Friday night Legacy at the Riverfront played host to “Last Band Standing” a battle of the bands style contest featuring some of Tallahassee’s top tier new talent. Up for grabs was $500 + studio time at Goldie Sound + free photo shoot + gifts from local smoke shop “The Puff”. Both 96 Nation and Legacy at the Riverfront are known for putting on exceptional shows in the area so it is no surprise that “Last Band Standing” did over 500 pre-sales. Despite the stiff competition and excitement of the show, the contest actually began weeks ago on the 96 Nation Instagram Page (@96nationFL). Brackets featured everything from the funkiest of groovers to the heaviest rock acts Tally can offer. As the time went on and the votes came in, eventually there were only 4. The final four, the four horsemen if you will. The final round created a STACKED lineup consisting of “Rockodilians”, “Flying Bison”, “Beloved Devotion”, and our very deserving winner, “Mutual Friends”.
First, let me say the all 4 of these bands could have walked away with the top slot, given their impressive performances. “Rockodilians” were of special interest to a lot of older musicians in the crowd. These kids, and I do mean kids, have their stuff together in a way I only wish I could have in my youth. “Rockodilians” are all teenagers trying to get through the same struggles we all were at that age. The difference is they seem to be picking up the musical side of things at an exponential rate compared to where this writer (and several musicians I consulted with at the show) could have even begun to expect from such a young band. Busting through top notch covers of rock and metal favorites. I thoroughly look forward to seeing this awesome, young, energetic group perform and compete in the future.
Hitting the #2 slot on the lineup was “Flying Bison” who brought together an eclectic mix that mainly consisted of funky grooves but did contain a few rock and roll favorites to shake things up. “Flying Bison” gives fans a high level of technicality to appreciate without having an overly cluttered sound. If you’re a die hard rock fan who wants nothing else, “Flying Bison” might not be for you. However, if you want to go to a show where you can digest a wide aray of styles and sounds, congrats, you just found a new band to check out.
We are gonna skip a slot in the show and go to our close “Beloved Devotion” who laid the metal mayhem down on the “Legacy at the Riverfront” crowd. I’ve seen this band a few times and each time 1 word comes to mind…..Aggression. “Beloved Devotion” never seems to miss an opportunity in their set to escalate things with the crowd. Almost like every verse, bridge, and chorus is spurring fans to let their inner animal out. With a possible set list that could cover everything from “My Own Summer (Shove It)” (Deftones) to “One Step Closer” (Linkin Park) on any given night, this group knows how to keep fans of heavy music happy.
That brings us to the band I was forced to save for last because they were the “LAST BAND STANDING”! Major congrats are in order for “Mutual Friends”! The group never Seems to disappoint fans and has developed a loyal following that was out in force at “Last Band Standing”. If the word aggression best describes “Beloved Devotion” then the word for “Mutual Friends” must be happy. The 4 piece always seems upbeat, excited, and extremely lively. What about the music, you say? Well, all that light-hearted energy comes at you note by note with a vibe that will keep fans of both technical music and soulful music smiling. With a stage presence full of enthusiasm and musical numbers to match it’s no shock that “Mutual Friends” is your 96 Nation 2023 “Last Band Standing”
As always, a special thank you goes out to Legacy at the Riverfront and its staff. As well as the fans and bands. Without whom this beautiful world of music does not exist. We would also like to extend a note of gratitude to 96 Nation who are making active strides to bring the local scene in Tallahassee together and make the best shows possible happen for fans. Their diligent work should not go unseen.