Our old friends from Birmingham are finally back with some new music, and the first taste we’ve got is rather enticing. “No Home” is an early glimpse into what is in store on their new album Battlefields Life Love and War. The song features the same straight-forward rock ‘n roll that we love from Chris Dow, David Koonce and friends, paired with poignant lyrics.
Fifteen bands in 11 hours! It was a great day for fans of hard rock, as the Kink Music Festival attendees were treated to hours of aggressive rock spread out over The Central Florida Fairgrounds. We’ll provide our 50 word capsule reviews for every performer we caught across the two stages.
More tattoos and piercings than I’ve ever seen in one place I my life, brightly decorated hair and mind-numbing body suspensions provided just a taste of the eclectic vibe at Kinkfest. Those colorful experiences, coupled with a beautiful backdrop of pristine November weather, set-up the perfect environment for my first visit. There was also a palpable, positive vibe, in an environment where everyone was in their own element being whoever the hell they wanted to be. Oh, and then there was the eleven hours of killer rock ‘n roll – welcome to the 2015 incarnation of The Kink Music Festival.
The Kink Music Festival returns to Orlando in mid-November for their 2nd Annual celebration of rock ‘n roll, tattoos and a provoking culture here in Florida. This year’s event features Central Florida favorites Rise Against and Hollywood Undead, plus a dozen more national and local bands well worth the affordable $30 price of admission.
There’s been a bit of a resurgence for rock music along Florida’s East Coast this year. Still, I was surprised to see a notable rock music event targeted for Titusville’s Sandpoint Park… surprised, but absolutely excited by the prospects.
The park, which is known as a prime viewing locale for rockets, never struck me as a fitting venue for rockers, but it turned out to be an ideal location. The broad green expanse boasts a picturesque view along the Indian River, and it’s the perfect size for an outdoor rock ‘n roll celebration, and this inaugural event met all of my expectations and leaves me looking forward to more.
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Barefoot Productions put on the show and did a killer job with just about everything. The line-up was a great mix of Active/Alternative Rock artists with national and local appeal. One of the biggest names in Alt-rock, Fuel, headlined the event, and were joined by red hot Birmingham, Alabama rockers Within Reason. Two talented Orlando-based bands who I had not previously seen, A Brilliant Lie and Leaving Haven kicked off the night, as well.
A Brilliant Lie, is a young female-fronted five-piece who are just dripping with potential and they were a great choice to open the event. Their melodic rock was a guitar-driven feast, as they’ve recently added Matthew Movens as their third guitarist. Bass player Zachary Treman was a whirling dervish on stage and was an early highlight. But, the focal point of this band is vocalist Tara Lightfoot. She boasts a fresh, engaging rock voice and was comfortable and interactive with the very appreciative crowd. (see our A Brilliant Lie photos here).
Next up was Leaving Haven, a quintet from across the country who came together in Orlando a few years ago. They’re a talented outfit who have played numerous shows with key names from across the rock universe, and are supporting the release of several recent singles. They also boasted a more polished sound featuring catchy guitar riffs and versatile vocals from lead singer Trevor Hastings. (see our Leaving Haven photos here)
Both of the “local” acts were very well-received by the crowd, and are likely destined for bigger and better things in the near future. No doubt that you’ll be reading more about them on our blog, and social networks throughout the next year.
Next up was a band that we at RARAsFarm are very familiar with. Birmingham’s Within Reason impressed us on the festival circuit earlier this year and were the primary reason we decided to attend this show. They play a powerful brand of rock ‘n roll that is perfect for hard rock radio, and they always tear it up on stage. On this night, they did it again with an entertaining forty-five minute set that was the highlight of the night. Read our full review of Within Reason’s set here and see their photos here).
Fuel took the stage last and did a decent job closing out Titusville’s first night of rock ‘n roll. Original vocalist Brett Scallions, the heart and soul of Fuel is back leading the band. He strolled onto the stage, grabbed the mic and addressed the crowd, “Shall we rock? Let the party begin” and the band kicked into a rollicking version of “Last Time.” Scallions with a smile plastered across his face throughout the set, was an engaging front man.
