JANANI’s new single, “First To Fall”, is out today, Friday 2/3. The song is a scorching rocker that provides a great glimpse into what this dynamic Orlando band is all about. We chatted with the band about the song. Check out what they had to share and then give “First To Fall” a listen or twelve.
It’s been two weeks since the senseless tragedy at Pulse NIghtclub, and we’re starting to see some nice signs of healing. Last night in an Orlando Love event packed with local rock musicians and passionate fans, we saw camaraderie, laughter, fellowship and a hearty dose of rock ‘n roll, with more than a few memorable moments.
Murderfly and Chris Marsh Productions put together eleven bands from around central Florida for a little thing they call Mayfest. The fifth in a series of annual events, it was held in the same venue as the previous years – County Line Saloon in Melbourne. It was also the last to be held in this location Chris Marsh later stated; due to the building’s state of disrepair, and rumors that it is slated to be demolished.
Join me today, Saturday May 21st at the County Line Saloon, located in Melbourne, as I take in the fifth annual Mayfest, presented by Chris Marsh Productions. A total of eleven local bands will grace the stage, starting at 5pm with genres ranging from hard rock, to heavy metal, and whatever sound the genre-crossing MekaNism claims.
Last week, I was lucky enough to receive tickets to a show at House of Blues starring Breathing Theory, Traverser, Kill the Sound, and Meka Nism. The show was at 8pm, so I showed up at Downtown Disney about 7 to avoid the line, my daughter and nephew in tow. After a short wait, the doors opened, and we found our spot near the stage before the house filled up.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen as many tattoos and piercings on stage at one time, but I can tell you with certainty, that it’s even more rare to see a rock act deliver such a fun, engaging and energetic show.
Super Bob is a hard-working quartet out of Virginia who pour their hearts and souls into their uber-entertaining thrill-ride of an hour-long set. According to dynamic front man Matt Santoro, the hyperactive foursome rip through 250+ shows per year.
Santoro, a quiet, humble gentleman off-stage is a frenetic, active madman behind the mic. He was engaging all night and quickly bonded with the crowd. “We’re here to have a good time!” The crowd roared and he knowingly replied “We’re gonna get along fine,” and the party was on.
The band members were whirling dervishes flying across the stage, but clearly a tight, choreographed unit. Bassist Drew Recny is a theatrical performer who dishes out pristine bass riffs as he incessantly bounced around, swapping spots with Adam Smith, an entertaining guitarist with an infectious style and smile. Chris Faircloth kept the band tight on drums and is equally entertaining, doling out distinctive drums, punctuated with assorted stick tricks.
The music was industrial tinged, hard-edged dance rock, and the show was a fantastic spectacle. Highlights from the set included an electrifying “Superfly,” a song that Santoro attributed to a guy names Super Dave, a raucous version of “Freak” and a fun singalong version of “Fuck California.” Several times throughout the show, Santoro fondly mentioned local rockers Traverser who brought Super Bob to town to support their CD release party a year ago. “We were going to play one cover from Traverser, but their music is as hard as a math problem, so we’re not gonna play it.”
But they did play one cover, and it was a clear crowd favorite, as they put their own spin on an American dance classic, “Sexy And I Know It” by LMFAO. I asked Santoro why that song? “It’s the only cover we’ve ever done. My voice is kind of my voice and I have trouble singing other people’s songs, so any song that we were going to cover had to be pretty easy. It’s not hard vocally, plus we wanted to change it and that was a candidate for really being able to change. We made it a lot heavier and a lot different.”
“Covers are covers.” offered Santoro, “Why take a great song and then play that great song, because you’re probably not as good as the performers who recorded that great song? We always thought the best covers are like when Manson did “Sweet Dreams” or Limp Bizkit did “Faith.” Bands like that take a cover song, and then they make it their own unique song, and we wanted to do that.” And, they did. They made it their own, and it blended into their set fantastically.
“We have a brand new record coming out March 3rd and we just released a new video last week for a song called “Killer.” We didn’t catch “Killer” on this night, but we did hear “Captain Crunch,” another new song from their soon to be released ten song full-length. Santoro did note that they’d be adding about six new songs to their setlist in March.
The back story to the recording of the album was quite interesting. Per Santoro, “We’ve been working on it for two years because we are on the road so much. When we started, our producer lived in Pompano Beach, then be moved to Madison, Wisconsin. So now, we tour up to Madison, spend a few days in the studio, tour in the area, record for a few more days then head back out… he met us at a house in the middle of nowhere, Illinois… he met us in Myrtle at a house we rented there… we just brought him wherever we were going.” The album will be released on March 3rd, and we expect to have a review right here for you then.
The opening acts in the Maniacal Mojo production, all from the Sunshine State, were engaging in their own right. We caught hard rocking bands Breathing Theory and Before The Fire, who both delivered powerful sets. Joshua Poullion of Before The Fire tore it up on stage and literally, probably tore up his broken arm.
Our favorite local pop rock band, A Brilliant Lie delivered some excellent rock, powered by their three guitar set-up. Speaking to talented vocalist Tara Lightfoot before the show, she noted that they’ll be working on some new music in the very near future, as well. We can assure you that we’ll be all over that coverage when it happens.
But as good as the opening acts were, this night was focused on the foursome from Virginia. I’ve seen hundreds of bands over the past decade and these guys are one of the most entertaining acts I’ve come across during that time. I strongly recommended checking them out any time they’re in your area.
I’ll leave you with one quote from the stage that perfectly captures the beauty of Super Bob “Rock and roll is about two things; first it’s about having fun, and more importantly, it’s about being yourself!” These fantastically talented musicians epitomize that philosophy perfectly.
(See our show photos on our Facebook Page, but only if you promise to Like Us while you’re there :))
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