So, I sat down to have a serious conversation about music with the five sharp, creative minds that collectively are A Brilliant Lie, we tucked ourselves behind a table on the cozy outdoor patio at The Copper Rocket, a Maitland joint that does more than their fair share when it comes to supporting the local music scene.
I’m just back from a break, and wanted to share some quick thoughts on Blaine The Mono’s Jellyfish album release show at The Social last week. Simply put, it was a great night for Orlando’s local rock music scene, but there’s one important thing that sapped some of my excitement.
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Local Orlando rockers, Blaine The Mono were the stars of the evening and delivered a blistering show, but there were a slew of other highlights, as well, with excellent sets from fellow Orlando bands A Brilliant Lie, Leaving Haven and Soul Switch
Led by dynamic vocalist Randi Stickles, Blaine The Mono delivered a tight nine song set that included all seven songs off of their excellent new release, Jellyfish – in the same order they appear on the new album. They also offered two extra tracks, a fun version of Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” and “Circles,” the best song off of Vices And Verses, their debut album. (You can see the setlist at the bottom of this post).
This night was the first time I had caught Blaine The Mono live, and I left impressed. They sounded tight and polished despite the fact that this was the first time they had played most of the songs live. Drummer Clifton Garmer tore up the drums, Chris Culverwell offered up hard driving bass lines and guitarist Eric Joseph coolly dished out nice riffs all night. But, the focal point of the band is talented singer Randi Stickles, and she truly shined this evening, nailing her diverse vocals and perfectly delivering her notorious screams. Impressive stuff.
A Brilliant Lie again delivered a solid and entertaining set. This quintet has a great time on stage, led by creative front woman Tara Lightfoot and as you’ll see in the photo below, bassist Zach Temain and drummer Chris Lane, who appeared to have a blast throughout the set.
I just loved the set delivered by Leaving Haven. They boast a few radio ready songs and as always, offered up an entertaining and energetic set, despite fighting through some early technical difficulties.
Soul Switch closed the night powerfully. The fivesome definitely brings a more hard-edged sound than their peers on this night, and they are a polished, high energy act. As a nice nod to the featured performers, they pulled Randi Stickles up on stage for a duet with Tom Huestis. Good stuff…
It was an impressive night: four talented, hard working bands from right here in Orlando sharing the cozy stage at The Social. Four totally distinctive styles of rock, non-stop original music, and musicians with tremendous passion for their craft. I was also struck by how much these artists respect and like each other. During the breakdowns between bands, everyone helped each other… everyone. The band members were stepping in to tweak the mix, sharing equipment and troubleshooting for their fellow rockers. It was really a fabulous thing to witness.
So, why, then was I a bit let down this evening? It was the turnout. The Social had a decent crowd, but it was nowhere near capacity. Four talented local bands on one stage, doling out four hours worth of rock ‘n roll, while celebrating the release of an excellent album from the feature band, all for the bargain price of $10.00 – this place should have been sold out!
So, keep your eye out for the next time these bands play in town. They’re all hard-working, wonderful people dedicated to their craft, and they make damn good rock ‘n roll. I love rock music, and want to see it thrive here in The City Beautiful. If you feel similarly, take a few minutes and get yourself plugged into these bands.
Click the links below to visit their social medias; Like their Facebooks and Follow their Twitters – and I’ve added Kat Coffin’s info, because she does an amazing job keeping folks updated on the local scene, and us, because, well… we rock, too!
We caught up with energetic and talented front man Alex Baugh from Orlando’s Crazy Carls a few weeks ago at the inaugural Big Orlando Festival, where the band shared the spotlight with some of the biggest names in Alt-Rock: Fall Out Boy, Weezer, Young The Giant, New Politics, etc…
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Amidst that impressive line-up, Baugh truly stood out as one of the most dynamic performers of the festival. We caught up with him shortly after his entertaining set.
Cretin: Great set today. I’ll tell you, you have a lot of charisma on stage. Alex Baugh: (Flashing an electric smile) Thank you. Awesome.
Cretin: So, how would you describe your band’s brand of rock music? Alex Baugh: Fun. It’s just fun feel good music. Dancy, pop, rock, there’s some funk in there. There’s a lot of different influences we draw from but most of all it’s a fun energetic live show.
Cretin: It is. Speaking of fun and energetic, what did you think of the crowd who caught your set? Alex Baugh: Sick. It was sick.
Cretin: They really seemed to like it. Alex Baugh: They liked it and we liked playing for them. It was fun. Definitely got them stoked. They were into the numbers as the set moved on and they seemed to have a good time.
Cretin: When I saw you play at Flagler Tavern, you had a guitar slung over your shoulder. Alex Baugh: Yeah I did, not today. (smiles)
Cretin: But you seemed like a good guitarist, as well. Alex Baugh: Yeah, thanks, that’s what I am first off. Being a songwriter, I’ve played guitar for awhile. We were just trying different things, trying to keep it fresh and keep it exciting for the fans. We tried something different today and I think it went off well.
