We knew from the moment we saw the very first announcement, this Nonpoint tour was going to be unlike any before it. 20 years. Let that sink in for a moment. 20 years. Even after being approved for the event, I had to ask for more time to decide on who to assign to photograph this historic show. This is one that our teams are beating down our door wanting to shoot. I responded and let her know that I would make a determination that evening as this particular event JUST so happened to fall on my birthday weekend. I still had to convince my wife how great it would be to drive eight hours to see these guys. It was just icing on the cake (so to speak) when the response back I got was “well bring her with you, we’ll have a ticket waiting for her as well”. Needless to say, as difficult as it was to let the other staff photographers down, this is one I was shooting personally.
The morning of the show, our region was hit heavily by tornadoes. Adel GA and Albany GA particularly received a lot of devastation and a lot of lives were lost. I was receiving back to back to back active tornado warnings as we hunkered in the living room keeping an eye on the radar. Our area wasn’t hit as heavily as some and I was relieved to see the storms lifting to the North of us as they made their way eastward. Joseph Hasbrouck of Local Musicians Media, also one of our staff photographers, arrived at the house shortly before Sherry got home. After a quick shower and some makeup, we were on our way to Orlando and The House of Blues.
The drive was uneventful and we had a great time on the road. A few brisk gusts here and there but otherwise, the weather was agreeable. We arrived at The House of Blues in Disney Springs FL and easily found readily available FREE parking. Wow! Didn’t see THAT one coming! After a brief delay at the box office, we were set and ready to go. We met quite a few of the local Orlando photographers who do work for us from time to time, inside once the doors were opened. Bernard Cena of Dread’s Music Review, Bryan Joe Corder of Ignite Music Mag, Troy Fisher who freelances and shoots for us, Jennifer Reis lead photographer for Aikhour Productions, were all faces we were happy to see. Countless music lovers and local musicians that we don’t get to see very often but that know us from our socials and our website, also made this a very special show by introducing themselves and wishing me a happy birthday. At one point, several of the Rock Villians from the Welcome to Rockville group page, recognized me in the pit getting ready for Nonpoint and hollered out.
Once we were settled in to The House of Blues and our gear was dialed in, we enjoyed just hanging out and talking with so many people that were excited for the show to kick off. We were pretty excited as well as we had recently witnessed F.I.L.T.H. performing at the 2016 Kink Music Festival and we knew that there wasn’t a slack act on this entire 3 band show. The level of energy intensified as the clock drew closer and closer to curtains.
[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”83″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_slideshow” gallery_width=”600″ gallery_height=”400″ cycle_effect=”fade” cycle_interval=”3″ show_thumbnail_link=”1″ thumbnail_link_text=”[Show thumbnails]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]At 730, without disappointment and delivering everything one would expect from a headlining act, F.I.L.T.H. laid down a blistering set that left folks unfamiliar with them, scratching their heads wondering why they had been missing such a gem right in their own backyard. With their signature black and neon green motif, complete with gas mask, this is a band that seems to have their talent, and more importantly their stage presence, mastered. My favorite part of the set was when April Rose of Auditory Armory joined in and she and Eric Mann took the energy level through the atmosphere with head banging and jumps galore. I saw quite a few mentioning in social media that F.I.L.T.H. had earned quite a few new fans. Another thing they do beautifully, connect with their fans. From the moment they left the stage, their merch area was PACKED and the entire band, including their special guest, was present to shake hands and kiss babies.
[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”84″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_slideshow” gallery_width=”600″ gallery_height=”400″ cycle_effect=”fade” cycle_interval=”3″ show_thumbnail_link=”1″ thumbnail_link_text=”[Show thumbnails]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]Next up, 10 Years took to The House of Blues stage. Jesse Hasek and his band mates reestablished the choke hold that the opening act had briefly relinquished. The band took fans on a journey through their entire 2005 album release, The Autumn Effect. Beginning with ‘Waking Up’, a crowd sing along mid journey with ‘Wasteland’, and finally ending with ‘Shoot It Out’ as a nice encore track. Finally the crowd once again got an opportunity to catch their collective breaths.
[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”85″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_slideshow” gallery_width=”600″ gallery_height=”400″ cycle_effect=”fade” cycle_interval=”3″ show_thumbnail_link=”1″ thumbnail_link_text=”[Show thumbnails]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]After another quick stage reset, complete now with a ‘quilted’ curtain hiding the stage from the crowd, Supa Dave, On-Air Personality from 101.1 WJRR, peeked out from the curtain. It didn’t take much hype to get the crowd ready as for the 20th time, he introduced Nonpoint to an impressive 1000+ sea of fans. Elias Soriano and the guys came out hitting hard and gave the Nonpoint Nation exactly what they craved. Elaborate light production and perfectly engineered audio perfectly packaged 20 years of history. Robb Rivera and Adam Woloszyn driving a thunderous, heart ripping beat had the fists flying and the mosh pit slamming. It would be impossible to try to pick which songs the crowd seemed to be behind the most as it was one of the most intense performances and fan involved show I’ve seen in quite some time. Supa Dave rejoining the group on stage for the last song of the evening, ‘Bullet With A Name’ had the entire building coming through the roof. Elias and Robb have been reported to refer to the stage as a ‘battleground’ where they lay it all out night after night. House of Blues in Orlando FL was no exception. The band has recently announced a North America tour with Alter Bridge. If you get a chance, by all means, get your tickets early!