Last weekend we took a trip to The Local 662, in St. Petersburg. A lovely hard rock and metal docket awaited. The roster read of the best in regional original music from Sarasota to Tampa featuring: Frostfang, Disciples of Mayhem, The Dood, Stones of Madness and DRVN.
The invite was extended from Bruce Prokopets and the boys of DRVN, whom we met at the RSP Industry Showcase earlier this year. These boys have been hard at work writing some fabulous new material and we got to partake with their stellar closing performance to a great evening of music and people.
The 662 is a cozy club that is just large enough and set up properly for live performances. Even providing the smaller of spaces, this club got it down correct the first time and the sound and lighting are just spot on! This club just fills with sound and it is just right. Check out the calendar for The Local 662, along Central Avenue in downtown St. Peterburg.
We arrived a bit later than expected with weather factoring into our road trip, but we did get to take in Frostfang closing out their set. From the crowds chatter on the first break, it was clear this is a band to catch a full set from. So, please do check out Frostfang here and catch a few shows coming up shortly! You could hear the music along the sidewalk as we crept closer to The 662 and it was clear what club we would enter by the fine sound calling us inside! Once you sample Frostfang and realize they have a guitarist that is thirteen years of age but well beyond his years on a set of strings with electricity pumped through them you will be left with your chin on the ground, I promise you. Distinctive aggressive speed metal hints throughout and it's tight live.
The second band on the 662 stage were the Disciples of Mayhem, from the Tampa area and this band is serious about their music and rocking any venue they play. You have the hard driving guitar riffs and the drum kit, compliments of Jon Baptist and add to it the powerful vocal stylings/lyrics of Craig Blackwell and this show is off and running. Their style of music is reminiscent of say Godsmack, STP or Creed in the earlier days, but with the Mayhem style and original tunes flowing. This quartet is serious about their rock and laying it down live, this band hosts former members of the Smackhead camp but with a dash of hardness added and a unity that all bands should possess in this fan's eyes and ears. Please take time to sample the Disciples of Mayhem here and check out their Facebook or Reverbnation pages for all current dates!
The Dood were the third line up to take this stage and what a shake up this band was for this night! This band uses more energy than a power grid! The Dood presents loud, aggressive and screaming/howling vocals that only leave you wanting more to jump around to. Even though this is hard hitting metal, it is not overbearing or overhelming even to the ears, it is still music in that this band writes real songs about experiences and makes you take notice! You will definitely pay attention when The Dood takes a stage, so make sure you check out their Facebook and Reverbnation pages for all current shows and those to come. If raw energy with live, loud music is your thing, The Dood is your band to see!
The final two bands of this fine evening were also our gracious hosts for this evening and both are definitely worth the wait and great opening bands that took this stage prior. These three bands already had this bar pumped and ready to rock all night long. Stones of Madness and DRVN made sure this continued for the remainder of the night.
Kelly Shaefer and his latest line up with Stones of Madness took The 662 stage next, and they rocked this bar from top to bottom with the quick sets this roster required. That front stage area and beyond filled tightly once this band took the stage, as it usually does while Stones of Madness plays a live set, this fan sees it at every show and it is awesome to just watch the crowd gather tightly and await the unleashing of the Madness! They open with their distinguishing single 'Hostility' to let their fans know the stage is theirs and it simply rolls from here. We got a taste of some newer Stones of Madness material as well and this fan is always grateful for the closing cover of Rush's 'Working Man', as it is one of my all time favorite singles and no one lays it down like this band, and I would venture to say not many could lay this track down as well as GJ Gosman smacks out on the skins!
This band is lead by professionalism with a hard metal flavor with Kelly Shaefer at the helm and the amazing line up of Julia Simms, GJ Gosman, Shawn Bowen and Scott Thompson just packs a ton of music experience within a fine oiled metal machine that is soon to blow up, children! Sample Stones of Madness here, or check out the video for 'Hostility', here. Follow them on Facebook or Reverbnation to catch their next show and also, stop by the Jake's Tavern page for the latest music they host regularly.
The finale came with our hosting band DRVN taking the stage and what a closing, 'bring the house down' set this was. This band has been working hard and writing some great new material as well, we got to sample numerous new singles from this five piece onder of sound that is DRVN. We have seen this band perform four times in probably as many months, if not a few more, and it just gets better with each show we take in. The leading guitar and stylings of Derek Robbins are the distinctive sound that DRVN strikes on their stage and within a few chords, you know who you are about to see perform.
A roster featuring five live bands is a long one for all involved, but the true test is when the crowd still remains as strong and loyal as for the first band that played. DRVN and their fans were at the 662 all evening long supporting every band but mostly to support these five lads in DRVN and that type of fan loyalty speaks volumes for any live band indeed.
This was the first multiple roster show we have attended where not one band performed any less than any other band accompanying them, things come up and rosters can change, etc., but this night, club, stage and people responsible for promoting these events obviously know what bands will work for a show and how to pack a club all evening long as bands switch over and usually the early crowd disperses. this night at the 662 saw a packed house that lasted all evening and five bands long.
Special thanks to: Bruce Prokopets, Kelly Shaefer, J-Rock Staffierei and Patty Baccielo. Thanks to The Local 662, staff and security, DRVN, Stones of Madness, The Dood and Disciples of Mayhem for an absolutely unforgettable night! We look forward to working with everyone in the future and appreciate the welcome we receive in St. Pete. We shall rock with you all very soon! Great night, music, people and place, the perfect night in rock can be had at The Local 662, please stop by some pages and check out their calendar for live shows!
Sample regional original music:
KEEP ROCKIN' ST. PETE!!!! SEE YOU SOON!!!