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Jazz The Intern: Concert Review

Artist: Dropshot, Framing The Red, Cruel Curses, & FLexcitables

Venue: The Niagara Tap, Largo, FL

Saturday, May 11, 2019


 This much anticipated night of rock n' roll truly held one for the ages. It all went down at the super awesome local music dive bar, The Niagara Tap. A quintessential center piece for the Florida music scene, The Niagara Tap consistently brings in the best talent around and proved it on this night. Although a small place, The Tap as the locals call it, is tucked away in the cozy little Tampa Bay town of Largo, FL and knows how to rock big!


Saturday, May 11th was a homecoming party for local celebrity rock band, Dropshot, who have been on and off the road over the last six years. Dropshot has its special place in my heart as their catchy tunes ring in my ears night after night. More about them later….


As the night thickened so did the audience. Local 311 tribute band, FLexcitables kicked off the show with a handful of high energy 311 tunes that got everybody jumping and excited. What a great way to open a show. They were quickly followed by local sexy prog rockers, Cruel Curses and if you haven’t seen this band in the bay area yet, you are truly missing out. With powerful melodies of intertwining guitars, a driving rhythm section and soulful vocals, they truly have it all. Not to mention their personalities are as massive as their music. Super cool dudes to hang and bang heads with. Look out for new tour dates from them soon.


There’s only one way to follow a band like Cruel Curses and that with a band like Dropshot.

Demanding the crowds full attention, founding member, frontman Jason Taylor opened the set with a vikings scream asking the crowd “Are you fucking ready?!” then kicked right into the first song and didn’t let up till the last song was over! I must say that from a technical perspective, their throw and go, plug and play position truly made for a raw high octane rock n roll experience which completely set the mood for Southern Sleeze Rockers, Framing The Red to follow.


With a quick change of a few mics and things, Framing The Red, took the stage. These hard hitting southern rockers exceeded debut expectations with a well rounded gritty rock set filled with their soon to be radio hits mixed a few well known classics. My recent single review of Framing The Red led to a long awaited live interview which was fit for a Hollywood movie premiere sound stage. With so much excitement , their live performance of my favorite tracks brought out the inner fanboy in me. This event hammered the final nail into my rock n roll obsession of this band's music, not to mention the happiness in my heart to see them gaining success of their long journey. Taking the national scene by storm this band is just getting started.


At the end of the night being able to relax with some awesome musicians and get to know them on a personal level was truly the high note of the evening. Super cool guys all around and I can’t wait to see them again this winter when they return for Local Live Fest. Look out for my video interview with Framing The Red very soon.


I give event, venue, organizer, and talent line up 5 out 5 flames cause it was hot as hell!


     

REVIEW OF EARTHDAY BIRTHDAY 26 PRESENTED BY 101.1 WJRR Orlando's Rock Station.


On Saturday April 13, 2019 I had the pleasure of experiencing Orlando Florida’s annual active rock festival known as Earthday Birthday presented by 101.1 WJRR Orlando's Rock Station.


     For many rock music enthusiasts, WJRR’s Earthday Birthday is an annual tradition. For others, like myself, it is a way of life that breathes long after the lights fade and the stages are collapsed. WJRR 101.1FM, Rock Music, Earthday Birthday are a longtime part of my Central Florida family.


      As I walked through the grand entrance of the festival with my fellow photo journalist and partner in crime, Kit Jarnot, my first sensation was my heart racing out of my chest and my blood pulsing to the rhythmic frequency of the bass booming from the stage in the distance where the first act of the day had kicked off the event!  As we rushed across the field to the stage a familiar jam was blasting into my eardrums. It was the AC/DC tribute band, ThunderJack. With the kick drum thumping, guitars screaming authentic stage costumes, and member personas, these guys felt like the real deal. It was the perfect start to the event’s grandeur.

      Early in the day as the sun was high in the sky we began to make our way around the festival vendors and stages. To our surprise we noticed an almost seamless layout to the fairgrounds that allowed the crowd to flow about nicely. Kudos to the organizers for this major improvement.  After meeting and visiting with some of Orlando’s finest freaks and coolest vendors (I’ll tell you more about them later) we made our way over to see the first act of the day on the Bud Stage. A hard rock band called Rivethead from Houston Texas.

Having no previous knowledge of this band I had no idea what to expect. To my pleasant surprise this three piece threw down a heavy rock set reminiscent of 90’s kindred spirits like Static- X and White Zombie drawing the early crowd right up to the stage and proving   that everything is bigger in Texas.


     The second band we caught on the main stage was the up and coming organic rock two piece known as The Blue Stones. This vintage revivalist sound gained quite the reaction from the early Florida crowd. Overall, this two piece outfit an active performance with a massive sound. Their fun party feel with a poetic lyrical layout really twisted the senses and resonated through the sea of people.


