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Central Florida July Rock Concert Calendar


July Rock Music Calendar

Lots to choose from as we head into the dog days of summer. This month, we start off with Jacksonville, as we received a great submittal from Mariah Holland, one of our new contributors. Mariah includes a great look at the local acts playing the Jacksonville music scene, which we’ve woven in with the national acts.

Vans Warped Tour is probably the biggest area event with stops in both Orlando and Tampa.  Make sure you follow us for all the latest concert information, show announcements and presale offers.


7/03 – Saltwater Grass, Bonnie Blue, Jacksonvegas, Dirt Floor Krackers, Freebird Live

7/05 – Impending Doom, Gideon, Wolves at the Gate, Fit for a King w/ Others, Murray Hill Theatre

7/05 – Allele, Endo w/ Others, Brewster’s Megaplex

7/05 – Alter Eagles (Eagles Tribute), Bryce Alaxtair Band, Freebird Live

7/08 – Relient K, The Almost, The Rocketboys, Freebird Live

7/10 – Authority Zero and Ballyhoo, Freebird Live
7/10 – Matt Pond, Jack Rabbits

7/14 – The Maine, A Rocket to the Moon, This Century, Freebird Live

7/17 – I Am Endseeker, Islander, Skyburner, Murray Hill Theatre

7/20 – Sublime with Rome and Pennywise, St. Augustine Amphitheatre

7/23 – Mychildren Mybride, I Am the Witness, Cadience, Murray Hill Theatre

7/24 – Toad the Wet Sprocket, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall

7/25 – Pschedelic Furs, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall

7/26 – Appetite for Destruction (Guns N Roses Tribute), Red White & Crue (Motley Crue Tribute),
Poison’d (Poison Tribute), Freebird Live

7/27 – Decided By Fate, Phinehas, Beware the Neverending, Leaders, Awakener, Murray Hill Theatre

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Cheap concert tickets


7/11 – Authority Zero and Ballyhoo, The Beacham
7/11 – Matt Pond, The Social

7/13 – Gregg Allman and Hank Williams Jr., UCF Arena

7/16 – The Maine, Rocket to the Moon and This Century – Nice triple bill at The Beacham

7/18 – Marilyn Manson, Hard Rock Live

7/20 – The Dropa Stone, Orlando City Soccer Club

7/25 – Toad the Wet Sprocket, Hard Rock Hotel

7/26 – The Psychedelic Furs, Plaza Theatre

7/28 – Vans Warped Tour, Central Florida Fairgrounds. A ton of bands invade the city including Hawthorne Heights, Forever the Sickest Kids, Reel Big Fish and The Used.


Cheap concert tickets


Tampa Area

7/04 – The Guess Who, Sutton Park (Palmetto)

7/05 – Soul Asylum, Hogan’s Beach

7/06 – Candlebox and Saliva, Ed Smith Stadium (Sarasota)
7/06 – We the Kings and The Ready Setc

7/07 – Thomas Wynn & The Believers, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall

7/12 – Ballyhoo! and Authority Zero, Jannus Live (St. Petersburg)

7/12 – Matt Pond, New World Brewery

7/20 – Marilyn Manson, Jannus Live (St. Petersburg)

7/23 – 311, Pennywise and Sublime With Rome, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

7/26 – Vans Warped Tour, Vinoy Waterfront Park (St. Petersburg)

7/27 – Toad the Wet Sprocket, State Theatre (St. Petersburg)

7/28 – Psychedelic Furs, State Theatre (St. Petersburg)

7/29 – Black Sabbath, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

7/31 – Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival: Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch and many others, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre


Four Nights Gone Six Pack Interview

Four Nights Gone Logo

Four Nights Gone’s Alex Basovskiy Six Pack Interview

Four Nights Gone formed in Staten Island, New York in the summer of 2010, and have built an avid local fan base, and they continue to gain more followers across the rock music universe on the heels of the release of Resilience, their new EP.  They’re hard rockers, influenced by bands such as Breaking Benjamin, Thrice and Chevelle, now working on their second full length.  RARA’s Farm recently shared a quick six pack of questions and got a chance to get to know bassist Alex Basovskiy a little bit better.