There were some nice moments throughout the set, but the performance was a bit underwhelming, especially after the first three bands. But, Scallions was true to his word, “Today we’ll hear a little old, a little new and everything in between.” The band offered up great versions of “Shimmer” and “Bad Day,” the latter track featuring impressive singalong vocals from the crowd. I also enjoyed two new tracks “Time For Me To Stop,” a song about addiction and “Puppet Strings” which was one of several songs to feature pristine guitar solos from Yogi Lonich. My personal highlight was a long meandering interactive duet between Lonich and Scallions.
Fuel closed the night with a rousing version of their 2000 hit “Hemorrhage.” It was a big way to end a big night of rock ‘n roll in an ideal outdoor venue on the Titusville shores of the Indian River.
The city of Titusville was very welcoming. The first person I met at the front gate was a city council member who seemed truly excited to see us there, and the residents and police supporting the event might have been the most friendly I’ve ever come across.
The backstage VIP area under the pavillion was a great set-up, and the subs were amazing. (anyone know where the subs came from?)
Barefoot Productions nailed the production of this event. All four bands were excellent and complemented each other well. And, every act started exactly on time.
The mix was a bit messy at times but overall sounded good especially considering it was the first event of its kind in this location.
All four artists went out of their way to thank Barefoot Productions profusely. Sounds like they were treated as well as the VIP guests.
The only real negative was that the crowd was smaller than it should have been. Many of the fans we chatted with noted that the advertising and promotion before the event were ineffective. Sure, we’re not exactly Rolling Stone, but we feel we’re a meaningful music outlet in the area (we are, right?), and we had no clue about this event until we stumbled across it ourselves on a Within Reason’s website a few days earlier.
A few of the artists mentioned that another similar event was headed to this area in March. That, if true, is great news, because this night absolutely showed the potential for this area. Hopefully we’ll see another meaningful rock event at the venue soon, with a line-up just as good as the one we enjoyed on the inaugural concert.
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It’s Wednesday afternoon, and I happen to be cruising through Facebook, when I see a surprising announcement: Within Reason is headed to Central Florida for an outdoor show that weekend with Fuel at, of all places, Titusville!
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I caught these talented Alabama rockers early this year at Welcome to Rockville, and they performed a quick, blistering set to open the main stage (see our Festival review here). Since that Spring trip to Jacksonville, they’ve released a few singles, garnered some well-deserved airplay and toured relentlessly. They were a major act on the RockStar Energy Drink UpRoar Festival. Over the past six months, they shared the stage with bands like Godsmack, Seether, Skillet and Pop Evil and created quite the buzz.
Needless to say, I was excited to see that they were playing a new venue practically in our backyard, and playing with current rock stalwarts Fuel. The location was Sandpoint Park, a beautiful park on the Indian River.
The event was presented by Barefoot Promotions and was the first such event at the park. We’ll have a review of the full event tomorrow, but I’ll briefly share now that they did one hell of a nice job, and I hope they’re back with another event soon.
The quartet took the stage and lead singer, Chris Dow, decked out in a black hoodie grabbed the mic. “We are Within Reason from Birmingham, Alabama, Let’s do it!” They kicked into “Enemy,” the first single off of their current EP, After The Crawl, and the party was on. Next, Dow grabbed a megaphone and they ripped into “Control,” another crowd favorite which featured bass player David Koonce bouncing around the stage and dishing out nice riffs.
Dow and his bandmates just wrapped up a tour of the North and were quite happy to be playing under the stars on this comfortably warm Florida stage. Sipping from his omnipresent RockStar cup, Dow offered, “Here’s a song for you all about fucking up relationships,” and they jumped into another excellent selection from the EP, “Well Have It All” which featured a brief solo from drummer Griffin Zarbough who powered the band all night.
At one point, Dow shared, “Titusville this is…Jordan on guitar.” I chuckled, because this band seems to have the same effect on guitarists that Spinal Tap had on drummers. I think I’ve seen three different guitarists in the three times I’ve seen the band. Fortunately, every one of them was pretty damn talented.
