ST. PETERSBURG - Last month on September 21st, The local 662 hosted the 1st "Bionics For Vets Concert", organized by Buddy King of Buddy King’s Shotgun Junkies. The concert was put together by King in order to showcase some of Tampa Bay’s original bands, as well as to help raise money to purchase prosthetics for veterans.
Aside from the scheduled performances from all four bands, the event proved to be a night full of surprises with some other surprise appearances as well. Tampa Bay native and Queensryche front man, Todd LaTorre, showed up to the event to show his support for the cause, listen to the local live bands, and draw the winning tickets for the many raffles that took place at the show. One of the items that was raffled off at the event was a custom Fender Squire guitar autographed by the members of Queensryche.
Former Rebel 5 drummer, Chad Henderson, filled in on drums for ZigZag America’s Bobby Walker. Walker was not able to make the event due to prior commitments. Coming from a background that consists mainly of death metal, Henderson’s high energy, hard hitting drumming style added even more energy to ZigZag America’s usual high energy performance that the band has become known for. Shortly after the start of ZigZag America’s set, Henderson sliced open his hand during his performance, bleeding profusely all over the snare drum and stage. With his pants soaked in his own blood from his dripping hand, Henderson continued on with the set, never stopping to bandage his hand.
Another unexpected surprise at the event was the appearance of Spring Hill based hard rock band, The Heene Boyz, who treated the audience to a surprise, impromptu performance. For those who may not yet be familiar with The Heene Boyz, the band consist of 10 year old Falcon Heene on lead vocals and bass, 12 year old Ryo Heene on drums, and 14 year old Bradford Heene on guitar. According to The Heene Boyz’ official band bio, their sound was developed over the first 2 years of experimenting with different sub-genres of metal. The band was bored with songs that had light drumming and steady tempos, and decided to write more complex songs with complicated time changes resulting in a dark sound that had more depth and meaning. Bradford writes all of the music for the band, while Falcon writes most of the lyrics.
The Heene Boyz released their debut CD in 2012 entitled Chasing Tornadoes. After 8 months of recording, the band followed up their debut album in 2013 with the release of their EP entitled American Chili. The band describes American Chili as a theme album that is both horror and comedy, where each song is in sequence to tell the story of the album. In support of their EP, The Heene Boyz went on a U.S. tour, kicking things off in New York City with a show at the Sullivan Hall.
If lead singer Falcon Heene’s name sounds familiar, that’s because Falcon was the 6 year old boy who became known nation-wide as the “Balloon Boy” when his parents falsely reported that Falcon drifted away in a helium balloon that they launched in Fort Collins Colorado on October 15th, 2009. Prior to the “Balloon Boy Hoax,” all three Heene brothers appeared along with their parents in two episodes of the reality tv show, “Wife Swap.”
September’s Bionics For Vets concert was the first in a planned series of on-going shows. Preparations for the next Bionics For Vets concert are already being planned at press time.
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