By Anita Stewart and Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondents
Rock at Night got to see one of our favorite acts, One Eyed Doll this weekend during their current national Visions Tour 2016. Jason (Junior) Sewell, Kimberly Freeman and their crew toured in Florida this past week and rocked the BackBooth in downtown Orlando on Easter night, March 27th, 2016 and Rock at Night was there with bells on! One-Eyed Doll, including the support bands—Eyes Set to Kill and Open Your Eyes–all have similar names connected to the words eyes or vision.
When Rock At Night arrived it was still early in the evening and many of the patrons were mulling around chatting, getting a drink at the bar, or hanging at the Merch tables. Pop-punk band Open Your Eyes was setting up drum cymbals, effects pedals, and amps when the dreadlock-clad lead singer Justin King announced the band was from Chicago–and then blasted into full song while stomping and twirling his long locks. The crowd was jolted by this pleasant attack of music, gathered at the front of the stage, and trounced into full head-bopping mode. The band’s music was a pleasant surprise as not only the music was fun but the performance was very energetic. Kudos to Sandra for her spot-on drumming (from one drummer girl to another).
Next up was a metal-rock band Eyes Set to Kill which hails from Tempe, Arizona. The band featured sisters Alexia and Annisa Rodriguez playing lead guitar and bass flanked by AJ Bartholomew (guitars/vocals) and Caleb Clifton (drums). Their music displayed not only great harmonies but also prompted a circle pit and moshing.
Finally, it was time for our favorite metal duo to play their set. While waiting for the equipment to be set up, the show attendees rocked with their bunny ears on in celebration of the holiday and we at Rock at Night bought brand new, beautifully designed T-shirts from Melinda, One Eyed Doll’s smiling Merch girl. Kimberly’s expertise with the Merch and the items she either makes or has designed are top of the line and she seems to know exactly what her fans like and will buy. She also sells most of her creations online.
With no organizing detail left undone, Jason is surprising with his use of social networking skills and “rounding up” people before a show. He connects with people who have RSVPed on Facebook event page for each performance. Rock at Night was not on the list to get into this show and Jason was at the front door fixing that within minutes with passes for both of us. Our first interview with the band was over dinner in Tampa before their performance at the Brass Mug almost exactly a year ago.
And then there is the music! This show is just plain FUN and we were wowed again at this performance! One Eyed Doll’s shows include a combination of all of the following: quirky, whimsical, dark performance art complete with assorted props, wild-ass, head banging metal music, Kimberly’s soprano vocals, screams and shrieks, her high kicks and hair whipping, her signature black “Syren” Tregan guitar (love this guitar), Blackstar amps (nothing but the best), and her fondness for jumping off the stage into the audience or jumping onto Junior and his drum kit and all while Junior is thumping the drums with a heavy driving backbeat! So that is why no bass is even needed!
I want to know what Kimberly takes to have all of this neverending energy and I want some of that too! This show included some of their new songs and some of the old classics like Be My Friend, Committed, Nudie Bar (“shhhhhhh, it’s storytime!”) and more. For a few of the songs, “More Weight” was one of them, their stage manager, Benjamin Riggs got up to play guitar with Kimberly and he was exceptional.
Last year’s “Witches” album and their latest video offering for the song “Afflicted” are mesmerizing! The video is more like a film short, supremely directed with beautiful scenery, make-up, costuming and coordination with the music. Absolutely stunning to watch! We chatted with Kimberly for a few minutes after the show and she says more music is coming! And we can’t wait!
A snippet of “Nudie Bar”
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Grew up in a rock and roll radio station that her father owned and has a musical family. Spent a few years singing back up. Now sings in the shower! Plays ukulele and hand drums. Loves Alternative to Zydeco. Promotes bands and independent artists through ANITA STEWART PROMOTIONS.Female musicians through YES SHE ROCKS. Writes, fights for a green environment, pure water, clean food. Preparing for retirement. Knits, paints and explores in nature with her camera!