Jordan (Foster), the guitarist, was a welcome addition. He was steady all night, dished out a few tasty solos and chimed in with strong vocals. He played a more prominent role on the newer songs, so I’m wondering whether he’s playing a more creative role with the band.
Other set highlights included a rollicking reimagined version of the 50 Cent / Justin Timberlake hit “Ayo Technology” and their forthcoming single “Here Comes The Light,” which energized the crowd as a strong cap to a powerful forty-five minute set.
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Within Reason’s David Koonce Chats With RARA’s Farm
We met up with the guys from Within Reason a few months ago at Welcome To Rockville in Jacksonville and they hinted about a big tour announcement. We catch up with bassist David Koonce, for that announcement, their upcoming single release, his role on Ragg Radio and a whole lot more.
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Cretin: First, congratulations on the success of “Enemy,” the first single off of the After The Crawl EP. Looks like it is on the cusp of cracking the Top 40? David Koonce: We’re hoping to be in the Top 40 the week of the 24th.
Cretin: Any parts of the country where it’s doing particularly well? David Koonce: It’s being picked up on active rock stations. Salisbury MD, Charleston SC, Augusta GA, Chicago and Dallas TX – which is a big one. We just got added in Biloxi which is huge because we’re playing that radio station’s festival.
Cretin: What has been the key to the success of this single? Why this one being the one that garners significant airplay for the band? David Koonce: On the record, we know we have three songs that will be singles, “Enemy,” “Here Comes The Light” and “We’ll Have It All.” We’re doing all of this stuff on our own. We’ve started our own label, but we’ve gained some knowledge through the years. For the first single, start with an upbeat rock song to set your foundation and get your name on the map of radio people. “Enemy” is just a straight rock ‘n roll song that’s easy for stations to add.
Cretin: So, not to jump too far ahead, but what are the plans for the follow-up single? David Koonce: “Here Comes The Light” will be the second single.
Cretin: And you directed the new video, right? David Koonce: My company actually finished it and it’s kind of out now but we haven’t officially been pushing it. When the song drops in October, that video will be pushed pretty hard. What’s crazy is that it actually got selected into a film festival here in Birmingham. That’s kind of a big deal for a film maker.
Cretin – Take a sneak peek at the excellent video and the forthcoming single:
Cretin: Last time we chatted, you hinted about a big tour announcement. Looks like you were referencing Uproar? David Koonce: Yes it was, the Uproar Festival (The full tour schedule is provided below the interview)
Cretin: Any specific Uproar acts who you are excited about sharing the bill with? David Koonce: I’m excited about Seether. A lot of the bands on the tour we’ve played with before. We’ve done a bunch of shows with Redlight King (who have recently canceled their participation in Uproar), and I don’t even know how many Pop Evil and Buckcherry shows. Seether guys are really fun and I’m a big fan; I’ll be excited to see them play every night. The first time we did Uproar, POD was the band who stole it, that’s one band I’d watch every night, but overall that tour is so much fun.
Cretin: Which city or venue are you most looking forward to playing on the tour? David Koonce: I’m excited to do Dallas, it’s always a fun one to do. Tampa’s a fun. We haven’t done Biloxi before so that will be new. Oklahoma City is a big place for us; we kind of cut our teeth as a real touring band there.
Cretin: You mentioned Tampa – you’ll be there on August, 30th. David Koonce: Yeah, Tampa is cool. That venue is so sweet, too.
Cretin: So, you had a brief break between tours. Did the band have an opportunity to write or record any new music? David Koonce: If everything gets finished we’re going to debut a new song in our set on the Uproar Tour. It’s written, we just need to polish it and get it stage ready. We’ve got almost a full record ready. A few of the songs we play now, I notice we play totally different from the time where we wrote them. Songs morph into something else over time. We’re just going to be playing the new songs live. Two things will happen. The song will grow into what it needs to be for the record; and when the record is ready to come out, people will know the song a little bit more.