     As the sun got hotter and the day continued on the time came for us to witness a personal favorite band whom I had the incredible pleasure of getting to know three years previously at Welcome To Rockville 2016, Canada’s own group of awesomeness, The Glorious Sons. Now in 2019 on the main stage of EDBD I thought in such a short time span this group has gone from opener band to major festival headliners. They have come to conquer and claim their name to fame. Their easily recognizable singles “S.O.S” and “White Noise” sailed from end to end of the fair grounds it seemed. The talk of the crowd was of their performance, how exhilarating, and energetic. Every corner I turned I heard someone talking of their songs being the best they had seen all day.  It’s not too surprising considering how many times a day “S.O.S” was requested to be played. I can’t wait to see what these guys do down the line, they will make it higher than ever.


     Following up TGS is no easy task but if there is one man on the planet who knows how to get a response from a crowd it is the boys in Eve To Adam, the local Orlando rock band who have garnered national attention over the last couple of years. Sporting a real life black leather straight jacket, singer Taki Sassaris took the stage with a furious scream and the band proceeded to tear the house down. Not a dull moment in their entire set.


     So many other great bands tore up both stages during this full day event. Honorable mentions Badflower, POD, Rival Sons, Atreyu,  Underoath, and Godsmack were all super badass and could take one's breath away while giving others the life needed to thrive.  I have to thank these artists for providing us all with such entertaining performances with the occasional mosh pit to get the blood pumping. No matter the position or location you were in on the field or in the pit you could always see smiling faces filled with true feelings from real people who need this music in their lives.


     Throughout the event we frequented the awesome food and vendor tents where we found an impressive selection of creepy cool artists and funky jewelry. The eyes of these artists brought personality to the empty spots of the festival. Shout outs to the fantastic art stylings of Chronic Damage: Horrifically Delicious Art. Enlightenment and acid tripping beauty are my favs! Eagle Eye Art Studios, the bold styles of Jen Jacobsen. Her eye for colorful depictions and lighthearted detail made for an inspiring collection that brought the feelings of freedom and happiness.  Also the devilish work of artist, Todd Stevenson. The centerpiece of Stevenson’s collection is his greatest representation of the great Dark Lord Satan. In his image Stevenson created a dark creation topped with horns and a fiendish smile, one of the best depictions I had seen the entire day. each view holds. That , in my opinion, is the best kind of art no matter the complexity.


    The final booth we managed to visit was my personal favorite. The dramatic art stylings of Guerrier Studios. His graphic usage of the exposed human body with the dark sensation of animal slaughter. The blood and gore theme really intensifies the scene in which the artist is trying to capture. A festival is not without its awesome vendors!


   From years previous I had one final accomplishment that was needed to make the full Earthday Birthday experience complete. That being the meeting of Satan and Mosh Pit Jesus. These are two iconic guys known for showing up to these events and making a name for themselves. For many years I had seen these figures walk amongst the crowd as avid concert goers, now they are some of the most recognizable personas for Earthday Birthday.  Satan was the first I was blessed to have come across. Sadly, a soul had to be sold in order to take a photo with him but I believe it was a fair trade. The towering figure stood over my body as if the great demon himself, it was quite an experience to sit under a representation of the devil and gain digital memories of the happening. Our well known Mosh Pit Jesus was a bit more of a difficulty to find in the midst of the chaos. When I finally stumbled upon the “Long Lost Son” he had consumed his weight in Bud Light therefore his glory had grown dim.


    Lastly, Earthday Birthday is a celebration of our home planet! I would like to take this chance to stress the importance of keeping our earth green and clean. Each year, our fairgrounds are littered with trash and other waste that causes much difficulty on the staff that makes this event run. I had recently learned that the employees that work this event spend little over two days to clean every bit of our mess up. While that is a kind act for our enjoyment, I do believe that there is more we could do in our efforts to keeping clean each year. The Orlando fairgrounds supplied an amazing custodial staff who was always on the move keeping up with our eco-waste. As  eco-nuts, Kit and myself both noticed the use of proper recycling receptacles and the lowered amount of trash receptacles. We hope to see a conversion to more eco-friendly products at big music events such as this one. The importance of cleaning up after ourselves cannot be stressed enough. It is called Earthday Birthday for a reason, let’s spend the time to celebrate our home and work to making it greener.


     Overall, Earthday Birthday 2019 was the best event I have experienced in a long time. My energy levels were tanked, my body felt drained, and I was running only on the fumes of adrenaline and it was worth every second of it. This year only fueled my excitement for the years of memories to come at Earthday Birthday. A great big thank you to all that made this possible, it is memories I will cherish forever. I intend to do it all again next year!

                                                              -Jazz The Intern, Local Live Magazine