Round two of the Orlandobands.com/Evermore Sound Evermore Battle of the Bands kicked off Tuesday night at The Haven in Orlando. It was a great night of friendly competition between Orlando bands Brothers of Alien Rock, Hotel Hurry, Tears of a Tyrant and Akazia with Central Florida bands SouthSide Junction Band and Escape Tonight.
Merrit Island’s SouthSide Juction Band set the talent bar pretty high from the start. The four piece band’s Southern rock music harkens back to the heydays when Southern rock was king. Highlights of their set included the band’s spirited jamming on the blues flavored song “Ruthie Blues” and their set closer “Angel on the Beach” which featured a beautiful wailing guitar intro and heartfelt vocals from Lambert.
Up next was the Orlando band Brothers of Alien Rock. Before their set started, the four piece band, Fern (vocals, guitar), Dave (drums, percussion, harmonies), Ryan Salamone (bass, harmonies) and Alex Stephenson (guitar), sported their roadie shirts pre-show and during set up, but once their intro tape started, the band changed into their stage outfits, black clothing, white ties and masks, before blasting onto the stage with their melodic, metal laced hard and heavy rock music. The band closed their set with their mash-up song that started and ended with a hard rocking version of “Jessie’s Girl.” Once their set was over, they magically transformed from rock stars back to roadies.
Next was Orlando band Hotel Hurry. The four piece band, Chris Robertson (vocals, violin), Anthony Rouhana (guitar, vocals), Rinaldo Stephens (bass) and Tim Green (drums), played a dynamic set of high-energy rock music. The band’s sound is diverse, bolstered by the lead vocals switching between Robertson and Rouhana as well as the violin and on one song during their set, a trombone. Stephens and Rouhana were up and down, all over the stage and at one point, enthusiastically jumped together from the drum riser onto the stage. Unfortunately, Rouhana got injured on that jump and spent the next song or two playing while seated on the drum riser before he got up to hobble around for the rest of the set. (As soon as the band finished playing, Rouhana headed to the ER.) Highlights from their set included their songs “Walk On The Sun” and “Read Me Like A Book.”
After their set, it was time for St. Petersburg, FL based band Escape Tonight. Although they aren’t from Orlando, the four piece band, Danny Bauer (drums), Pete Tremblay (lead guitar), Russell Fama (vocals, guitar) and Rick Herbert (bass), frequently play in and around Orlando and are popular with local music fans. Their Indie rock music has a heavy guitar sound and is fast and frenetic in spots. Their set included “Chameleon” from their recently released EP “Ampersand.”
Next up was Orlando popcore band Akazia. The four piece band, Hannah Siegel (lead vocals), Rene Perez (guitar), Greg Marconi (bass) and Danny Asistin (drums), played an impressive set, especially considering it was only their second show. The band’s lead singer, Siegel was great at getting the crowd into the show. Within minutes of taking the stage, the whole area in front of the stage was packed for the first time all night and stayed that way throughout their whole set, with the fans cheering and singing along with Siegel. Their set included a Lady Gaga cover and their set closer “Hysteria.”
Closing out the night was Orlando band Tears of a Tyrant. The band’s rock music had a cool, retro sound, with a psychedelic vibe and piercing guitar solos. With each song the band played, lead singer Danielle Dart danced so hard the flower she was wearing in her hair would drop lower and lower. The four piece band, Dart (lead vocals), Jester Cordell (guitar), Justin S. McDonald (bass) and Manny Martinez (drums), ended their set with a spirited jam filled finale that had the audience cheering.
Once their set was over, it was time for Ben Gardner (Orlandobands.com) and Luke Beaulac (Evermore Sound) to announce the winner. The third place spot went to Tears of a Tyrant, second place went to Akazia and first place went to Brothers of Alien Rock.
It was a terrific night of music. All the bands that have played in the Evermore Battle of the Bands so far have been top-notch, and this show proved that out. It’s a shame they all can’t win the top prize. Luckily, Orlando music fans get the real prize – the opportunity to see all this talent in one show.
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