Tag Archives: Concert review

An Iron Maiden Virgin No More

Iron Maiden – Book of Souls Tour Tampa

As a twenty-year-old college DJ, I got my first taste of a hellacious British act that was the perfect fit for my late night heavy metal show. “Two Minutes to Midnight” was my first Iron Maiden go-to record, but there were plenty of other songs from the prolific UK quintet pouring through my headphones over the ensuing late nights cramped in my cozy booth.   In the decades that passed, I never saw the iconic band live, but on a dreary Sunday night in Tampa, that all changed.

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The Pretty Reckless Concert Review

Pretty Reckless Concert Review at HOB Orlando

Photo: Andrew Lipovsky
Photo: Andrew Lipovsky

The hottest band in rock ‘n roll came to Orlando over the weekend and delivered a fantastic show.

The venue was the House of Blues, in the heart of the recently rebranded Disney Springs. I arrived as the sun went down and though the line of The Pretty Reckless fans wrapped around the building, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly myself and the other concertgoers made it inside. I have to give credit to the HOB staff for being super-efficient and always friendly.

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Getting Social with Anthony Green

Amthony Green Show Review

Anthony Green at The Social - Photo: Ronni VillanuevaAnthony Green at The Social - Photo: Ronni Villanueva
Anthony Green at The Social – Photo: Ronni Villanueva

If you weren’t at the Anthony Green show this weekend, you sure missed one hell of an entertaining night. On his current tour for his freshly released album, Pixie Queen, Green made a stop at Orlando’s The Social. It was a night of pure fun, singing your heart out, and celebration.

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A Night Filled with Hi-Fi Fun and Great Lo-Fi Melodies

Photo: villanrme

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of seeing two exciting bands at Will’s Pub. Crowd pleasers to the sold out show were Teen Suicide and Elvis Depressedly. I was not overly familiar with the music of either band previously, so my ears were in for a new treat.

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Disturbed Dominates Day 1 of Rockville

The RARA’s Farm team decided to divide and conquer this year’s two day Welcome To Rockville festival and I have to think we had the more melodic day, as we enjoyed a magnificent Saturday of excellent rock ‘n roll at the newly configured Metropolitan Park.

Escape The Fate at Welcome To Rockville
Escape The Fate at Welcome To Rockville

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Torche Concert Review

Torche has restored my faith in rock music.

I have been very vocal about how much I like Torche. They raised the bar again when they recently played the New World Brewery in Tampa. Torche is hands down one of the best live shows around, and they prove time and time again why they should be closer to the top of the pantheon of the current metal scene.


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The Maine Concert Review

John O'Callaghan of The Maine at The Beacham in Orlando
John O’Callaghan of The Maine at The Beacham in Orlando


Orlando Hosts Rousing Conclusion to The American Candy Tour

Florida often serves as the first stop on American tours for a plethora of artists. It’s rare that we have the opportunity to see a well honed, energetic conclusion to a tour, but as we saw last night at The Beacham, they can be nights to remember. The Maine threw a little party to honor the occasion with 1,000 or so of their closest Orlando friends.

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The Phoenix-based band wrapped up their Spring American Candy tour with an entertaining night full of surprises as they played to a packed house at The Beacham. On this night, the three opening bands, The Technicolors, Knuckle Puck and Real Friends were headed home, while the main act headed West to squeeze in a few last shows as they worked their way home to Arizona. But, first one more night of fun for the four acts who truly seemed to be real friends…

The Technicolors kicked off the night with an insanely early 5:40 start time. As a testament to the Orlando fans, the place was already packed as they took the stage. The band drips with potential, and they delivered a nice blend of pop rock and a polished stage show. As a sign of things to come, Kennedy Brock from The Maine came out and jammed with them for a song.

John O'Callaghan of The Maine at The Beacham in Orlando
Real Friend’s Dan Lambton onstage with Knuckle Puck

Chicago’s Knuckle Puck took the stage next and shook things up a bit with a powerful punk-infused set. They quickly had a mosh pit swirling and definitely brought a harder edge to the show. Dan Lambton, frontman for Real Friends, came out and sang a song with the quintet. Their own lead vocalist Joe Taylor flew around the stage and was an entertaining showman.

Real Friends, the third of the opening acts is another Chicago band with melancholy punk tendencies. They settled into a nice groove with a blend of music that was more pop than punk, and the perfect warm up for the headliners. Lambton, decked out in a “Fry Your Brain On The Maine” T-shirt asked the light technician if he could turn on the mirror balls for a ballad. When he complied, every member of all four bands snuck on stage and slow danced together, kicking the party into another gear. Fun stuff.

After a short break, The Maine took the stage to a fervid crowd and immediately jumped into rocking versions of “Miles Away,” “Run” and “Growing Up.” They churned through the three songs as the crowd sang along throughout, before frontman John O’Callaghan chatted with his guests for the first time. He grabbed the mic “Hi, how do you all feel about yourselves?” It started a theme that continued throughout the show, as he frequently checked to make sure everyone was in a good place, and it was clear from the crowd reactions that they were bought in.

John O'callaghan of The Maine
John O’callaghan of The Maine

O’Callaghan seemed to be a more chipper version of himself during the show; at one time offering “I used to be an Emo kid, but I’m not anymore, and I have never been so happy… If you want sadness, listen to Morrissey. There’s enough sadness in The Smiths songs for every fucking person on the whole planet.” And the party was in full swing. The Maine-iacs who filled the venue seem to feel like they’re part of a strong caring family, and in a way they were, with O’Callaghan the caring patriarch.

(Read our recent interview with O’Callaghan HERE)

The band delivered a fantastic version of “Same Suit, Different Tie,” that was the highlight of the night for me, and for many pleased fans in attendance. The band also dished out a rollicking cover of The Rolling Stones classic “Satisfaction.”

As the show neared its conclusion, O’Callaghan grabbed an acoustic guitar and shared “I had a vodka and orange juice before I played, but I’m not really drunk,” and then led a nice crowd singalong to “Into Your Arms.” He stumbled through the lyrics and quipped “Maybe I had two vodkas and orange juices, oopsies!” Classic stuff!

Members of Real Friends, Knuckle Puck and The Technicolors join The Maine
Members of Real Friends, Knuckle Puck and The Technicolors join The Maine

His longtime musical mate Jared Monaco took over lead vocals for a quick song, and then the stage got quite crowded as all of the band members from across the line-up wrapped the show up in raucous fashion. O’callaghan closed with a classic quote: “Thanks for allowing us to play music, it’s the best fucking job in the world.” Perfectly summed up by a singer and band who seem refreshed and recharged and on top of their craft.

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Rock On!



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!

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