Cretin: I think it gives you a chance to free yourself a bit. (Baugh was flying around the stage) Alex Baugh: Yeah, a little bit. (smiles again) I felt some freedom today.
Cretin: The music we heard today and the backing tracks, was that all your stuff? Alex Baugh: It’s all our music. We did one cover, the new Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk.” All of the other songs we worked out in the studio and produced ourselves. Those tracks are hard work.
Cretin: So, speaking of this festival, are there any other bands on the line-up today who you are of particular interest to you? Alex Baugh: I would say it’s a pretty awesome line-up. I’ve been on tour with Dirty Heads before, they’re cool, good guys (see our interview with Jared from Dirty Heads here). I’ve seen Fall Out Boy before, which is awesome. I’m excited to see Young The Giant; I heard they have good live shows.
Cretin: I saw a bunch of fans singing along in the crowd today, that’s great to see, especially knowing how hard it is to get airplay around here. Alex Baugh: It’s hard to get radio play anywhere as a local regional artist. Radio is very corporate and it’s money. Radio now is pay to play. Fortunately we got some love from a local Orlando station. 101.1, they play our music sometimes, as well as college radio.
Cretin: So, you’re an Orlando-based band. I thought you might be from New Smyrna Beach? Alex Baugh: We’re from here (Orlando), but we play all over Florida and just finished a run out to Texas. We also toured with Aaron Carter recently
Cretin: Any new music coming up? Alex Baugh: We have an EP release coming in January or February next year.
Cretin: Your new video for “To The Stars” is great and the song is very catchy. How’s it doing? Alex Baugh: It’s doing great. We got over 10,000 views on Youtube and it just came out a week or two. And people love the video, I think it came out pretty awesome. We’ve had a great response so far.
Check out the video shot at Cocoa Beach below:
Cretin: With radio play so tough to get, has video become more important in recent years? Alex Baugh: Video has become a staple, yeah. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years, and we were one of the first local bands to put out a good video. Now, everyone’s got a good camera, everything’s so accessible and it’s so easy to edit . If you don’t have videos, you may be a little lazy. It’s something for me that is more of a staple. We have over a million views on our YouTube channel. If we’re going to give you new music, we’re going to give you video, too. It’s interactive, it’s fun.
Cretin: So, what’s next for you guys? Alex Baugh: We’ll be headlining an event in Orlando next year and you’ll see some new music. We’re releasing a new EP and also have a single coming out in the next week or so from that EP, with a new video that we shot for that. We filmed it on the road with Aaron Carter. So, it will be a nice live video which we haven’t released in awhile. Then we’ll hit some states regionally and nationally and hopefully hit South By Southwest.
As we wrapped up the interview, Baugh was thankful and humble. Nice traits for a budding star, just bursting with charisma. We’ll keep you in the loop when they’re playing live and when the band’s new music hits the street. Until then, make sure you hit up Crazy Carls on Twitter and Facebook (then do the same with us).
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The flashback was the latest installment of WMMO’s wildly successful Free Downtown Concert Series and the fans were the recipient of a night full of excellent rock music, big hair and Jordache jeans. On this night, the hair was a bit thinner, the jeans a little more snug, but the music just how we remembered it.
I arrived just after the Modern English set and missed the band that made it big with the iconic 80’s hit “I Melt With You.”
John Waite who frequently visits Orlando was back with his band and played hits spanning his entire career, in its many incarnations, over his hour long set. Waite who is now in his fourth decade as a front man still has an amazing voice and put on a great show. The Baby’s hit “Head First” immediately kicked the set into high gear, which also featured several other tracks from the band including “Midnight Rendezvous,” “Every Time I Think of You” and “Back On My Feet Again.”
The crowd was also treated to Waite’s huge hits “Change” and “Missing You,” and a great solo a capella singalong version of Bad English’s “When I See You Smile.” Two highlights for me were rollicking versions of “No More Mr. Wonderful” and the closing cover of Tina Turners’s “Sweet Rhode Island Red.” Great stuff from an iconic rock voice.
The Romantics headlined the show and played a full set, featuring songs from the past 35 years of their career. The quartet is absent their original lead singer Jimmy Marinos, but their current line-up boasts the other three original members and the vocals still sound great. Wally Palmar takes over lead vocals on most songs and fills in admirably. He is joined by fellow original members Mike Skill on guitar and bassist Rich Cole. The set featured all of their hits including “First In Line,” “When I Look in Your Eyes” and a fun singalong version of “Talking In Your Sleep.”
The band also threw in two of their more punk-based offerings. “She’s Got Everything” had the crowd dancing in the streets,and a rocking version of “Stone Pony” featured powerful animated drumming from Brad Elvis. They closed their set and the night with the crowd-pleasing “What I Like About You.”
Kudos to WMMO, who continue to provide great free music to rock music fans of Central Florida. The new location at Amelia and Orange in downtown Orlando is also a nice improvement and the set-up with two stages was a great touch. Special thanks to WMMO radio host Elise Rossi for her help and support!
If you were at the show, let us know what you thought in the Comments section below, then please Like Us on Facebook and check out our photo galleries here: