The show last night with Orlando based Indie rock bands Empire Theory and Plastic Planets at The Haven was an amazing spectacle to behold. The experience, talent and showmanship of the musicians in both bands was impressive.
Orlando band Empire Theory started the night off with drummer Matt Sparks revving up the eager crowd, not that they needed it; they were already energized in anticipation of the show. The rest of the band, Sebastian Zaldibar (guitar/vocals), Jeremy Haynes (keyboards/vocals), Dave Oakley (guitar/violin) and Abel Aponte (bass), hit the stage with a flourish of light and sound to their song “Wonder.” During their song “Musical Breakdown” Sparks and Haynes were at the front of the stage on percussion and Oakley had switched to violin. It was a terrific band jam song, mostly instrumental except for the scattered shouts of “hey.”
The band’s set included all five songs from their debut CD “Colors” as well as a cover of “Bitter Sweet Symphony” and some original gems that will hopefully make their next record. They closed out their set with the steady beating drums and heartfelt lyrics featured on their CD’s title track.
Then it was time for the debut live show and CD release event for Orlando/Miami based band Plastic Planets. Although it was the inaugural show for Plastic Planets, performing live onstage was hardly new for any of the band members. This is a side project for MUTEMATH’s Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas on guitar and vocals along with two former members of Orlando band Social Ghost, Jeffrey Alan Wright (drums) and Eric Van Lugo (lead vocals/bass).
Right from the start it was obvious this band would be something different, all three band members and their instruments were lined up side by side along the front of the stage with a wall of custom designed stage lights behind them. The band performed every song from their debut CD, almost in the exact order they appear on the CD. The kicked their set off with “Follow,” an up-tempo, ultra-catchy song that highlights the band’s hard rocking/prog sound, instantly drawing in the enthusiastic music fans.
There were so many highlights to their set that it’s hard to pick the best of them. The intoxicating “Electric Shadows” featured Mitchell-Cárdenas on lead vocal accompanied by shimmering waves of rhythmic music. There was a great dark, moody vibe to “Sunshine” and “Imaginary Evil” was mesmerizing live. They closed their set with an all-out jam on “Little Star” with Eric Van Lugo joining in on percussion duties with Wright at one point.
The Haven was packed for the show and the fans stood in rapt attention during both bands’ sets, spellbound by the performances and hesitant to miss even a minute of the show. Yeah, it was like that.
Empire Theory is headed off on tour and Plastic Planets has their Miami debut show (their other home base) scheduled for January 16 at the Blackbird Ordinary. Fans can read the Examiner.com profile/interview of Plastic Planets here and the review of their debut CD here.