Tuesday night at The Haven was the second show of this year’s Orlandobands.com/Evermore Sound Evermore Battle of the Bands. On the bill for this show were Orlando bands McKinney Griffin, Posterra, Tef London, Rkind, The Adolescent Theory and Still We Rise. With so many talented bands on one bill, The Haven was packed. It looked more like a Friday night than a Tuesday.
Starting things off was Orlando’s McKinney Griffin Band. The band’s music is an eclectic blend of rock and hip hop infused with a bit of blues, funk and soul, topped off with a generous amount of heart. The band’s set featured several feel good jams from the five piece band, McKinney Griffin (lead vocals), Mike Guzzardo (guitar), Kevin Weakly (drums), Chris Luke (guitar) and David Blair (bass).
Next up was Posterra. The Orlando based trio, Jack Norsworthy (lead vocals, bass), Josh Smullin (guitar) and Chris Rayner (drums), had a captivating, full sound for a three piece band. Their music has a lavishly textured vintage rock feel with a soaring psychedelic vibe.
After their set, it was time for Orlando band Tef London. The seven piece band made a big impression from the first note, and not just for their size. High-energy doesn’t seem like an accurate enough description of the band and their Ska, swing and big band sound. Their stage performance and up-tempo music made it seem like infectious excitement is somehow built right into the band’s sound and the crowd reacted accordingly.
Tef London may have been a hard act to follow, but Apopka band Rkind made it look easy. The four piece band, John David Williams (drums), Spliff Rkind (lead guitar), Joseph Weinsteiger (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Stu Sauce (bass), delivered an energetic set of their own. Stu Sauce was a blur of motion and Spliff Rkind was all over place, frequently playing down in the crowd. The band’s songs are fluid flowing musical kaleidoscopes, full of bright, spirited rock jams that started with their set opening instrumental “Unsung Hero” through the last note they played.
Next up was The Adolescent Theory. The four piece Altamonte/Apopka based band, Johnny Reynante (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Reynante (guitar, vocals), Justin Mckenzie (drums, vocals) and Sammy Rivera (bass, vocals) put on a dynamic show, on stage, off stage and all around the stage. Halfway through the set Johnny Reynante shed his guitar and spent the rest of the set working closer to the enthusiastic crowd. The band played several fan favorite songs, judging by the screaming females in the audience, which included “Goodbye Addiction,” “Farewell” and their set ending song “Whisper of a Broken Heart.”
Closing out the night was Orlando band Still We Rise. The band’s aggressive metal music had their fans itching to get a mosh pit going from the first song. The four piece band played several crowd favorite songs including “The Pain Remains the Same” and “Scratching the Surface,” which really got their fans going, chanting the band name over and over again between songs. After the band’s last song, a new one “This Is Madness,” the fans tried demanding “one more song” from the band but alas, the show was over.
After their sets, the band representatives lined up on stage to find out who won this Evermore Battle of the Bands event and would be moving on to the semi-finals. Third place went to The Adolescent Theory, second place went to Still We Rise and first place went to Tef London. It was a hard fought battle for all the bands involved. Too bad only one could claim the top spot.
It was a great night of Orlando music for the fans lucky enough to be there.
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