Shaman’s Harvest and Blacktop Mojo live in Florida 2018

It’s 5:30 in the afternoon on July 21st, and a long line has already formed outside The Sound Bar; a live music venue in Orlando Florida. The doors won’t be opening until 7pm by then a good size crowd will have formed. For a crowd like this, it must be someone good playing tonight, and it is. Tonight, Shaman’s Harvest, Blacktop Mojo, and Electric Shrine will be entertaining this building crowd.
Shaman’s Harvest Florida Show 2018 poster

First up tonight is a band that hails from Orlando, Electric Shrine. Founded in 2016 with a mission to put rock n’ roll back on the map in Orlando, the group consists of Billy Rufrano on guitars, Bhren on vocals, Josh Henry on drums, and Stone on bass guitar. They opened their fast paced set with “Rock n’ Roll Saved My Soul”. With the crowd starting to get into them, they continued with “Blue Divination”, “Get Up”, “Traveler”, “Serpentine”, “Move On”, “Last Confession”, and to close out their set they played a rousing version of “Mississippi Queen”. What a good start to the evening!

The next band up was Blacktop Mojo. This hard driving rock band from Texas blends grunge, classic rock, and metal into something all their own. In 2012 frontman Matt James met drummer Nathan Gillis. Eventually guitarist Ryan Kiefer, bassist Matt Curtis, and guitarist Chuck Wepfer joined Matt and Nathan to round out the group. In 2014 they released their first album “I Am”, then in 2017 they followed it up with their sophomore effort “Burn the Ships”. When it came time for the guys in Blacktop Mojo to come out, they hit the stage with some high energy! Their opening number was the namesake from their second album “Burn the Ship”. Next up was “End of Days” from their second album. It’s just two songs into their set, and you can tell the guys were having a great time performing for the packed house. The set continued with “Trouble on the Rise”, “Open Road”, “Sweat”, “Where the Wind Blows”, “All Mine”, and “It Won’t Last”. All through out their performance they amazingly kept up such a high energy level. The hair was flying for sure and the audience was eating up. When it came time to play “Pyromaniac”. The whole place was into this new band from Texas. Their final number of the night was a cover of the Aerosmith classic “Dream On”. As tough a song as this one is for a band to cover, they nailed it. Matt showed he has the ability when he hit all the high notes with ease. This is a band that people should be keeping an eye on!
Finally, it was time for the band that everyone was here to see, Shaman’s Harvest. Shaman’s Harvest started out in Missouri in 1996. Bassist Matt Fisher, guitarist Josh Hamler and singer Nathan Hunt got together to form the foundation of the group. After some turnover the rest of the group rounded out with Derrick Shipp on lead guitar, and Adam Zemanek on drums. As the crews changed over equipment during the intermission, when they brought out Nathan Hunts trademark mike stand that is adorned with a horned animal skull and vertebrae, everyone started to get excited that showtime was about to arrive. The opening song was “Red Hands Black Deeds” from the album of the same name. This song has very little in the way of instrumentals and relies on Nathan Hunts vocals, and on this, he did not disappoint. The man has an amazing voice for sure and this song showed the crowd what he can do. Next up came “The Devil in Our Wake” and their hit single from their latest album “Red Hands Black Deeds”, “The Come Up”. After these songs came “Dirty Dianna”. If you never knew that this was originally a song written and performed by Michael Jackson, you would swear that this song belonged to Shamans Harvest. Live, you would think it even more; they now own this one! The show continued on with “Here it Comes”, “Blood Trophies”, and “Soul Crusher”. As it came time for things to slow down a bit, the band left the stage except for singer Nathan Hunt. He grabbed an acoustic guitar and played a beautiful version of “Long Way Home”. After this the band came back and the energy level shot right back up when they played “Tusk and Bone” then ripped into “Country as F*ck”. They were having a blast playing that song, with bassist Matt Fisher flipping his bass over and showing the crowd the back of it with “Country As F*ck” in big letters on it. Next was “Off the Tracks”, “Dangerous”, then two of their big hits from the album “Smokin’ Hearts & Broken”, “Dragon Fly” and “In Chains”. The final song was a cover of the Beatles song “Come Together”. They absolutely killed it. This was another cover song that they could own if they wanted to!
What a great night of rock n’ roll Orlando Florida had. To see bands of this quality in an intimate place like the Sound Bar is a rare treat, and everyone that was lucky enough to get to see the show knew that. From local band Electric Shrine, to hot newcomers Blacktop Mojo, to the stars of the night Shaman’s Harvest, every band brought their best to the stage. Make sure to look out for Blacktop Mojo and Shaman’s Harvest while they are out on tour.