The weekend prior to this past one, we traveled to Orlando on approval to capture Papa Roach in another live Florida performance and what we received upon arrival only developed into the show of a lifetime for a life long fan of live music!
Orlando is a little under a four hour ride for us and we did arrive a bit later than expected to the CFE Arena and missed the actual opening act, but this roster only made up for that with every change over to come still. We expected to maybe have one other band to cover along with Papa Roach, but we were blessed with an unending list of the best on tour at the moment.
Pop Evil was the next act to take front and center stage at the CFE Arena, and they made their presence clearly known with a solid hard rocking set that only keeps throwing it at you! These five rockers command your attention and jam pack solid music to keep it that way through their entire set. Lead vocalist, Leigh Kakaty grabs the audiences attention immeidately and takes them on a ride of a lifetime with his strong and striking presence. Matt DiRito is a stellar bassist to watch play and the tossing of the hair doesn't hurt things one bit...I tried to keep up! Chachi Riot on the drums is just a driving force to be reckoned with and this was only our first taste of the evening to come. Check out Pop Evil and make sure to not miss any dates in your area, you will not be disappointed in the least!
Our first surprise of the evening was being taken to the press pit, looking up finally and seeing Matt Tucker of Bullet for my Valentine! I was speechless upon first realization that I bargained for way more than I was even aware of and this ride was on. Bullet for my Valentine packs a whopping punch of lightning string speed and exact synchronized precision on dual riffs that leaves you speechless...you are left in complete awe at what you just witnessed! It is not always easy to take a hard, shredding riff of a band like Bullet for my Valentine and make it sound impeccably perfect, as it can teeter on noise in some arenas -- this was indeed the most rip roaring and near perfection metal performance I think I have taken in. This was not overbearing on the ears, it was in your face speed metal at it's stripped down to it's cleanest and the perfect edge crispness. This taste of a favorite of mine only leaves me yearning for a full show to cover with them in the future! You must see this band play live, no way around that, the partnership and synchronization between Matt Tucker and Michael Paget is blinding quick. Jason James and Michael Thomas simply round out this quartet of metal wizardry like no other on a stage before them. If you love old school speed metal, you will absolutely want more of Bullet for my Valentine.
Next, our lovely host of our evening, Papa Roach took the stage and if you have never seen Jacoby Shaddix on a live stage this is a challenge to describe! This man packs more energy in his little finger than most adults at any age and it runs the entire time the lights are up for these four rocking lads! Jacoby was a grand host, walking to the monitor and just staring me in the eye...that smirk is killer in person! I think it was the most he stood still and that is how a Papa Roach show rolls, and this was in no means any let down. The high five with him as he walked the entire arena for a song was the topper for my evening, or so I thought. This fan has yet to miss a Papa Roach show through Florida and as long as I can walk on my own I am a lifetime attendee indeed!
This is confirmed as true fact, as we shall now again, take in a Papa Roach show while we cover the Shiprocked Cruise slated to sail the end of January. Ahoy Roaches!!! If you missed this stop with Jacoby and company, why not see if any cabins still remain for this almost sold out cruise extravaganza? I think the only thing to out do this concert and set with Papa Roach is definitely on a four day cruise to the Bahamas. Looking forward to that with grand eagerness!
And if this was not enough of a roster, guess who else was still set to perform? None other than the Godfather of the mini rock-horror opera themed stage show, yes I do mean Alice Cooper! I about left my shoes when I heard this name on this evening's roster. You see, Alice Cooper was my first ever live concert at the ripe age of eleven! I got to see one of the best in rock at his best back in the day...and it all came full circle to see him again still at his best ever, now! Orianthi was accompanying on guitar for this tour and what an amazing show she puts on along side one of the greats of American Rock n' Roll! The stage theme is the usual Alice theme, but almost circus like and Alice plays the ring leader for this amazing rock opera that is and will always be an Alice Cooper concert. I really cannot thank everyone involved enough, as this show was an artistic and soul experience with the absolute best rock music out there on tour to date.
This night is one that will never be forgotten...it gets tucked in our hall of fame for memories within our adventures covering and capturing the best in live entertainment, hands down. This fan recommends seeing all bands on this bill, I only hope other fans are as fortunate as we were to have them all on the same roster for this particular show.
Special thanks to: Alexandra and the Papa Roach camp for this amazing invite, to all other bands on this bill: Pop Evil, Bullet for my Valentine and Alice Cooper; the CFE Arena, in Orlando and the great network of professional photographers we have met and bonded with on our adventures! Well done all the way around and we are grateful to have been any part at all!