by Ora “Tre” Brasel
I cannot think of another time when I was so completely excited to see local bands in my life, but the teaming up of Marion Crane and Fit for Rivals for their album releases was certainly such an occasion. Ever since I first witnessed what both of these bands were about a few weeks back I haven’t been able to keep myself from telling others about them every chance I get.
Starting the evening off was a 3-piece group hailing from Orlando by the name of Swansinger. Considering the band only consisted of guitar/vocals, drums and keyboards, they still managed to bring a healthy and rhythmic set to the plate. From what I could interpret on my own, the lyrics on most of the tracks were able to add an additional level of depth to their set. On one track in particular, ‘Eye For An Eye,’ the singer’s vocals came across as sounding somewhat similar to Interpol or Joy Division. Overall the band might still need a little polish, but it seems they are well on their way to getting there.
As I am starting to learn ever so quickly, when Fit For Rivals takes to the stage it is an event that everyone in attendance wants to see up close. It isn’t too hard to understand why either, because this band is one you most surely do not want to get caught missing out on. Offering a little something for almost everyone in attendance, it is really hard to imagine one ever going away disappointed from one of their shows. On stage these guys and gal are a solid visual display of musical power and have a connectivity between one another that exudes through the crowd and pushes it to a climax with each and every song they play. Even the so-called slow song in their set, ‘Burn,’ takes you up on high and never lets you get to feeling too low or too slow. Sound problems are even made to be fun moments in the show, with band members aiding their singer’s guitar, which was malfunctioning, and an audience member giving a hand with her mic stand, with her just smiling throughout the performance without missing a beat. On top of FFR’s already fantastic songs, they chose to give all of us in attendance the special treat of doing their version of the NIN song ‘We’re In This Together Now.’ Wow, I still have to pinch myself in disbelief that we are blessed enough to have this band here in our city, and if you haven’t went to check them out yet, then kick yourself very hard and get the hell to their next show pronto!!!
Another band bringing great pride unto our city has to be the incomparable Marion Crane who, even on this evening of their album release party, are already being summoned to a Grammy award winning producer’s studio to cut another. These guys like to come out of the gates every time with a sonic boom of power that forces you to pay attention to them regardless of whatever else you might have been doing prior to that. The crowd on this night wasn’t doing anything prior, in fact they were poised and ready to go when they heard the call of all that power. Armed and dangerous were those in attendance, in a scene that was both hilarious and insane. Imagine a Tom Jones show with women’s underwear raining down on the stage, but with an insane mosh pit of girls and guys in the backdrop going absolutely off the walls mad. After about three songs most of the underwear had stopped from showering the stage, and Thomas Hill (vocalist, guitar) asked the audience, “What’s up, you all out of bullets?” Every time you think it is safe to take breath of air with this band they just come right back with another song to knock you back on your heels. Treating the crowd to all six songs off of their Adrenaline ep, and several others that weren’t, they kept Jack Rabbits rocking heavy until they were done. The one sad announcement is that this show would be among the very last, if not the last here in Jacksonville before they head to the studio to work on their even newer album. This band is yet another band we should consider ourselves blessed to have in our city, and on this one if you didn’t already get the memo about how much butt they kick then you might be having to wait awhile before their next performance here. If this is the case, do yourself a favor and don’t let it happen again, because you most certainly don’t want to miss another show like the one that these two fantastic bands pulled off here on this particular night. Make sure to go and pick up both of these bands’ brand new CDs: Fit For Rivals’ Steady Damage and Marion Crane’s Adrenaline.
Marion Crane and Fit For Rivals – Album Release Show
by Ora “Tre” Brasel