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Fidlar and Metz Tear It Up

zac carper fidlar

Fidlar Rocks Orlando

I was expecting an aggressive, noisy and powerful night of high energy punk at The Social last night, and I was not disappointed.

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Like our Facebook Page to see more photos of both bands here: Fidlar Concert Photos | Metz Concert Photos

Arriving just before Metz took the stage, my eyes soaked in the scene. I noticed that every single person in the packed house seemed to either have a PBR clenched in their fist, or they sported a bold “X” sharpied onto the back of their hand signifying they were too young to imbibe. As I was a bit older than 99% of the crowd, I slipped over to the bar for my own PBR, hoping I’d blend in a bit – perhaps the bargain-priced crap beer that everyone else was swilling would help me fit in?

With the tall boy in my hand, I slipped over to the stage to snap a few photos of the band from Toronto that I knew precious little about.

Metz is a trio whose music is characterized as “noise rock” by Wikipedia, the only bio I came across as I quickly perused the vast internet. I’m more of a melodic rock fan, but am always open to rock of any genre, as long as it’s played with passion, and on this night, the passion literally poured out of this trio.

Metz had the crowd amped up, led by vocalist Alex Edkins’ vicious howls and head slamming guitar riffs. But, drummer Hayden Menzies stole the show, he was a non-stop maniac delivering freight train drums that had the pit at the Social in a constant state of motion. They delivered a twelve song thirty minute set that left all three band members soaked and the fans happily exhausted.

As the crew set-up for Fidlar, I drifted outside for some fresh air, anxious to see the headliners for the first time. I had heard a bit of their prior music releases, an edgy blend of California skate/surf punk, and had heard they were excellent live. With a name pulled from their mantra “Fuck It Dog Life’s A Risk,” I suspected I was in for a memorable show.

Unfortunately for me, they jumped into their set a full fifteen minutes early, and by the time I got back near the stage, the floor was a frenzied mass of flesh, and I was relegated to a spot deep in the back of the club. Hence the absence of quality photos for this show.

From the first notes of “Stoked And Broke,” the entire floor was immediately transformed into a buzzing mosh pit. The young crowd was instantly 100% bought into their music.

Front man Zac Carper, decked out in a Hawaiian shirt and cut-off board shorts epitomizes the surf/skate culture that Fidlar caters to. He’s the focal point, but the entire band is tight and cohesive and sound like they are in their element playing their hard-edged stuff. Carper shares vocal duties with guitarist Elvis Kuehn, and the distinctive dual vocals added a nice dynamic to their sound.

By the time they slipped into their second song, “Max Can’t Surf,” they had won over the entire club. Their fans were dancing everywhere, bouncing around, singing along and smiling incessantly. The pit area at The Social was transformed into one surging, writhing organism, pulsating and shifting as one as the fans careened across the floor in a constant state of harmonious chaos. It was impressive watching so many fans slamming into each other, but in a clearly pleasant, caring way – I’m sure I’m doing a horrible job describing it, but this was not your typical most pit.

Fidlar churned through another dozen songs and interacted with the appreciative crowd throughout. When one fan got out of hand, Kuehm ushered security over to help out, it was one of those rare nights. Carper was dynamic and fun; at times, he played amidst the crowd, dropped to his knees for emphasis and waxed eloquently to the fans, sharing his seemingly random thoughts on the use of “Fuck You” for instance, flashing back to rehab experiences, and randomly sliding into a verse of “The Lime And The Coconut.” All unexpected treats from a band that continues to grow their passionate fan base.

Rock On!
Cretin

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you ūüôā

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Kongos Impress Orlando

Kongos Orlando Concert Review

When your father preaches “Only thing I can say to you is ‘You gotta be good and you gotta be true,’ and you respond by creating the unique, distinctive brand of rock ‘n roll that the Kongos brothers deliver to their fans, you’ve definitely made your dad proud, while simultaneously impressing rock fans across the world.

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Kongos Live at The Beacham Orlando
Kongos Live at The Beacham Orlando

(Below the story, make sure you check out our show photos from the RARAsFarm Facebook page and the night’s setlist.)

A few years ago, when I first heard the powerful, tribal-infused rock music from this talented foursome, I thought Kongos was a perfectly fitting name for this band with distinctive South African roots. As it turns out, Kongos was actually the last name for these four tremendously talented brothers.

Their father John Kongos had a few hits in the 70s, including “Tokoloshe Man” from which the aforementioned lyrics came from. As we saw last week at the raucous Beacham Theatre in Orlando, his four sons inherited fantastic musical talent and are just dripping with rock star potential.

