One Friday evening packed a grand force of regional and national rock to take the stage at the State Theater, in St. Petersburg. The roster we were primed to see went a little like this: Dressed to Kill - Sarasota; 4Ever Endeavour - Tampa/St. Pete; Sunshine & Bullets - Tampa and there were two headliners in this fan's opinion and those guests included: Eye Empire and Saving Abel.
We enjoy traveling to St. Pete any chance we get with it's theater and live entertainment alley along Central Avenue and the greatest little NY Pizza place just across the street from the State. It is that of a little piece of 'home' with the many transplants from the northeastern corner of this nation, as I hail from Philadelphia. I also had the opportunity to take in some great outdoor jazz places over along the bay side of things up there, so there is plenty of music to take in up in St. Pete. Thanks to J-Rock and Patty for their warm welcome, as always!
Doors opened at 6:00 and the show rolled at a 7:00 PM start with Dressed to Kill taking the stage. They traveled up from the Sarasota area and laid out a rather nice set. They are an alternative metal band that can border on aggressive metal with the growl and scream on Garrett Moore. Some originals were laid out and performed rather well with a couple of covers grandly displayed from Rage Against the Machine and the old fave, Rob Zombie. These four do gel very well live on a stage and it appears they have a drive to be on tour as soon as opportunity knocks! Alex Rappaport strikes in the way say, Billy Duffy does when The Cult is on stage and Mike Magizino definitely means business on the skins! We will be hearing more of Dressed to Kill in the future I am sure. Check out their Facebook page for all upcoming dates and take in a show!
Next up was 4Ever Endeavour, and they are an alternative hard rock band from the Tampa/St. Pete area with a solid foundation in their front man, Troii Peak. Troii is rather striking and commanding on the stage with a dash of Goth in the dark, long locks. He is very reminiscent of Ian Astbury, in his energy and how he utilizes the entire stage. He gets his message across and the crowd loves it! The drummer is a thirteen year old prodigy, basically as Kei Alexander Bland takes to a kit like John Bonham is channeling him, and that is no exaggeration! It is an experience to take in this young soul take that kit like it was just meant to be and he creates the most amazing driving force of 4Ever Endeavour. The guitar weaves through these songs like butter to complete the smooth ride of this band live. Their songs cover differing styles and there are ballads tossed in for good measure and these are done impeccably live, so make sure to stop by 4Ever Endavours Facebook or Reverbnation pages for the latest dates! This fan would like to catch a full show in the future.
Third to take the stage and the last to represent regional rock for this evening, was Sunshine & Bullets. They have been rather hard at work in the studio writing and recording and this evening we were treated numerous new tracks, all fresh from these sessions. Sunshine & Bullets is on a lovely creative wavelength at the moment and it breathes through their live show. Rich Keane can make a guitar sing in ways you never could imagine and Amanda is stunning on bass and her vocals just slice the air. This fan especially like to watch Kyle bang out a live set on the drums, as he feels it and does not hold back! I have watched this show for a couple years and have to say that I honestly feel they are on a solid roll right now and the new music speaks just this. Get out to catch Sunshine & Bullets, stop by their Facebook and Reverbnation pages for all dates and upcoming events.
The first taste of the national acts on this fine bill was Eye Empire, and I am a rather huge fan of their live show, so this was a treat anyway you diced it! This band of four is a hard rocking, energy packed force calling for love, respect and support across the board in life through their music. The driving force of such singles as 'I Pray' unite the crowd in a synchronized jump fest that runs the entire set, as Donald Carpenter does not accept a lack of audience support and B.C. Kochmit on guitar only fuels this release of energy . "Try something new," Donald says, "Let go a little bit..." and this crowd sure did follow and it was great to be out in it taking images! The urging of participation did not cease until the entire theater was off their feet and the mosh pit launched in center floor, and a grand time was had by all!
There were some treats from the latest release, Evolve, but mainly this set held to old favorites like, 'Bull in a China Shop' and 'Angels and Demons'! I am a fan of this type of energy on a live stage and this is what brought me into being an Eye Empire follower, as we took them in with Nonpoint last year and anything that resembles the power and energy of these favorites, I am in! Check out the Eye Empire website for all news and tour dates and also follow along the road on their Facebook page. Special thanks to Eye Empire for a welcome and an evening of fine hard rock energy!
The headliner was Saving Abel out supporting their third record 'Bringing Down the Giant' and a few newer selections from a release slated for Spring of 2014 and promises to be a full length option for their fans. The southern rock hooks and guitar solos are what drives Saving Abel and this fan could watch Jason Null shred a guitar all evening long, he is just mojo to the brim on strings! These boys kept the State Theater rocking late into the evening and stuck around for a long VIP meet and greet with goodie bags for the crowd that came to support the Saving Abel camp.
ROCK ON!!! SUPPORT REGIONAL ORIGINAL MUSIC!!!