Tag Archives: Knuckle Puck

The Maine Concert Review

John O'Callaghan of The Maine at The Beacham in Orlando
John O’Callaghan of The Maine at The Beacham in Orlando


Orlando Hosts Rousing Conclusion to The American Candy Tour

Florida often serves as the first stop on American tours for a plethora of artists. It’s rare that we have the opportunity to see a well honed, energetic conclusion to a tour, but as we saw last night at The Beacham, they can be nights to remember. The Maine threw a little party to honor the occasion with 1,000 or so of their closest Orlando friends.

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The Phoenix-based band wrapped up their Spring American Candy tour with an entertaining night full of surprises as they played to a packed house at The Beacham. On this night, the three opening bands, The Technicolors, Knuckle Puck and Real Friends were headed home, while the main act headed West to squeeze in a few last shows as they worked their way home to Arizona. But, first one more night of fun for the four acts who truly seemed to be real friends…

The Technicolors kicked off the night with an insanely early 5:40 start time. As a testament to the Orlando fans, the place was already packed as they took the stage. The band drips with potential, and they delivered a nice blend of pop rock and a polished stage show. As a sign of things to come, Kennedy Brock from The Maine came out and jammed with them for a song.

John O'Callaghan of The Maine at The Beacham in Orlando
Real Friend’s Dan Lambton onstage with Knuckle Puck

Chicago’s Knuckle Puck took the stage next and shook things up a bit with a powerful punk-infused set. They quickly had a mosh pit swirling and definitely brought a harder edge to the show. Dan Lambton, frontman for Real Friends, came out and sang a song with the quintet. Their own lead vocalist Joe Taylor flew around the stage and was an entertaining showman.

Real Friends, the third of the opening acts is another Chicago band with melancholy punk tendencies. They settled into a nice groove with a blend of music that was more pop than punk, and the perfect warm up for the headliners. Lambton, decked out in a “Fry Your Brain On The Maine” T-shirt asked the light technician if he could turn on the mirror balls for a ballad. When he complied, every member of all four bands snuck on stage and slow danced together, kicking the party into another gear. Fun stuff.

After a short break, The Maine took the stage to a fervid crowd and immediately jumped into rocking versions of “Miles Away,” “Run” and “Growing Up.” They churned through the three songs as the crowd sang along throughout, before frontman John O’Callaghan chatted with his guests for the first time. He grabbed the mic “Hi, how do you all feel about yourselves?” It started a theme that continued throughout the show, as he frequently checked to make sure everyone was in a good place, and it was clear from the crowd reactions that they were bought in.

John O'callaghan of The Maine
John O’callaghan of The Maine

O’Callaghan seemed to be a more chipper version of himself during the show; at one time offering “I used to be an Emo kid, but I’m not anymore, and I have never been so happy… If you want sadness, listen to Morrissey. There’s enough sadness in The Smiths songs for every fucking person on the whole planet.” And the party was in full swing. The Maine-iacs who filled the venue seem to feel like they’re part of a strong caring family, and in a way they were, with O’Callaghan the caring patriarch.

(Read our recent interview with O’Callaghan HERE)

The band delivered a fantastic version of “Same Suit, Different Tie,” that was the highlight of the night for me, and for many pleased fans in attendance. The band also dished out a rollicking cover of The Rolling Stones classic “Satisfaction.”

As the show neared its conclusion, O’Callaghan grabbed an acoustic guitar and shared “I had a vodka and orange juice before I played, but I’m not really drunk,” and then led a nice crowd singalong to “Into Your Arms.” He stumbled through the lyrics and quipped “Maybe I had two vodkas and orange juices, oopsies!” Classic stuff!

Members of Real Friends, Knuckle Puck and The Technicolors join The Maine
Members of Real Friends, Knuckle Puck and The Technicolors join The Maine

His longtime musical mate Jared Monaco took over lead vocals for a quick song, and then the stage got quite crowded as all of the band members from across the line-up wrapped the show up in raucous fashion. O’callaghan closed with a classic quote: “Thanks for allowing us to play music, it’s the best fucking job in the world.” Perfectly summed up by a singer and band who seem refreshed and recharged and on top of their craft.

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Rock On!



Stock up on New Music Worth a Listen

New Music Selections

We get a slew of submissions each day here at RARA’s Farm headquarters. ¬†While our Rock And Roll Animals graze around the farm, this is some excellent new stuff we found worthy of gracing our speakers, and all groups that are generally not yet getting well-deserved local radio play. ¬†It’s a diverse, eclectic mix, but there’s some excellent stuff on the playlist.

Support new rock music from passionate talented musicians, click on the song title to buy the track, or at least search it out on youtube (some of the videos are killer) and spread the word. And, we’d love it if you would consider supporting our efforts to build our rock music community, by Following us on Twitter or Liking our Facebook page.

(If the song is available on iTunes, you can click the song title to access.)

God of Small Things – The Burning Of Rome – ¬†Such a unique sound, both comfortable throwback and cutting-edge creativity… simultaneously. Their publicist introduced them to me thusly: “they’re like a warped version of Abba who like Gogol Bordello and are influenced by The Flaming Lips.” That’s pretty damn intriguing and it’s fitting as hell. Grab the single, and see for yourself.

Parachute – The Vinyl Kicks¬†– Florida-based Indie rock that is definitely worth a listen. This quintet from Tallahassee keeps creating creative, distinctive Alt-Rock. ¬†They’re destined to become a household name, so jump on the bandwagon now, while there’s still room. ¬†Joey Farese reviewed their last album here :¬†Ambitions Don’t Age Well

Like I Need You – Kan Wakan¬†– Not really sure how to classify this music, but it has a bluesy alternative feel to it, and it quickly draws the listener in. It’s a slick, dark journey with an edge, something you could easily hear on a Twin Peaks soundtrack. I could listen to the gritty vocals of Kristianne Bautista all day long. (This is one with a killer video)

No Good – Knuckle Puck¬†– This one is easy to classify: Energetic pop-punk. The powerful punk offering is hard-driving with a good mix of melodic and dirty vocals. They look like they’d be a blast live, and are coming to Central Florida with Senses Fail in a few months: o9/24 at Underbelly in Jacksonville and¬†9/25 at The Social in Orlando, FL

Bored With You – Jacob Thomas Jr. – Singer-songwriter with a warm folksy feel. It’s just Thoas and his acoustic guitar, and it feels like he’s playing for you in a cozy neighborhood bar, and I just love Thomas’s voice. This one might not be rock, but ¬†it’s an excellent track, with interesting lyrics from a performer with a distinctive voice.

Wasting Time РMatthew Szlachetka РAnother talented singer-songwriter.  This track reminds me a lot of The Thorns, which is a good thing.  Just like that semi-superstar line-up, this is good old American acoustic rock.

Sister City, Brother Bone – Jesus On The Mainline – Rock ‘n roll with soul, and from a fifteen piece band. It’s a fun romp that crosses many musical genres. Blues, rock, soul and funk…

One More Night – Go Wolf –¬†It’s a slick pop-rock tune from Northern Ireland. It’s a more melodic smoother Bastille. ¬†Definitely worth a listen if you are a fan of the current UK Alt-Rock scene.

There you go; eight new tracks you probably never heard of, but ones that should be pouring through your speakers. What do you think?

Rock On!