Central Florida fans of young and old pack the House of Blues Orlando to spend a night of memories with homegrown Floridians, Sister Hazel.
The House of Blues is an iconic venue known worldwide for the famous performances they have hosted on their legendary stages. September 1st of 2018 brought a twist to the Saturday night concert life for the venue: tonight we find a true “all-ages” audience with many young children (accompanied by their parents,) co-mingled with a diverse spread of young and old, male and female, rock, alternative, pop and country fans. All with a common denominator, a ticket in hand to a sold out live performance by the almighty Sister Hazel.
At 9:59pm, the main stage of the House of Blues Orlando begins to illuminate with an ambient purple glow, silhouetting amplifiers, an array of instruments and a massive tapestry emblazoned with the words “Sister Hazel” across it. At 10:00pm sharp, the shadows of six seasoned musicians glide across the eerie purple glow, taking their positions on the playing field for the night’s event. House lights rise, and present the veteran pop-rock, alternative, folk legends Sister Hazel to a mass of roaring all-ages fans. The band, sporting smiles and shooting hands of gratitude, secure their instruments and our night is underway. The only thing missing would be… Andrew Copeland’s shoes. True to his barefooted reputation, Drew has arrived to party in Orlando with all of his little piggies on the run!
After a quick “toe show,” lead singer and frontman Ken Block greets the crowd of Floridians as the familiar back beat of “Shame” churns from the background. The crowd comes to life immediately and begins a night of dancing, lip syncing and backup singing to Sister Hazel’s massive sixteen song setlist. The band seamlessly transitions into their chart topper “Happy.” Lead guitarist Ryan Newell takes center stage for the first of many solo appearances throughout the night, laying down tasty chops and riffs with his notable glass slide technique. The audience can be seen bopping their heads like a middle school gym class, mothers dancing with children in their arms, and even the youngest generations joining in for some fast “footery!” The band presses on with the folky flavored “I Stay for the Girl,” followed by a mash-up of “Your Winter” into the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers classic cover, “Freefallin.”
Sister Hazel’s rhythm section: bassist Jeff Beres and veteran drummer Mark Trojanowski, kept the night on track with a tight and on point back beat that frequently lead Beres to the front of the stage to engage his adoring fans. Block then lead the group into “Swan Dive,” and a powerful and convincing version of “Starfish.” Next up, an evening highlight came with a rowdy yet tasteful version of the ZZ Top cover “Cheap Sunglasses.” The mega classic put smiles on all in attendance including the photographers and security staff!
The energy did not stop there and reached a summit when Sister Hazel launched the expected, chart topping surprise “All For You.” At this point the entire concert venue was singing in unison as Block belted the powerful lyrics across the amphitheater. Just as the song was coming to a close and the crowd had begun to relax expectant the final credits to roll across the screen…the band returns to the stage for a two song encore. First came “Change Your Mind,” followed by a moving performance of the band’s hit “Take It With Me.”
As we finally arrive to the official ending of the night, Ken Block and the Sister Hazel team take center stage for one last curtain call bow to the mesmerized crowd. This evening, not only did they give Florida a taste of home court lovin’, but a smoking live performance with musical memories to last a lifetime!
Sister Hazel is currently on tour supporting their “Lyrics for Life” cause and their upcoming EP entitled Wind on September 7th of this year. More details can be found at the band’s website.
Event Date: 01-SEP-2018