After tragedy and multiple singers, Drowning Pool seems to have found their fit with frontman Jasen Moreno.

The night of rock kicked off with local band, Manna Zen. Singer Hayden Vega jumped off stage into the crowd to sing and share the microphone with fans, adding a level of intimacy and forging a great connection with the crowd. Joe Kemplin slapped away intricate riffs on his bass guitar, and Kyle Brewer kept time with precision on drums. Guitarists Benjamin Hawkins and Rob Schulte shared fretwork for the set by splitting solos in half and even playing in unison. Schulte kept the energy high onstage by jumping in the air, kicking, and dancing to the music. Despite a small flub with timing that was quickly saved by Vega, Manna Zen did a great job warming up the crowd for the rest of the acts.

Denver, Colorado natives Red Tide Rising were the next to take the stage. These four guys portrayed a different look than was anticipated. Clad in all black and red, to go with the band name, the crowd expected a hardcore metal band. Singer Matt Whiteman delivered a strong voice accompanied by his brother, Andrew Whiteman on lead guitar with riffs reminiscent of Tool and Shinedown with melodic solos. Michael LeBois delivered bass riffs and were accented by the fact there was only him and Andrew Whiteman on guitar. Matt Guerin brought up the rear on the drum kit, hitting the skins with such power it was a surprise they didn’t break during the set.

Five guys from Australia, A Breach Of Silence, provided direct support and utilized the entire stage (though there was very little of it) to jump around and get the crowd amped up. This band can be best described as the sounds of Asking Alexandria and Bullet For My Valentine with Sebastian Bach look-a-like on bass. Bach’s actual name is Blair Layt and his ‘80s hair band look and high-pitched scream created great harmonies with singer Rhys Flannery. A mixture of singing and screaming with and double bass drums kicks from Daniel Trickett made for a fast-paced, in-your-face performance by A Breach Of Silence.

Headliners Drowning Pool from Dallas, Texas came to melt faces… once they actually came out. A result of technical difficulties or band issues, Drowning Pool took excessively long to take the stage, making the crowd impatient and diminishing the hard work A Breach Of Silence put in to get the fans excited for the headliner. Once they took the stage, the band made up for the delay. The crowd didn’t miss a beat and opened up the night’s first mosh pit, with drummer Mike Luce commenting on how it was good to see a pit again, but to “be good to each other” in the process. Drowning Pool had an exceptional chemistry onstage, making faces at each other during the show and joking around while playing, much like that of Sevendust live. Bassist Stevie Benton even balanced a cup of beer on his head for the intro to one of the songs.

When guitarist CJ Pierce wasn’t using his pedals for effects and shredding out solos, he was controlling the strobe lights onstage and jumping around on stage. The whole band was in motion most of the set and it only hyped up the crowd more, giving the musicians more fuel. This endless catch-22 of energy made for a great live experience and got the Jack Rabbits crowd involved. Singer Jasen Moreno even mentioned during the set that it was, “nice to see ladies down in front at a rock show.” By the end of their 16 song set list, which included songs from their break-through album Sinner in honor of the 13th anniversary remastered re-release, Drowning Pool and the crowd had clearly gotten their share of a rock for the night, as the “Bodies” hit the floor to the music.

Drowning Pool
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A Breach Of Silence
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Red Tide Rising
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Manna Zen
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This article was originally posted in Backstage VIPs.

About The Author

Julie Goldstein is a 25 year old rock fanatic residing in Jacksonville, Florida. The first concert she ever attended was Evanescence back in 2007 where she became mesmerized by Amy Lee's stage presence. While attending college at the University of Florida for a bachelors degree in English, she saw Halestorm live in 2009 where Lzzy Hale awoke something in her that brought on a calling for music journalism. Julie has since gone from that small club show with her little point-and-shoot Sony to sold out, two day rock festivals behind the barricade with her Nikon DSLR and interviewing top acts such as Lacuna Coil, Sick Puppies, and Butcher Babies. She runs her own website at www.backstagevips.com where fans can take a step backstage for artist interviews, cd reviews, and concert photography.

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