RARA’s Farm: What was the first album that moved you to want to be in the music business?
Alex Basovskiy: Second Stage Turbine Blade by Coheed and Cambria

RARA’s Farm: Who are your greatest influences?
Alex Basovskiy: I’d have to say everyone from Glassjaw to Miles Davis, Radiohead and Thrice.

RARA’s Farm: Which venue has benn your favorite place to play?
Alex Basovskiy: The Ottobar in Baltimore. We only played there once, but it was a good show and the venue has a great sound system.

RARA’s Farm: Best concert you have ever seen?
Alex Basovskiy: One of the best concerts I’ve been to would be Circa Survive, Touche Amore, O’Brother, and Balance and Composure at Terminal 5. I also recently saw Emery at Webster Hall Studio, and they were phenomenal.

RARA’s Farm: Favorite rock album ever?
Alex Basovskiy: It’s tough to pick but I’m going to have to go with Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy (See RARA’s Farm’s listing of the best Zeppelin albums ever to see where we ranked Houses of the Holy)

RARA’s Farm: One band you never saw, who you’d love to see re-formed to play for one show (dead or alive)?
Alex Basovskiy: I know it’s a bit of a cliche but I’m going to have to go with The Beatles.

Thanks  to Rebeccah Milburn for her help pulling this together.

Mike G

Stephen Kellogg Releases one of 2013’s Best

Stephen Kellogg – Blunderstone Rookery Album Review

Similar to the Dickens’ character who Blunderstone Rookery was named in honor of, we experience the album as poignant autobiographical vignettes of Kellogg’s life.  The collection of songs is as creative as it is supremely enjoyable. It’s a rambling tour through Kellogg’s memories and a great listen.

He’s spent most of the past decade fronting the critically acclaimed Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers.  When the band announced they’d be taking a hiatus in late 2012, Kellogg was provided the opportunity to once again create something all his own. The result is a fantastically diverse album that is destined for year-end “Best Of” lists.

Blunderstone Rookery is the boyhood home of Kellogg’s favorite Charles Dickens character, David Copperfield, and appears to be a metaphor for the shaky foundation he has recently experienced in his life with the loss of his grandmother and mother-in-law, as well as the aforementioned break from his longtime band.  It’s a great backdrop for songwriting, and Kellogg capitalizes, without portraying his protagonist as too desperate or depressed, but rather hopeful and positive.

Stephen Kellogg Blunderstone Rookery
Stephen Kellogg Blunderstone Rookery

The breadth of the album is nicely spotlighted in the differences of the first three tracks, all quite different, yet quite strong in their own right.  The introspective “Lost and Found” is a comfortable acoustic track, backed up by the bluesy romp “The Brain Is A Beautiful Thing,” which is one of many tracks with deep contemplative lyrics.  The third track is “Forgive You, Forgive Me,” a bouncy country-rock groove reminiscent of the Traveling Wilburys. Kellogg’s vocals are excellent throughout, whether the song is a powerful rocker or tender ballad.

The remainder of the album follows the same recipe; yup, the one where Grandma just grabbed a handful of this and a little bit of that, casually threw it together and delivered a fantastic memorable meal.

Other highlights include the touching ballad about a rocker’s life on the road “I Don’t Want to Die On the Road,” a song just as poignant as Jackson Browne’s “Load Out” – the stuff that is destined to stand the test of time.  “Good Ol’ Days” is probably the most hit worthy song of the bunch and is 4:02 of good ol’ honky tonk rock, nicely accented with sax and impeccably mixed.  It’s just one of many examples of the superb album production of Kellogg and and his longtime collaborator Kit Karlson (of the Sixers). The effort is exceptional with various instruments purposefully meandering in and out of the tunes at the precisely perfect time.