Their show on this night was electric and fresh and the enthused fans at The Beacham soaked it in. The music is different – different in a deliciously fresh, yet classically comfortable way. The Phoenix-based quartet have South African roots, were raised in a household filled with classical music, and several of the brothers are formally trained jazz musicians. The result? Four immensely talented rockers with a unique and powerful brand of rock music.

They took the stage to tribal music and jumped into a rollicking “Hey I Don’t Know,” featuring drummer Jesse on lead vocals. It was quickly apparent that Kongos are driven by their distinctive rhythm section. Bassist Dylan creatively teamed with Jesse’s polyrhythmic playing throughout the show. It’s a unique approach and on this night it provided a great canvas for the band’s music. Dylan took over lead vocals on the next track, “Sex On The Radio” and the two traded-off lead duties all night, with guitarist Daniel and Keyboardist Johnny providing nice harmonies.

Like both of the excellent opening acts, Sir Sly and Colony House, the band played next door at The Social just last year. On this tour, they headlined the much larger Beacham and if this night was an indication, I expect we’ll see them playing larger venues in the very near future. Their sound is big, heavy and attention-grabbing, and well-suited for arenas.

The foursome clearly feed off of each other and work together… well… like brothers. While their live sound was superb and is already top notch, they still have some maturing to do as a headlining act, but that’s only a matter of time. These guys are destined for great things on the rock music scene.

Daniel dished out staccato guitar riffs that reminded me at times of The Clash, other times of early reggae and still others hard driving rockers. As an example of their multi-instrumentalist abilities, Daniel and Dylan traded off instruments a few times throughout the show. On “Kids These Days,” and a handful of other songs, the band offered a unique rock ‘n roll twist with Johnny playing a captivating accordion.

Highlights from the set included crowd favorite “Take Me Back,” which is a huge drum-powered stadium rocker, and the antithesis, “Traveling On” which Dylan introduced with “One of the advantages of headlining a tour is the ability to play some of our slower songs.” It sounded great, and added nice balance to the well-constructed 90 minute set. “It’s a Good Life,” was a zippy journey with a South African flair, punctuated by killer accordion, that had the crowd engaged throughout, and “I Don’t Mind” featured great keyboards from Johnny.

Kongos Live at The Beacham Orlando
Kongos Live at The Beacham Orlando

Their two biggest hits “Come With Me Now” and “I’m Only Joking” were embraced by the fervid crowd, which probably hit its most frenetic point during “Come With Me Now.” My personal favorite was a Beatles cover. It’s the song they played a dozen years ago when they hit the stage for the first time in a high school talent show. They performed “Eleanor Rigby” as you’ve never heard it before – a special reggae-laced version with a brief rap interlude where one of their stage hands jumped out and offered a cool little rap. Great stuff!

For their encore, they closed with a tribute to their father, a cover version of his aforementioned hit “Tokoloshe Man,” and a smoking (literally) version of “Blue Monday,” which leaned much more towards the hard-driving Orgy take than New Order’s more famous dance version. Check out our photos for a shot of the cool smoke rings they fired over the crowd throughout the song. ¬†Definitely, a powerful, exciting end to a fantastic show.

To see a little glimpse into the show, check out our show photos here.

Rock On!
Cretin

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you ūüôā

Setlist
Hey I Don’t Know
Sex on the Radio
Kids These Days
Escape
I Don’t Mind
Take Me Back
It’s a Good Life.
Traveling slow
This Time I Won’t Forget
Come With Me Now
Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles cover)
Take Me Back
It’s a Good Life
I Want to Know
Take It from Me
I’m Only Joking
Encore:
Tokoloshe Man (John Kongos cover)
Blue Monday (New Order cover)

Max McElligott of Wolf Gang Interview

Max McElligott of Wolf Gang House of Blues in Orlando
Max McElligott of Wolf Gang House of Blues in Orlando

Interview With Wolf Gang’s Max McElligott

Bastille has capitalized on the smashing success of their recent release, Bad Blood to headline a Sold Out tour of the United States. Their support for the tour? A band familiar to both Bastille and RARA’s Farm, an act on the cusp of breaking through, London’s Wolf Gang. We caught up with uber-talented Wolf Gang frontman Max McElligott to chat about the tour, their new album and a few other interesting things.

Cretin: Max, when we first saw you a few years back at the Social, I loved the show, and your charisma.
Max: Thank you.

