Last Saturday night’s show at H2O in downtown Orlando was an epic night showcasing the high level of talent available in Orlando. The night was the EP release celebration for “The All of Us EP” from Orlando singer/songwriter Reggie Williams. Also on the bill were Orlando bands Landon Pontius and Chasing Jonah along with Central Florida band The Careful Ones. Instead of a set admission fee, donations were collected at the door for Beautiful Feet, a charitable organization fighting physical and spiritual poverty.
Starting the night off was Orlando based singer/songwriter Landon Pontius and his band. This was his first live performance with the full band, but it certainly wasn’t obvious in their performance. The five piece band meshed well together during their set. Pontius’ music swayed between a deft, funky vibe to more of a country twang from one song to the next, all accented by his captivating, smoothly flowing lead vocal. His soaring, passionate vocal on “Ready” and his closing song, “I’ll Be Alright” were specific highlights of his set.
Next up was Orlando band Chasing Jonah. The three piece band, Ashley Dudukovich (lead vocals, guitar), Brandon Miller (bass) and Mark DeMaio (djembe), played a spirited set of Indie folk rock music adorned by Dudukovich’s sultry soulful lead vocals. Their set included songs from their debut EP “And the Clocks Moved” including the title track and the immensely popular “Run.” They also played several newer songs that will hopefully be on their next CD such as the tough sounding bluesy “Miss Lorraine” and the heart wrenchingly beautiful set closer “Only One I’d Sing To.”
Following Chasing Jonah was the Lakeland based band The Careful Ones. The five piece band’s pop/rock music is vocally focused, steeped in harmonies and embellished by massive percussion filled jams, creating a riveting live performance. For their last song, lead singer Joshua Robinson sat at the keys for a stark solo performance capped off with a jam packed finale featuring the whole band.
Then it was time for the main event, a rare full band show with Orlando based singer/songwriter Reggie Williams. All five band members, Williams (lead vocals, guitar), Austin Smith (drums), AP Harris (keyboards), Michael Besedick (guitar) and Cristian Faustmann (bass) performed in their bare feet, showing their support for the event’s charity, Beautiful Feet.
Most of his set list came from his recently released EP including the openers “I Don’t Know How” and “Moving On.” Not every song he played was from the EP, he also performed a rousing rendition of Allen Stone’s “Unaware.” The song “I Wanna Live,” (also from the EP) was a great choice as a set closer with the fast beating up-tempo music and rapid fire vocals. It definitely got the crowd fired-up about his music.
It is really hard to pin down any one thing about Williams’ live show that is so alluring, it just is. His silky smooth voice, passionate vocal delivery and heartfelt lyrics easily draw a listener into his music. His witty comments between songs, genuine expressions of gratitude and overall humble attitude at a live performance add so much more to the whole atmosphere.
Leading up to this show Williams had posted this message on his Facebook page, “This Saturday, I plan to show you who I want to become. Thank you so sincerely, for any and everything. Let’s make each other proud.” He did just that.
It was a terrific night of live music from some very talented vocalists fronting impressively skilled band members. The four lead vocalists at this show could undoubtedly out shine any contestant in those television talent searches. Orlando music fans should definitely check out the next live performances by these bands.