The penultimate track, “Thanksgiving,” is a masterpiece. It’s ten minutes that flies by; an epic ode to nostalgia; a musical journey that offers deep personal reflections, observations and desires.  It ebbs and flows through sadness, bitterness and hope.  Perhaps, something to finally supplant Alice’s Restaurant” as a Thanksgiving radio staple.  It’s a fantastic track (that should have closed the album) that will appeal to any music fan.

“Blunderstone Rookery” is not perfect, but it’s pretty damn good. Make sure you pick it up June 18th.

RARA’s Ranking: 9 out of 10

Rock On!

Ours Brings Back American Rock

Ours Ballet the Boxer 1 Album Review

On Ballet the Boxer 1, Ours comfortably reaches back to their mid-90’s hard rock sound, and more intriguingly hearkens back a few decades to the raw powerful rock of the late 70’s.  The resultant release is a creative and refreshing mix of passionate rock with a comfortable, pure feeling, too often absent from today’s new rock releases. It’s refreshing rock music coupled with poignant lyrics.

OURS_-_Press_Shot_2013 (640x278)

Although Ours has been together for almost two decades, this is only their fourth full-length album.  The band has seen significant personnel changes over the years but maintain their cohesiveness and consistency mainly through the presence of frontman Jimmy Gnecco who remains the one constant.

It’s in the juxtaposition of the two key terms in the title, Ballet and Boxer, that you understand what Gnecco is trying to capture in his writing. “I feel like we are in a time where we are divided more than ever as people,” writes Gnecco. “We are all fighting for our lives out of survival, and this fight is necessary, but I am trying to not lose sight of this.”

Ours is pure American rock and roll, and that’s never more evident than in the lead-off track, “Pretty Pain.” The song is a muscly rocker featuring powerful drums and a clever guitar riff.  Gnecco offers “And I am at my best then; I’m lying at your feet. Am i just like the rest there? My pretty pain.”  It’s heady honest stuff and a fantastic accent to the addictive musical arrangement. Gnecco’s multi-octave range is featured throughout the album, but absolutely sparkles on “Pretty Pain.”

“Coming For You,” actually reminds me a bit of the New Jersey rock scene for a few decades back, no surprise as the L.A. based band actually started in the Garden State.  The guitar riff reminds me a bit of Springsteen’s “Adam Raised A Cain” and are perfectly complemented by Gnecco’s vocals. Other highlights include the tenderly introspective “Devil” and the bouncy rocker “Sing.”  The latter is the most likely hit on the album and is simply a blast to listen to; again powered by hard-driving drums, Gnecco’s versatile voice and slick guitar.

The production throughout the album takes more of a minimalist approach.  It works well, as it helps focus on the raw emotion of Gnecco’s vocals and the pure music that drives the songs. It’s an album that ebbs and flows, spotlighting the band’s versatility, but also finding a few mediocre offerings. In the end, it’s a RARA’s recommended buy. Check it out below on iTunes, and let us know what you think.

Rock on!

Shinedown’s Smashing Ode to Rock Music

Shinedown's Brent Smith in Orlando
Shinedown’s Brent Smith in Orlando

Shinedown Orlando Concert Review

Admittedly, I’m a bit late to the party as it relates to these Jacksonville rock icons. Sure I was familiar with their bigger hits over the past decade, but didn’t truly begin to appreciate them until reviewing their excellent 2012 release Amaryllis, which was one of RARA’s Farm’s Top 5 Albums of 2012.

I was anxious to catch them live to see whether their live show matched the fantastic sound of Amaryllis and to validate the accolades I had heard from my peers.  Saturday night at The Amway Center left no doubt, these guys are rock legends in the making. They embody everything that makes Rock And Roll Animals, like us at RARA’s Farm, tick.

Led by dynamic singer, Brent Smith, this quartet puts on an entertaining, polished show.  All four members are excellent musicians and consummate entertainers.  They made every song memorable and wrapped up a fantastic night that also included strong sets from Three Days Grace and P.O.D.

