Friday night, The Haven played host to four top-notch Orlando rock bands in a benefit event for local resident Ted “Tetris” Morgan. The bands, Stiletto Red, Leaving Haven, SoulSwitch and Stockholm, are packed with talented, experienced musicians, well-known for their stage presence, showmanship and high-energy live shows.
Stiletto Red, one of the newest bands on Orlando’s music scene, kicked things off on a high note. The local Orlando band’s power rock grabbed and held the crowds attention from their first song. The five piece band played songs off their newly released CD, “Her Love Is a Lie” including “Ending of Days,” “Bigger Man” and “My Life.” Lead singer Gio Panagiotakis spent a good part of the set out in front of the stage dancing around and interacting with the crowd, while the rest of the band, Jared Grey (guitar), Sean St. John (drums), Ryan Salamone (bass) and Angel Graves (guitar), engaged the audience with their onstage prowess.
Up next was Orlando band Leaving Haven. Their rock set featured several songs from their CD “Bad Luck Glory” including “Always Something,” “Left Undone” and “Four High.” The five piece band, Trevor Hastings (vocals), Michael Strippoli (guitar), Luke Melsenti (guitar), Madison Macko (bass) and Benjamin Melsenti (drums), even included their version of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” The band never fails to deliver an adrenaline packed show of guitar fueled rock music.
SoulSwitch was the next band to totally rock The Haven. Their melodic metal/hard rock had the crowd and the band head-banging in unison throughout the set, which included the songs “Transmission Lost,” “Saving Me” and “The One Thing” from their EP “As It Seems.” At one point, they were joined on stage by Jeremy Hyson of Orlando band nu Era for their song “Control.” The band, Tom Huestis (vocals), Jimmy Kwong (guitar), Matt Larson (bass), Nic Allen (guitar), Mike Mouris (drums), is always impressive live with their dual guitar assault, flailing hair and hard-hitting rock music.
Closing out the night was the keyboard based rock music of Orlando band Stockholm. The band, Chris Arter (lead vocals), Olie Thomas (guitar), Joe Hodgin (guitar), Brad Barrett (bass) and Adam (drums), featured several songs from their CD “Eyes In the Dark” including “Don’t Stop Now,” “Bad By Design” and “Wildfire.” Arter’s passionate, heartfelt lead vocal always draws new fans into the fold. When their set was over, the crowd demanded one more song so the band stayed onstage and played “The Young and the Free.”
This show was a terrific example of the level of talent available in the Orlando local music scene. The fact that the bands were all drawn to the same bill as a benefit show for their friend, Ted “Tetris” Morgan made the night that much more special for everyone involved, especially the fans that were there to witness the event.
(For the record, there was another Orlando band that played that night, Galia Social, but I arrived late and missed their set.)
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