Periphery, Nothing More, Wovenwar & Thank You Scientist

By on January 15, 2015
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Nothing More (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Thank You Scientist, Wovenwar, Nothing More, and Periphery rocked The Orpheum in Ybor City on January 13, 2015. The two-story venue was dimly lit and packed wall-to-wall with fans of all ages. We walked up to the venue at 7 pm and Thank You Scientist was already on the stage. While waiting in line, we were struck audibly with a variety of sounds from this band that I wasn’t familiar with. It is rare that a band’s sound will strike an immediate chord with me, especially when I’m not even in the venue.

Tom Monda Thank You Scientist

Tom Monda Thank You Scientist (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

We walked in a saw a full stage of musicians with a variety of different instruments.  Thank You Scientist is a seven-member Progressive Rock ensemble from New Jersey, consisting of Sal Marrano (vocals), Tom Monda (guitar), Greg Colacino (bass), Odin Alvarez (drums), Russ Lynch (violin), Ellis Jasenovic (sax), and Andrew Digrius (trumpet).

Greg Colacino (bass)  Ellis Jasenovic (sax) TYS

Greg Colacino (bass) Ellis Jasenovic (sax) Thank You Scientist (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Yes, they have a horn section and a violinist, and yes, it works unbelievably. The nuances and touches that violinist Russ Lynch provides, makes Thank You Scientist unique sound very special. Russ also has an awesome stage presence and clearly loves performing. I was also very impressed with progressive guitarist, Tom Monda. His finger tapping and progressive, clean guitar sound was refreshing, (It seems like there’s been a glut of guitar players cranking out the same generic sound over the last few years.)  As I made my way across the front of the stage, I was able to see and listen to every individual musician throughout the set. Each of the musicians brought their own individual style, and when blended together, it was magic.

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Russ Lynch Thank You Scientist (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Thank You Scientist recently signed with Evil Ink Records in August of 2014, and released a fully remixed and remastered version of the band’s 2012 debut full-length album, Maps of Non-Existent Places, in September of 2014.  According to their Face Book bio, Thank you Scientist likes to refer to themselves as a “7-headed monster,” and lists “sweet potatoes” as the band’s interests.   Thank you Scientists’ setlist included, “Prelude,” “Feed the Horses,” and “My Famed Disappearing Act.”

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Sal Marrano Thank You Scientist (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Next up on the four-band bill was Wovenwar. Wovenwar is a recently-formed metal band from San Diego, California, touring to promote its debut self-titled album which was released on August 5, 2014. The band consists of Shane Blay (vocals, rhythm guitar), Nick Hipa (lead guitar), Phil Sgrosso (rhythm guitar), Josh Gilbert (bass guitar, background vocals), and Jordan Mancino (drums).

Shane Blay Wovenwar

Nick, Phil, Jordan and Josh played together in As I Lay Dying for over a decade. Shane, formerly with Oh, Sleeper, joined the group, and Wovenwar was born.  Wovenwar spent the last whirlwind year touring with Black Label Society, and In Flames, visiting more than a dozen countries around the world.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from Wovenwar. I had seen As I lay Dying before and their sound wasn’t something that I wanted to listen to, as I’m not a fan of the “metalcore” sound.

But as Wovenwar played their set, which included, “Forword,” “Death to Rights,” “Matter of Time,” and “Onward,” I was pleasantly surprised. While the band has incorporated their previous sound of As I Lay Dying, Shane Blay’s vocals are cleaner, more melodic and out front in the mix.

Josh Gilbert Wovenwar

Josh Gilbert Wovenwar (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

The guys in the band looked like they were having a great time on stage and the crowd fed off their energy and were really engaged. Guitarist Nick Hipa is an impressive guitar player with a ton of energy and a never-ending smile. I think he may have gotten some of his style and stage presence from a guy named Zakk in Black Label Society. I believe that with Blay out front, Wovenwar will continue to open up for big bands and gain more fans at each show.

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Nick Hipa Wovenwar (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Nothing More, unquestionably the break-out band of 2014, is touring to promote its self-titled album that was released in June of 2014. This was the fourth time I had the pleasure of seeing this band perform: and they are only getting better. If you haven’t seen this band perform live, you are seriously missing out. Nothing More was honored by Sirius/XM’s Octane winning 2014’s Song Discovery of the Year with “This is the Time (Ballast),” as well as 2014’s Artist Discovery of the Year.

