By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin, FL, March 6, 2020
Band: Four Star Riot
It’s hard to believe it, but it’s been over a year and a half since I last caught this band – and I hear there’s a new album coming soon-ish? It’s been almost six months since they played anywhere except in the studio, but you’d never know it from seeing them. Of course, I started out confused (nothing new for me.) I walked into the Dunedin Brewery I saw Finn Walling playing lead and Aaron Akers on bass – but did they get a new lead singer and drummer? The answer is: No. This was another band, Hangtown, that Aaron and Finn are also members of – a fairly common situation in the Tampa Bay area, I know some in-demand players who are in four and five different bands, plus do solo and duo work, often what it takes to earn a living as a full-time musician – and some have a “day job” as well!
About that time, a bass player/friend of mine from yet another band (Jager Mafia) showed up, and he set me straight on the situation, and things proceeded from there. The next set was pure Four Star Riot – except at the very end, when Hangtown’s current drummer, Scott Mitchell, was brought up to sit in for Mike Chilton. Steve Alex remained as the lead singer/rhythm guitar player, and the crowd gave them attention and accolades – even the drunk woman who was doing her aerobics on the dance floor!
Some new stuff, some familiar material, and a standing-room-only crowd. What more could an up-and-coming band wish for? Well, I got to ask those questions in a post-Riot hangout session, not exactly an interview but perhaps more revealing, which resulted in Finn’s quote above. Good thing his sister was off elsewhere! (She’s probably heard worse before, lol)