As the curtain dropped on the show, we saw a close-up of Smith’s face on the large screen, acting like he was lost somewhere, trapped on the other side of the camera. With  drummer Barry Kerch the only band member on stage, Smith shouted “Hey You,” from the screen. Then the spotlights found the sound board in the middle of the floor, where the remaining three members stood upon risers and kicked into an explosive version of “Enemies.”

There were a few other early highlights; Smith implored the crowd to introduce themselves to the folks on their left and right before kicking into a rousing version of “Unity,” the crowd lit up the arena like a starry night for “45,” guitarist Zach Myers and aptly named bassist Eric Bass, swapped places on stage during “Save Me,” and the band moved to the stage’s upper level for “Crow and Butterfly.”  Throughout the set, Bass, Myers and Smith were in constant motion, racing around the stage and playing to the crowd throughout.

There were nice pyrotechnics during the show, including a killer waterfall effect during “If You Only Knew,” and a great choreographed sequence that highlighted the powerful “Sound of Madness.”

Before kicking into “If You Only Knew,” Smith shared “A girl told us earlier today that it’s been 962 days since we played Orlando and that’s too long.” And then offered a memorable moment, “Rock ‘n roll music is about guitars, bass, drums, bad ass vocals and a killer song. The beauty of rock ‘n roll is that it has always been there when you needed it; it’s not a genre, it’s a way of life.” That would look nice on a RARA’s Farm T-shirt, eh?

The core show was great, but the encore absolutely ratcheted the experience up a notch.  It kicked off with a powerful version of “Sound of Madness,” and up until then the song of the night, “Second Chance,” which had the fans at a fever pitch, pumping their fists, on a tune that Smith just nailed vocally.

Shinedown's Brent Smith and Zach Myers
Shinedown’s Brent Smith and Zach Myers on the floor at Amway Center

What happened next was my highlight of the night.  Smith and Myers slipped out to the riser near the sound stage and offered up a fun, interactive acoustic set.  Smith offered “What should we play now? Maybe something we can all sing along to?  Take me back to that beautiful place in high school where I first kissed my girlfriend,” and Myers kicked into “She Talks To Angels,” followed by fun snippets of other classic hits including Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Violent Femmes, Bon Jovi and more.  Super cool stuff, that morphed perfectly into Lynyrd Skynyrd’s legendary “Simple Man.”

Myers and Smith absolutely did the Southern Rock classic justice, playing the first half of the song from the floor, before returning to the stage for a rousing finish with the entire band.

Their closing track was another memorable moment. They kicked into a scorching version of “Bully,” which again sounded absolutely great.  However, what happened on the big screen behind the stage was just as riveting.  The video showed a high school aged girl sharing her moving battle against bullying.  It was absolutely captivating, and an emotional message that complemented the lyrics to the 2012 hit perfectly.  Sadly, as the song ended, we learned that the young girl, Amanda Todd committed suicide shortly afterwards. As the screen morphed into “Stay Strong,” the song came to a moving finish, closing with some more powerful pyrotechnics.

A great, passionate ending to a complete rock’n roll experience.

Rock On!

See the setlist below

Check out our photos on the RARA’s Farm Facebook page. (Please Like Us while you’re there)

You can find our Review of Three Days Grace here.

Crow and the Butterfly
Save Me
I’ll Follow You
Diamond Eyes
If You Only Knew

Sound of Madness
Second Chance
Acoustic Medley
Simple Man


RCE – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Your Anger


You can’t go more than a few minutes on any Alternative rock station without hearing the latest folk rock band and their twist on Indie-Americana. So much of today’s music blends together, post-Mumford and Sons malaise, but the latest release from River City Extension, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Your Anger truly stands out.  I’m guessing it never reaches the heights of Sigh No More, but it should, as it’s better and deeper.

