s just say that if  Tommy Shaw wasn’t there, then Styx would have been a Grand Illusion.

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Styx Live HOB
Styx Live at House of Blues Orlando, photo by Luc Labreche

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