Cretin: So who does the writing for Within Reason? David Koonce: It’s a collective process. We did our first record all on our Blackberries. We’d sing or play on our phones and send to the other person. A lot of stuff on this one; we’d just throw ideas at each other in passing, or sitting around waiting for a show or sound checking. We’d throw a riff at somebody and they’d go home and play with it. A lot of times Chris (Dow) will send me something, and I feel I write differently; I think I see things backwards from the way he does. It definitely is a collective effort. I like that because it keeps everybody involved in it. Everybody has different influences that shine through the song. Some are brought to the table mostly complete, but I’d say 80 percent of it is a collective effort.
Cretin: When I saw you guys in Jacksonville, guitarist Chase Davidson seemed new to the band. Is he part of the writing process, too? David Koonce: He has been for the new record, yeah.
Cretin: I heard you also have a side gig working on Ragg radio. Tell us a little about that? David Koonce: It’s kind of a cool story. Ragg radio is an internet station owned by Robbie Ragg. When I was a kid in Birmingham, there was a radio station called I95, and it was like the best radio station in the world, maybe because I grew up here. And Robby Ragg was the key to that station.
Cretin: Interesting. David Koonce: He went through the whole transition from when DJs could control their music to the corporate world. And every year he had less and less ability to do things. So he just decided to say ‘fuck it, I’m going to start my own station.’ I’d go over there and I’d mess around with him on the radio. And one day I asked him how he added new music and thought I could help him find bands that we’ve played with a lot. And that kind of turned into him wanting to give me a show where I could premiere new bands.
Cretin: So, when can we hear you? David Koonce: 7-11 every night. He gave me four hours a day where I can do anything I want on the radio… And, he’s going to let me take it on the road for Uproar. Just every day in whatever city we wake up in, I’m just going to set up and go grab somebody from a band that I know. Do an interview, talk about corn dogs and stuff, or whatever.
Cretin: That’s pretty damn cool. David Koonce: We tried to come up with a cool name for it and I was being kind of arrogant and cocky and fucking around with him and I said “since it’s the best show on your station, we should just call it The Show.'” So we named it The Show. So, we’re saying we’re taking “The Show” on the road.
Cretin: That’s a great connection. That should make it fun for a lot of people. David Koonce: Yeah. I think what makes it fun for me is that I’m Not trying to be famous radio personality, I’m just trying to do it for the fun.
Cretin: Do you play active rock on the show? David Koonce: Man, it’s everything. He (Ragg) said, “Play whatever you want, just don’t play anything stupid, nothing too poppy.” Most of it is just rock. A lot of it is stuff that you just don’t hear on the radio anymore because they’re pushing certain bands… Once an hour a get to do a break that’s new bands you’ve probably never heard of or they’re an up and coming band.
An up and coming rock band? Sounds familiar. Check out Within Reason’s current EP below and make sure you catch them on the Uproar Festival this summer.
Follow / Like Us while you are here for more information as Uproar approaches…
Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival
Fri 08/15/14 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
Sat 08/16/14 Peru, IL Illinois Valley Regional Airport
Sun 08/17/14 Cincinnati, OH PNC Pavilion At Riverbend
Tue 08/19/14 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
Wed 08/20/14 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
Fri 08/22/14 Syracuse, NY New York State Grandstand
Sat 08/23/14 Mount Pocono, PA Mount Airy Casino Resort
Sun 08/24/14 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center
Tue 08/26/14 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
Wed 08/27/14 Gilford, NH Meadowbrook
Fri 08/29/14 Simpsonville, SC Charter Amphitheatre
Sat 08/30/14 Tampa, FL MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
Sun 08/31/14 Gulfport, MS Jones Park
Tue 09/02/14 Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theatre At Grand Prairie
Wed 09/03/14 Corpus Christi, TX Concrete Street Amphitheater
Fri 09/05/14 Bonner Springs, KS Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
Sat 09/06/14 Sioux City, IA Tyson Events Ctr. / Gateway Arena
Sun 09/07/14 Oklahoma City, OK Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre
Tue 09/09/14 Broomfield, CO 1stBank Center
Thu 09/11/14 Post Falls, ID Greyhound Park & Event Center
Fri 09/12/14 Auburn, WA White River Amphitheatre
Tue 09/16/14 Irvine, CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Wed 09/17/14 Las Vegas, NV The Joint @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Sat 09/20/14 Albuquerque, NM Isleta Amphitheater