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Jonny Hawkins Nothing More (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Nothing More hails from Texas, and consists of Jonny Hawkins (lyrics, drums), Daniel Oliver (bass and backup vocals), Mark Vollelung (guitar and backup vocals), and Paul O’Brien (drums). One of the first things that you will notice about this band is that everyone in Nothing More plays the drums. In fact, Jonny was the drummer for Nothing More prior to taking over the band’s vocals. The second thing that you will notice about Nothing More is their use of the one-of-a-kind Bassinator.

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Daniel Oliver Nothing More (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

The Bassinator, which was created by Daniel Oliver, is a creation of pipes and scrap metal turned into a 5-foot-tall bass. The bass is attached above a metal-reinforced, motorcycle chain-adorned drum kit. Jonny then stands on his snare, which allows the Bassinator to be played by Jonny, Daniel and Mark at the same time! As a Nothing More veteran, I knew what was coming when they pulled out the Bassinator, but you should have seen the smiles on the unsuspecting crowd who had never witnessed a live show by Nothing More. I spoke to a few of the Nothing More fans in attendance, and like me, they were turned on to Nothing More for the first time when the band opened for Adrenaline Mob at this very venue, two years earlier.

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Nothing More’s 7- song setlist consisted of “Christ Copyright,” “Sex & Lies,” “Mr. MTV,” extended bass solo (hello Bassinator), “Jenny,” “Matthew Effect,” “Salem,” and “This is the Time (Ballast).” Hawkin’s vocals and intensity, humbleness, mixed with intelligent and relatable lyrics, all make Jonny one of a kind. He is a rarity in the music industry, and if you ever get the chance to talk to him for a few minutes, you will agree.

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Jonny Hawkins Nothing More (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

If Nothing More is coming to your town, they are a MUST SEE band! I have been watching this band grow for two years and there’s no sign of them slowing down any time soon. Their show is filled with sick energy and is perfectly choreographed. They have created a sound all their own and pull it off flawlessly in the live setting. As they completed their set with “This is the Time,” the fans wanted more, but they will just have to wait to see them again at a later date, and most likely, at a much bigger venue.

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Jonny Hawkins Nothing More (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Periphery, a heavy progressive metal band, closed out the show at The Orpheum. The band consists of Spencer Sotelo (vocalist), Misha Manoor (guitar), Mark Holcomb (guitar), Jake Bowen (guitar), Adam Getgood (bass), and Matt Halpren (drums). The headliner had a huge following and the fans, at least the ones I spoke to, were not disappointed with the show.

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Periphery (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

While there’s no denying that Periphery is very good at what they do, and they have the success to prove it, it’s always been difficult for me to enjoy certain types of metal when I can’t understand the vocal track. Spencer Sotelo mixes clean and dirty vocals and moves fluidly throughout the stage. His presence is undeniable, but the amount of fog and strobe lights in the club made the rest of the band almost invisible at times and difficult to shoot. By the end of Periphery’s set, the band’s cohesiveness and talent were evident and they proved why they are successful. Periphery’s setlist included, “Icarus Lives!” “Make Total Destroy,” and “Ragnarok.”

The bands treated the fans to a meet -and-greet after the show, signing autographs, posing for pictures, and taking time to stop and chat with anyone who wanted to. I have said it before, and will say it again; the guys from Nothing More are genuinely friendly and truly appreciate their fans.

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Daniel Oliver Nothing More (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

All four of the bands put on top notch performances for their fans and I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for these up-and-coming bands: Thank You Scientist, Wovenwar, and Nothing More, while I expect Periphery to continue its success. Finally, I’d like to give a big thanks to the venue, The Orpheum in Ybor City, for continuing to bring quality acts to Tampa Bay.

Additional Photos by Travis Failey

Russ Lynch Thank You Scientist (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Russ Lynch Thank You Scientist (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

 

Nick Hipa Wovenwar (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Nick Hipa Wovenwar (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jonny Hawkins Nothing More (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jonny Hawkins Nothing More (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Josh Gilbert Wovenwar (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Josh Gilbert Wovenwar (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Spencer Sotelo Perphery (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Spencer Sotelo Perphery (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jonny Hawkins Nothing More (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jonny Hawkins Nothing More (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

 

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