First up were Fourth Hour from the Harnett/Cumberland Counties area. Comprised of Gary Wilkins - bass and guitar; Brice Witter - vocals; Jeff Wickman - rhythm guitar & bass; Brian Wickman -drums/percussion; and Kostantinos Vasilopoulos - lead guitar, they opened the show with a variety of original hard rock music to get the night started as the crowd streamed in and made their way to the front of the stage, ready to rock. This was my first time seeing them and I was greatly impressed with their musicality and talent.
Meliora hit the stage next in what would be their first show in a bittersweet farewell series. Hailing from South Carolina, this would be their last show in the area, but that didn't stop them from bringing us their absolute best! With members Jared (JD) Whitman - Lead Vocals/Guitar; Jeff Tollison - Drums; Colton Rudd - Guitar/Backing Vocals; Harley Quinn - Bass they plunged through their set, engaging us from start to finish. And as an (amateur) photographer, I had a lot of fun shooting the delightfully animated Harley Quinn!
Next up were local Raleigh favorites, Last Call Messiahs. These guys burst on to the scene last year and haven't slowed down or looked back! Despite a couple of recent lineup changes, they haven't wavered in there relentless pursuit in keeping all things rock and sleazy alive. With newcomers Bill Jackson on bass and Dee Williams on drums, original members Jeff Young on lead guitar and Chris Clark on guitar and vocals, they blazed through their previously released hits from their first EP and debuted two new songs from their upcoming full length CD "Sermons of Debauchery". Each song reminiscent of the Sunset Strip glory days, they had all of us dancing and singing along with wild abandon. And, on a side note, LCM has a Kickstarter campaign full of exclusive rewards to help them produce their new cd. You can donate here and get yourself some cool perks to go along with helping to support our local musicians!
Rounding out the night were the heavy-hitting foursome, The Fifth from Fayetteville. I think that I can speak for all of Raleigh when I say we've adopted them as our very own. Led by the vocal perfections of Roy Cathey, they've become a leading favorite in the local scene. With the super talented Icky Jim on lead guitar, David Franko on bass and Darius Rose on drums, The Fifth solidified their rising success as they scorched through their set of fan favorites such as "Better Way", "The Gift" and "Dirty Money". And much to my delight, they threw in a killer cover of Foghat's "I Just Want To Make Love To You"! If these guys aren't on your radar yet, what are you waiting on? You can purchase their new single "No Going Home" on iTunes here, or on Google Playhere and you can preview it on Spotify. Check out the video for the single, below!