Cretin: At that time, it seemed as though the rest of the band was just starting to come into a groove as a band, and it was almost more of your project. Since then, has it been the same group of guys in the band?
Max: Yeah, even before that point where you had seen us, we were playing together as a band for two or three years. ¬†It’s always been the same guys. ¬†When you saw us, ¬†I was still signed as a solo project, but I was playing with the same group of guys, James, Gavin and Lasse, and we had formed into a band.

Cretin: On the Suego Faults album, you played all the instruments?
Max: I did, I hopped about from the drum kit to the piano, etc. This time out, everyone was putting in their own effort. It’s cool. On this last record, (Black River) everyone got a vote.

Cretin: Which is good because you get more creative spark.
Max: Yeah it’s just nice to hear the different personalities, which you hear on the record. We sound much more like a band.

Cretin: Are you still doing the primary writing?
Max: It’s shared. James (Wood the bassist) also contributed quite heavily, so it’s a mixture.

Cretin: The new EP is out. Will we hear these songs on the forthcoming full-length album?
Max: The album is all done, and those three are on the album. So that’s a taste of what can be expected, but there’s still another seven or eight songs that will be on (Black River).

Cretin: On Suego Faults all of the songs came together nicely, almost like it was a concept album. Was that the plan?
Max: Yeah, there was a theme that ran through it. A dreamy, ethereal type experience, a romantic one, I feel. ¬†And, this next album also has a theme to it, but it’s more grounded in reality and our own experiences. It’s almost as though you’ve woken up from that dreamy ethereal Suego Faults experience. This is much more like the real world, but still with notions of romanticism but just a little more realistic about the lives we are living and friends of ours are living and that you reach in the late twenties; people questioning the paths in their lives, so it’s a little more autobiographical in a real way I suppose.

Cretin: A lot of the great albums over time were written by band members of that age. It’s a fertile time for writing.
Max: Yeah

Cretin: So how has the sound changed in the last two years, any noticeable changes? Will we still hear that same Wolf Gang?
Max: Well, you’ll hear tonight, I guess. I think it feels obviously a little more bandy and maybe a little more raw, and there will still be synthetic elements and sort of atmospherics, but maybe that’s been reined in a little bit. I think vocally I’ve pushed myself a bit more and I might sound a bit more truthful to my voice. I absolutely loved the last album and this is just slightly different, but I love it equally.

Cretin: So how did you end up touring with Bastille?
Max: So, funny enough, maybe seven or eight years ago, I used to go down to Brighton, a town about an hour South of London, and I’d play these acoustic nights and Dan from Bastille was kind of doing the same thing. So we actually played together in small pubs long before Bastille existed and long before Wolf Gang existed. It’s actually very nice and quite surreal to be out here and seeing Bastille absolutely smashing and to be playing these big stages with them and to think we were just two young boys trying to pursue some kind of career in music. So it was really nice to support them. They’re a great band and they’re all lovely guys.

Cretin: Perseverance has paid off for both bands. It’s nice to see that success for both of you. You realize you’ve sold out tonight?
Max: Bastille sold out tonight.

Cretin: We’ve been giving Wolf Gang great props because you guys are so great live. I think everyone coming out is going to enjoy you guys, as well.
Max: It’s been going damn well. It’s a good support, because it seems that the guys coming out to see Bastille have seemed to be appreciative of our music. On Twitter the feedback has been real positive.

Cretin: Your Twitter has exploded in the past few months.
Max: It’s nice when you actually have something to be promoting and talking about and you’re actually doing something. The whole last year was sort of a hibernating period of just writing and recording. But now that we’re out on the road again and meeting people and shaking hands and taking photos and playing for them and hearing what they think of the new songs. It’s nice to have that activity going on again.

Cretin: Will we see you back in the States this year?
Max: We’ll be back I think in the summer. Maybe hit the West Coast. We try to spend as much time in America as we can.

Cretin: When are we going to see the new album released.
Max: Realistically the album will probably be coming out late summer, maybe September time. I think because we’ve been outside the game writing and recording, we wanted to build that up again and get people excited about us.

Cretin: Anything we’ll hear tonight from the new album?
Max: Yeah, plenty of new material

Cretin: Excellent, looking forward to it.
Max: Great to see you again.

And from there, they hit the stage, and killed it… again. Watch for this talented, quickly rising band in your city, and in the meantime, check out our show review from a few weeks ago: Wolf Gang Orlando Concert Review.

