By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, Florida–Rise Against, Deftones, and Thrice
We are finally in concert and festival season here in Tampa Bay, Florida, but unfortunately this coincides with our rainy season. Between the late-afternoon and early-evening it rains, causing lights to flicker and cars to collide on the highway. Floridians are not used to changes in weather (it is usually sunny and then, well, SUNNY).
So, this evening when the Rise Against/Deftones tour rolled into town, the concert goers had to contend with Mother Nature. I arrived in time to catch one of the warm-up bands called Thrice and they came out creating their own thunder. Lots of electric guitars and great alt-rock fun!
While waiting for Thrice’s set to end, the dark, billowy clouds planted themselves on top of the Mid-Florida Amphitheatre, and poured rain, creating lots of puddles to walk on. We all were cringing at the thought of having to walk from our holding area to the photo pit; however, I brought along my trusty white trash bag for wrapping my beloved Nikon and a small foldable umbrella. Rule #1—always be prepared to protect the camera.
We all traipsed down to the pit to wait for Deftones. Looking up at the lights over the stage droplets appeared to be falling from the ceiling. I didn’t know if perhaps it was dust but indeed it was rain. How the heck’ can they play with electronic instruments with misty droplets falling down? Well, they did! The Deftones came out with full force, tons of energy, and braved the smoke and water droplets. The crowd was fist pumping their arms over the barricade and there were plenty of cell phones capturing video. The last time I caught their show was in August 2015 when they played with Incubus, but this show appeared to be even more electric.
The first part of the three-song allowance (typical for photographers) I was able to capture some decent shots but as the set went on the stage fog thickened to the point of pea soup. Colored lights shone on the band members who were hopping from side to side, making sure that every side of the audience was able to see them. The bass player Sergio Vega was not sporting long curly lavender-colored locks. He is always fun to watch leaping off the speaker and of course Chino Moreno was on fire.
Finally, the headliner Rise Against hit the stage! The Chicago boys are always a blast to photograph because Zach Blair (lead guitar) and Tim McIlrath (lead vocals) were constantly pacing and leaping, often leaning across the edge of the stage and over the audience There was a lot of head banging music and a couple of crowd surfers made their way over the side of the barricade wall and into the pit. By this time the rain let up and I’m sure the crowd—and bands—were thankful. Even with Mother Nature, the show went on—and a great one at that!