Have Mercy: The Final Tour Soundbar Orlando Feb. 16th, 2020~ w/ Fredo Disco and more..!
The fact that rain was falling seemed somewhat fitting. Tonight’s show was, after all, a bittersweet event. After nearly ten years of producing music and amassing a respectable fan base, Baltimore rockers Have Mercy were calling it quits. The band announce its Final Tour in December, and then embarked on a whirlwind trek that will take them to thirty-five cities in just two months. Orlando is one of those cities, and tonight at Soundbar, Have Mercy brought along some friends to celebrate the occasion.
First up was Rohna. Four best friends from Tampa Florida make up this hard-rocking band that prides itself on its musical roots which include alternative, indie rock, neo soul, punk, and psychedelic rock. Rohna’s members are Nick Rovello (guitar/vocals), Andres Hernandez (bass/vocals), Austin Burdi (guitar) and Luca Canalungo (drums/vocals). Although the band is relatively new, their passion for music is unmistakable. The cohesiveness of this band is sure to be the recipe for long-term success. Their debut album The Beautiful Ordinary was released in January 2020. Be sure to give it a listen.
Young Culture were the next band to hit the stage. The energy and excitement these guys bring is contagious. Out of Albany New York, Young Culture is comprised of Alex Magnan (vocals), Gabe Pietrafesa (guitar) and Troy Burchett (guitar). For tonight’s show, Simon Hatziioannou was holding down the fort on drums. Young Culture rocked the house for the duration of their seven-song set. The band crushed it on songs such as Breathe It In, 21 Days and Drift. Their latest single, Holiday in Vegas, also had the crowd dancing in appreciation. Magnan possess the qualities needed to be a successful front man and the charisma displayed by the band as a whole is outstanding. I’m definitely keeping an eye out for Young Culture’s next return trip to Florida, however I have a feeling they will be headlining.
I always try to conduct a little research into the bands that I’ll be covering. That being said, Fredo Disco was still somewhat of a mystery to me. I did learn one interesting fact about the origin of the band’s name. Founding member, lead vocalist and guitarist, Fredo Fosco, chose the name because his phone continually auto corrected his name to Fredo Disco. With that in mind, I was ready to see what these guys were all about. Fosco assumed his position front and center, his neon pink hair setting him apart from fellow band mates Colin Riordan (drums), Max King (guitar) and Aidan Cada (bass guitar). What followed, was a very animated and fun nine-song set punctuated by a rousing rendition of their hit Ghost of Mariano’s. It’s obvious that these guys love what they are doing and the crowd enthusiastically showed their appreciation. Their debut album, Very Cool Music for Very Cool People was released in 2019 and their new single Harmony Korine (The Game) seems destined for success. What amazes me most is that Fredo Fosco is only nineteen years old and yet serves as songwriter, producer, guitarist, vocalist and visionary for this band. Don’t sleep on these guys, the sky’s the limit.
The next set brought a bit of a surprise. As Selfish Things appeared on stage, lead singer Alex Biro announced that prior to the tour they dropped their drummer. Rather than cancel, the band had decided to proceed with the tour in an acoustic-type fashion. A band named Selfish Things, acting in a totally selfless manner, got to love irony. Selfish Things was formed in 2016 and hail from Ontario Canada. Alex Biro founded the group and is responsible for lead vocals and also plays guitar and piano. Biro is joined by Mike Ticar (guitar/vocals) and Cam Snooks (rhythm guitar). The six-song acoustic set delivered by the band was subdued, yet soulful and moving. The highlight of the set for me was the song Synaptic from their 2019 debut album Logos. Selfish Things is a band that plays with a lot of passion and raw emotion and it really showed during this performance.
As the time had arrived for Have Mercy to begin the process of saying goodbye, the mood was anything but somber. The crowd was upbeat and ready to party with their favorite Baltimore rockers. Have Mercy was formed around 2009 and have released four albums including the 2019 release, The Love Life. Whether being described as indie, emo or alternative, Have Mercy have never strayed from their musical roots. After enduring numerous lineup changes over the years, lead vocalist and guitarist, Brian Swindle, was here in Orlando accompanied by Guy Battaglia (guitar/vocals), Joe Enright (drums) and Nick W. (guitar/vocals).
Swindle told the crowd that he had just woken up five minutes ago and that his girlfriend was going to be mad because he missed her call. The environment seemed more like a bunch of friends hanging out at a party as opposed to a near sellout concert. This is what endears Have Mercy to their fans. The band unloaded a heartfelt seventeen-song set that had fans on their feet throughout. They danced emphatically through favorites such as Howl and Coexist and sang along to the melancholy of Dressed Down. At the end of the night, such a great time was had by all, that it was easy to forget what this night was all about. The giant banner hanging on stage served as a reminder, summing it up in two words, “Thank You”.
Photos and Review by Chris Pamatian