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Rock On!
Cretin

Legendary Bad Boys of Reggae Rock The Social


Inner Circle Show Review

Legendary Jamaican reggae band Inner Circle wrapped up their Spring Tour with an intimate show at Orlando’s Social Thursday night. ¬†The staying power of these accomplished performers is a testament to their perseverance, commitment and premier musical talent. ¬†They’ve suffered hardships and lost key band members over their forty year history, but they still sound as good as ever and continue to impress fans everywhere they go.

Founding members and brothers¬†Ian and Roger Lewis have been the heart of Inner Circle since their childhood and still sound great today. ¬† Roger is slowing down a bit and spends most of his time playing his guitar seated, but Ian is still a fantastic showman and is all over the stage while playing a killer bass.¬†Bernard “Touter” Harvey is another long-time band member and a tremendous keyboard player, who stole the show this night.

Inner Circle at Social Orlando
Inner Circle at Social Orlando (see more photos at the conclusion of the review)

The band spotlighted selections from across their vast catalog throughout the ninety minute set and also threw in some nice classic reggae covers. ¬†The band sounded fantastic all night, featuring two guitarists often trading off leads, including a few that would make any rocker proud. Ian Lewis had a constant smile plastered on his face and offered up a creative bass solo that included a playful snippet from “Billie Jean.”

The setlist highlights included “We A Rockers,” “Real Soldiers,” “Games People Play” and a nice tribute to deceased former front man Jacob Miller. ¬†The high point of the set for the Social audience was a ten-minute extended version of “Sweat” which had the crowd dancing, immediately followed by the band’s biggest hit “Bad Boys,” which they stretched out to an entertaining fifteen minutes. It was a great way to wrap up a killer set.

The crowd pulled them out for an encore and after announcing that this was the last night of their tour and their last stop before home, they freelanced a bit and gave the house an unexpected treat. ¬†They offered up a few more classic covers, before all of the band members walked to the front of the stage and sang an a cappella version of Bob Marley’s iconic “One Love.” with a nice assist from their fans. It was the perfect way to end a great night of music from a band that’s still entertaining fans across all genres.

All that being said, I need to do a little bit of whining about Orlando music fans. They’re just generally too damn safe. ¬†You’ll drop hundreds to see the over-rated and over-priced Eagles, but we couldn’t scrape up 100 fans to spend a few bucks to see an entertaining band of this stature. That’s weak – and a poor reflection on our city’s music fans. Next time Inner Circle is in town, make sure you check them out, and while you’re at it, check out our concert calendar and take a chance on a band you don’t know well. You’ll be happy you did….

Check out photos from the show on our Facebook page.

Rock On!
Cretin


Paul McCartney’s Orlando Setlist


Paul McCartney Amway Center Setlist

Paul McCartney kicked off his US Tour in Orlando last night, and the show was spectacular  He made his first visit to Orlando in thirty years a memorable one, featuring 38 songs in a three hour set, including 25 Beatles songs!  Below is the setlist.  Follow Us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to get notifications when the show review is published.

Here’s the Show Review

And our Paul McCartney Amway Center Photos

Setlist
Eight Days a Week (The Beatles song)
Junior’s Farm (Wings song)
All My Loving (The Beatles song)
Listen to What the Man Said (Wings song)
Let Me Roll It (Wings song) With a nice piece of Foxy Lady thrown in
Paperback Writer (The Beatles song)
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (Wings song)
The Long and Winding Road (The Beatles song)
Maybe I’m Amazed
Hope of Deliverance
We Can Work It Out (The Beatles song)
Another Day
And I Love Her (The Beatles song)
Blackbird (The Beatles song)
Here Today
Your Mother Should Know (The Beatles song)
Lady Madonna (The Beatles song)
All Together Now (The Beatles song)
Mrs. Vandebilt (Wings song)
Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles song)
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (The Beatles song)
Something (The Beatles song)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (The Beatles song)
Hi, Hi, Hi (Wings song)
Band on the Run (Wings song)
Back in the U.S.S.R. (The Beatles song)
Let It Be (The Beatles song)
Live and Let Die (Wings song)
Hey Jude (The Beatles song)

Encore:
Day Tripper (The Beatles song)
Lovely Rita (The Beatles song)
Get Back (The Beatles song)

Encore 2:
Yesterday (The Beatles song)
Helter Skelter (The Beatles song)
Golden Slumbers (The Beatles song)
Carry That Weight (The Beatles song)
The End (The Beatles song)