The latest edition of the Orlandobands.com/Evermore Sound Evermore Battle of the Bands took place Tuesday night at The Haven in Orlando. Music fans in attendance were treated to live performances from bands representing a variety of musical genres with Orlando bands Arcadence and Speed Limit along with Central Florida bands Atomic Fate and Catcher and the Rye as well as Miami band Raine.
Opening the show was Orlando alternative rock band Arcadence. The four piece band, Makenzie Kamal (vocals, guitar), Brett Lyons (guitar), Alejandro Badani (bass) and Jessica Plasencia (drums), was playing their first show back after a two month hiatus, but that fact was certainly not obvious from their performance. They are an attention getting band, due in large part to Kamal’s enthusiasm and encouragement. As soon as they took the stage and started their first song, they grabbed the full attention of the audience, and they kept it though their set. Their last song “Geronimo,” included cue cards making it easier for the crowd to sing along with the band and also featured a terrific, bluesy guitar solo.
Next up was Miami rock band Raine. The band, Auron Leon (vocals), Ivan Alexander (guitar), Joe Luis (bass) and Dane Meyers (drums), has a dynamic stage presence. The combination of Leon’s emotionally charged vocals, Alexander’s powerful lead guitar playing and the steady rhythms from Luis and Meyers was impressive. Their high-energy set included their songs “Sad Story,” “Defeated” and their set closer, “Stop the World.” They were as notable off-stage as well, out in the audience enthusiastically cheering on every band that played.
After their set it was time for metal band Atomic Fate. The Daytona Beach based three piece band, Jerry Wilkins (bass, drums vocals), Terry Wilkins (drums, bass, vocals) and Kevin Fate (guitar, vocals), blasted the stage with their monster sound. Their fast, frenzied atomic shredding was remarkable, leaving many in the audience staring in awe. Their set included their interestingly titled song “I Don’t Want to Live My Life Again.”
Next up was Orlando based band Speed Limit. The band’s retro rock music, guitar solos and spirited jams had many crowd members tapping their toes and dancing to the music. Their cover of “These Boots are Made for Walkin’” had everyone in The Haven singing along. The band, Keith Tolmich (vocals, bass), Obijuan (guitar, vocals) and Jeremy (JT) Tolmich (drums), played several songs from their “Loud, Fast, Fun” CD including “Walk all Over You” and “Bark Like a Dog.” Their set also included “Para Mi Madre” featuring Obijuan on lead vocal while showcasing his lead guitar skills and “The Hurt Won’t Seem to Stop,” a Blues song about a broken heart with Keith Tolmich back on lead vocal.
Closing out the night was the metal/hardcore band Catcher and the Rye out of Deltona, FL. This band has been generating a lot of positive buzz within the Central Florida music scene (and probably beyond). After their performance at the Evermore Battle of the Bands, it was easy to see why. A live performance from the band, Wesley Mitchell (vocals), Mike Lycan (guitar, vocals), Mike Campbell (guitar), Tyler Terror (bass) and Dante Inferno (drums), is as much a visual as a musical experience. The band members can really work a stage and at several points, the whole band was head-banging in unison. Their playing was as precise and tight as their skinny jeans, without the holes.
Once the sets were over, the judges, Jordan Hilgenberg, WPRK’s Whitney Costner, Evermore Sound’s Luke Beaulac and Kat Coffin (The Orlando Local Music Examiner) handed in their final sheets to be tallied up. Then it was time for Luke Beaulac and Orlandobands.com’s Ben Gardner to take the stage and announce the night’s winner. Orlando band Arcadence took third place, second place went to Central Florida band Catcher and the Rye and first place went to Miami band Raine.
The only downside to the whole night were the missed opportunities. There are normally six bands playing these battles, but one band cancelled, so they not only missed out on an opportunity to showcase in front of a crowd of mixed genre music fans, but with enough notice, another band could have filled that slot and had an opportunity to showcase their music. The other missed opportunity was by four of the five bands that played Tuesday night - only Orlando band Arcadence had a merch table set up so fans could pick up CDs, t-shirts, stickers, buttons etc.
Again this week, there was a tremendous amount of talent on stage for the Evermore Battle of the Bands. Orlando music fans that haven’t been to at least one of these shows at The Haven are really missing out on catching live performances from some top talent. There are only two preliminary round shows left, on October 22 and November 5. The semi-finals shows are scheduled for October 25 and November 22 with the finals on December 6.
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