By Juan Jusino, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: The Orpheum, Tampa–February 7, 2016- Hawthorne Heights, The Ataris and Mest
The Three Headed Monster Tour, consisting of Hawthorne Heights, The Ataris and Mest stopped by The Orpheum in Tampa, Florida. The tour, which consists of over 40 dates and creates balance by rotating the order in which the headliners play on every stop of the tour, arrived in Tampa on Sunday, February 7, 2016. Unfortunately for the Tampa crowd, the concert coincided with the Super Bowl 50, tarnishing what could have been a greater showing on any other date.
The show kicked off with performances by two supporting bands; Handguns, a punk band from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and London Falling, a pop-punk band fronted by Mest’s lead singer Tony Lovato.
From the tour’s main lineup, The Ataris were the first band to take the stage and opened with their second most popular song “In This Diary”, which was featured in their highly successful album So Long, Astoria (2003). Performing in front of a crowd filling only about one-third of the venue, The Ataris had a solid performance, but retired without playing their cover of Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer”, which is their most successful hit.
The second band to take the stage from the main line up was Hawthorne Heights, who performed their highest charting album If Only You Were Lonely (2006) in its entirety as a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the album’s release. With a set of stage “props” inspired by the album cover, and all band members fully dressed in white, Hawthorne Heights performed in front of the largest crowd of the night– but still only filling a bit less than half of the venue. After a solid performance of If Only You Were Lonely, and a few other songs both old and new, they were clearly the band that most the crowd turned out to see.
Closing the show for the night was my personal favorite from the tour’s lineup, Mest. After playing an earlier set with his new band London Falling, Tony Lovato fully engaged in a very personal show with the remaining crowd, which by now was down to about one-fifth of the venue. While performing material from all of Mest’s albums, Tony took the time to engage in conversations with the now small crowd and even took some “selfies”; turning the show into real treat to the fans who had stuck around to see the band. It is also worth noting that Tony Lovato (and his band) played two sets on the same show. After all, what better way to expose your new project than playing in front of an audience already established fans?
Putting on a show on a night when most Americans are committed to the big game is definitely not a good business recipe. The Three Headed Monster Tour has a solid lineup, and should be able attractive to most people with an interest in these genres, but not on Super Bowl Sunday.
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