The second release from this talented octet out of New Jersey is a musical and lyrical journey well worth a listen or two (or twelve). It’s an album packed with original sounds and with each listen a different track stands out.

Joe Michelini, the band’s singer and guitarist is the primary songwriter and he takes us through a varied collection of memories. He offers: “Half of this record is love songs, and the other half is ‘I’m sorry that I fucked up’ songs,” and he writes about both in a compelling way.

The album kicks off with Glastonbury,” a beautiful song that ebbs and flows magnificently as it builds up from a stripped down start to the full eight piece ensemble, then ultimately winds down with just Michelini on guitar and vocals. It’s a microcosm of the album and a good preview for what’s in store for the next sixty minutes.  Michelini’s vocals are damn near perfect, and showcase his broad range, both on the opener and throughout.  On “If You Need Me Back in Brooklyn” we hear a nice boy/girl duet with Sam Tacon, but for most of the album it’s all Michelini expertly carrying the vocals.

The musicians accompanying Michelini are quite talented, and the diversity of instruments offered is musical bliss. With superb production, we hear all eight musicians blend together perfectly, nicely highlighting each of the various instruments without overloading our senses.  Mike Costaney on drums and percussion offers an amazingly creative approach which is an absolute highlight of the album. Jenn Fantaccione’s cello is a refreshing change.  The cello is an under-utilized instrument in the rock world, but as River City Extension proves, there’s a definite place for it.  It was refreshing to hear, and one of the features that sets this band apart. You’ll also hear mandolin, trumpet, banjo, piano, melaphone and so much more – a feast for the ears.

There are a few cuts on the album that absolutely scream out for airplay.  Hopefully, we’ll be hearing tracks like “Welcome to Pittsburgh,” “Down, Down, Down” and “Point of Surrender” gracing the airwaves at some point in the future.

My two personal favorites highlight the diversity of the band, “Ballad of Oregon” is a fantastic introspective tune that spotlights all of the band members as it travels through Michelini’s troubled search for love; and “Lord I Have Changed” which is a stark introspective peek into Michelini’s past with him accompanied solely by Costantey’s drums, an interesting conclusion to an excellent album.

Don’t let this excellent new album pass you by, pick it up and give it a few spins. You’ll be happy to have found this Alt-Americana gem.

Rock on – Cretin

Related Story: River City Extension Live in Orlando

River City Extension. Photo credit: Danny Clinch
River City Extension. Photo credit: Danny Clinch

Drowning Men Rock Orlando

In a sparsely filled room on a rainy night in Orlando, I saw the future of rock ‘n roll.

The Drowning Men brought their unique style of rock to The Social and absolutely blew away the energetic, yet small crowd. For those of you who don’t know the music of The Drowning Men, you’re missing something special. I’d characterize them as a cross between Arcade Fire and Pink Floyd, but I’m sure everyone else in attendance could come up with different comparisons. Bottom line: they’re unique, they’re creative. they’re interesting, they’re provocative, and they’re pretty damn good!

The band does things their own way, from their look, their arrangements and their sound, and it’s a method that works exceptionally well. The first impression you’ll get from the quintet covered in tattoos and facial hair is of a group of longshoremen or bikers, but then they start to play…  Pure majesty.

They exploded onto the stage with a rich versions of “More Than This” and “Caroline You’re A Mess,” both off of their critically acclaimed 2011 re-release of Beheading of the Songbird – a fantastic album that dominated the night’s set list.  It was apparent quite early that this group fits together exceptionally well.

Nato Bardeen and his distinctive voice are the focal point, but the band is comprised of five equally talented musicians. Drummer, Rory Dolan is the driving force that powers the band throughout all of the songs, and he’s joined by the very talented James Smith on guitar, Gabriel Messier on an old-school organ and Todd Eisenkerch on bass and keyboards.  Over the course of the night, we also get to see the talented Bardeen trading off instruments, from his magnificent Gretsch guitar, to a melodica, a mandolin and the keyboard.

