By David Lucas, Rock At Night Orlando
Live Review: Orlando Rocks – House of Blues, Orlando- February 11, 2023
Saturday 11, 2023 was another night for local music at the House of Blues in Orlando, Florida. 101.1 WJRR Native Noise put on another killer night of Orlando Rocks.
The first band up is one that I have been looking forward to seeing for a long time. The time has finally arrived. Mr. Bella takes the stage and starts tearing the house down right out of the gate with “Crash and Burn” and “Can’t Give Me Up”. Their set also included Just Dance, Awake Now. A song that has grown on me, So Long To Sanity, And their first song that received airtime by WJRR, Cross My Heart. Because of the timing of the show, Mr. Bella’s original guitarist could not attend. Up to that plate steps Brad Balsama. In only two weeks Brad learned the night setlist and could also check off playing at the House of Blues from his bucket list. Finishing the set with “Back To Vegas” and last but not least “Set A Fire”.
Next to the stage is a band that is no stranger to the House of Blues, Leaving Haven. Having seen their performance several times, they never disappoint. This night was a little different. This would be the last full set that guitarist Supa Dave would perform with his bandmates. But, not the last time we will see him. We could see him making
some guest appearances. Playing guitar for 36 years, It’s not something that can be given up that easily. For those who know and have seen Leaving Haven live, there was a familiar face behind the drums. Making the trip down from Connecticut, original drummer Ben Melsenti gave one stellar performance. The surprises did not stop there, for their 202 single “On The Rise” Guitarist Brian Kizer of Maybe If You Hit It takes the stage and rocks the house.
Third up is Blaine The Mono and for their album release party, they waste no time getting into it with “Haunted”, from their latest album Virago. The dedication of this band has set the bar for others. Debuting 10 years ago at 5:30 in the morning on Fox35 Orlando doing an acoustic set as a warmup for Earthday Birthday 20. This four piece female fronted alternative/rock band gives a stand out performance and knows exactly how to work the stage at the House of Blues and every venue they visit. Hearing the cheers and seeing the audience interaction with the music shows me just how much love Central Florida has for this group. As Randi Baine put it, “We have to end this in typical Blaine The Mono fashion”. Asking everyone if they have a drink to raise it in the air along with her water, straight. And ends the set with “Raise This Glass” from their 2012 album Vices in Verses.
Last up is Maybe If You Hit It. This is my first time seeing these guys live and from the show that these guys put on, It will not be the last time. Having a sound so hard-hitting you can watch the cymbals start to fall. Not to worry, Supa Dave comes to the rescue and turns into a drum tech and the show goes on without missing a beat. With high energy vocals, killer sound, working the whole stage and crowd engagement. I can see and hear why they are where they are.
Blaine The Mono
Maybe If You Hit It
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