Saturday night September 8, 2018 House of Blues Orlando host Orlando Rocks. Once a month House of Blues invites local bands and their fans to a night on the big stage. This Saturday, HOB hosted Orlando four area heavy metal bands to the venue. MarkHoran.Pictures was on hand to report on the action for MNPR Magazine. Four local bands with district followings were on the bill, leaving the most controversial for last. HOB is in Disney Village which is filled with tourists on any given night, rain or shine and the performances must be appropriate for all ages. Because of rain throughout the day attendance was thought to be light. The upper balcony was closed off leaving the bottom floor to be filled to capacity. The assignment to night was to cover Meka Nism. I was given back stage access three hours before showtime to interview and meet the band during sound check and in their green room.
Meka Nism the band, fronted by Ms. Meka dressed as a woman shaman complete with fiery red dreadlocks is simply mesmerizing. Upon returning from touring in Japan as a solo artist for three years, Ms. Meka settled back home in the Sunshine State with a new perspective on life and self-awareness and assembled her band, Meka Nism. A name she recalls as the nickname her brother used to taunt her with as a child.
Meka Nism has released one live album and three studio EP’s. The latest “The War Inside” was released earlier this year coinciding with their opening performance of national touring star Johnathan Davis, front man of “Korn”, on his solo album tour. This band is on a roll with two House of Blues dates the past three months as well as taking second in Orlando Weekly survey for best metal act!
True to the roots of The Heavy Metal genre, Meka Nism delivers to its audience acceptance that everyone has a dark internal struggle, “you’re not alone”. Their fan base is affectionately called “The Tribe”. From the lyrics of their music, to their stage performance, it’s clear acceptance and self-expression are the personal health messages. This is not a dark show. It’s a celebration from beginning to end verging on the theatrical with even a ballerina on stage at times. Remember they have their own woman shaman at the point. Give their show a chance, you won’t be disappointed. Let the healing begin and, everyone is welcome!
1. These Years
3. Mouth Of God
6. Out of Nowhere
7. Black Sky
8. War Inside
Leading off the nights performance was Who Was I. The bands lead singer, Darin “Darwood” Foxx, was so engaging every eye in the house was glued to him as he roamed all corners of The House of Blues Orlando stage the entire set. Who Was I was formed in 2007 by lead guitarist Steve Harvey. They have shared the stage with national acts, Mudvayne, Godsmack, Rob Zomie, Chevelle, and Marilyn Manson to name a few. Bobby "Von Ripper" Keller, lead guitar from Meka Nism joined them on stage for a few songs in the middle of their set. They bring plenty of energy, are very entertaining, and have a few surprises in their show with special guests. I have not experienced this band before, but if they are making the trip from Palm Bay to Orlando, I won’t miss it, and neither should you.
Copper Bones was the second band of the night, a two-piece band out of Orlando with Ryan Fleming bass/lead vocals and Gregg Blachstein on drums. Small and compact they don’t take up much space on the stage was my initial thought. It couldn’t have been farther from the truth. This duo brings the full sound of any band I have ever witnessed. They fill any venue with in your face metal rock n roll. This is not your grandpa’s rock n roll as Ryan Fleming explained before their set. We just look like him.
Filth, founded in 2009 was the final band of the night. All I know was I have never seen a band run all over the stage as I had witnessed Saturday night. Eric Mann was a madman with his movement and energy, not to mention the constant mask changes. He moved in concert with a man clad in a green devil mast. Those two moved back and forth, front to back of the stage in total chaos. From their FaceBook Page “somewhat controversial and completely unique live show to fans of heavy music everywhere, you may enjoy it, you may be offended by it....”. I found it distracting but I was safe in the pit with my fellow photographers. They were having a great time on stage and it was contagious to anyone in attendance. I left smiling ear to ear.