After the show, Smith acknowledged that the band got a little flexible with their set list, and the next three songs featured cuts off of their upcoming release All of the Unknown. Messier provided a nice lead-in into “I am the Beggar Man” the first of the three and carried the song, along with the steady driving beat from Dolan. Bardeen’s fantastic vocals on this one are reminiscent of Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

Bardeen then took a seat at the keyboards for the interesting “Bored In a Belly,” which starts off with a bit of a carnival fun. It’s a new sound for The Drowning Men, but again an excellent tune.  They wrapped up thier sojourn into All of the Unknown with the mandolin driven “Lost in a Lullaby” which has the potential to become an anthem for the band.

The remainder of the set was a nice diverse mix of the old and new, with the highlight being a great version of “Courageous Son.” It’s a consummate rock song that came together perfectly on this night. Bardeen sitting at the keys and Messier on the organ got it off to a rollicking start, then the rest of the crew took over, featuring some of Smith’s best work with his Fender Telecaster.  The frenzied foot-stomping finish is damn near perfect in a song that I’d describe as beautifully chaotic.

For their closing song, it was their biggest hit “Rita,” which had the band still passionately pouring it out on stage. It’s an addictive tune that had the crowd dancing and singing along.  An excellent end to a great set (see the full setlist below)

I suspect the next time I have a chance to see these guys, it’s going to be in a much larger, more crowded venue, but that’s okay for me: losing a bit of that intimacy means good news for the future of rock ‘n roll.

Rock on!

Leave a comment and let me know what you thought about the show, the band, the review, facial hair…


More Than This
Caroline You’re A mess
I Am The Beggar Man
Bored in a Belly
Lost in a Lullaby
Courageous Son
The Waltz
Michelle is Getting Old


Musical Manure – Random Crap from the Farm

OK – It’s been a few weeks since I emptied this fragile mind, and there are a slew of little tidbits threatening to drip out and disappear forever. With a full-day Jimmy Buffett tailgate experience looming, I need to free up some room for the insanity I’m sure to witness.

It seems like the rumors of a Queen tour with Adam Lambert on vocals is about to become a reality. TMZ is reporting it, so it has to be legit, right?  I love Freddie, and think he’s one of the greatest rock and roll performers ever.  His voice was powerful, passionate and unique, and no one will ever be able to replace him.  Still, Adam might just be the best choice to follow. I think he’s a better fit than Paul Rodgers who gave it a shot years ago. The greedy folks at MTV have some good video of the new incarnation but it’s a bear to access. Try Youtube for some lower quality snippets.

I recently stumbled across Sleeper Agent’s “Get It Daddy.” They’re a young garage band out of Kentucky with a ton of potential. The sixsome is led by 24 year-old singer-guitarist Tony Smith and features riveting vocals from 18 year-old Alex Kandel.  Check out “Get It Daddy and the rest of their album, as our album of the week: Celabrasion – Sleeper Agent.  And, here’s a nice bonus find, follow this link to get to know the band a little better: Prison Sessions

The Kaiser Chiefs exploded onto the rock scene at the end of the last decade and then just disappeared. The Brits took a hiatus.  Now they’re about to release a new album in March.  The first single, On the Run has hit the streets.  Good stuff!

Listening to Slow Poison The Bravery’s 2009 release.  I’m surprised it was never a bigger hit. Great song by an excellent band. Here’s the video which is actually pretty damn good, too: Slow Poison.

Remember The Neon Trees from their gigs opening for The Killers a few years ago?  They’re back with the first single Everybody Talks off of their forthcoming album, and it absolutely rocks.

About a month ago, RARA’s Contributor Kari wrote an interesting piece about the Emergence of the Banjo in rock music today.  Since then, I seem to hear it everywhere, particularly with music from the Great White North, with bands like The Acorn and Elliott Brood. It’s a welcome addition.

OK, that’s enough for today.  Have a great week, and look for my post-Parrothead tailgate experience shortly…