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Tallahassee’s “Warrior On The River” closes doors, leaves “Legacy At The Riverfront”

Saturday night, January 28th, 2023 marks a special occasion! After over 12 years of serving the local community “The Warrior On The River” hosted it’s last hoorah! In its time “The Warrior” has hosted everything from world-touring acts to the very first show for many local bands. As the venue grew its power to do good also grew, sprouting and becoming home to “Tallahassee Live Music Community Charity Group” or TLMC for short. The organization continues to get underprivileged youth set up for musical success, fulfilling its mission to “fill the idle hands of today’s youth with instruments”

Owner Chris Godwin grew up around the music industry and has dedicated his life to making sure the youth of Tallahassee or anyone else interested in the music industry gained the same opportunities he had if not more. Personally speaking, Chris gave me my very first dose of what press access was like. He also introduced me to many of the bands and concert workers who have driven my career to this point (That includes our Editor Joseph Hasbrouk). Going forward Chris will still be heavily involved in the music scene, turning his attention toward joining his wife Alicia (who also works tirelessly to support this community!) in helping TLMC to achieve its full potential!

The last show featured over 20 bands that represent years spent working hard, through difficult times, to form lasting relationships. Many of the bands featured on the bill played their first shows at The Warrior and wouldn’t dare miss an opportunity to give the place one last serenade. Thinking back on it, it was filled with incredibly emotional moments. The intensity of which was amplified if you are tight with the scene in Tallahassee. It was more or less a 12-hour barrage of the best rock and metal acts to grace the stage of The Warrior in the last decade plus.

The roster (photo below) consisted of everyone from die-hard local acts like Falls Chase to Tallahassee-based regional touring powerhouses like Defy The Tyrant and Tragic. Spicing things up were some out-of-town regional acts known for legendary main room appearances to Tallahassee crowds. Bands like Shadow The Earth. Lots of love to all the bands that traveled to close down a venue that has meant so much to Tallahassee over the years. Speaking of closing down…

The Warrior on The River Final Show Flyer (Credit: Black Tyrant Ants)

THERE WILL STILL BE A HOME FOR MUSIC AT THE RIVERFRONT! The venue isn’t closing down, simply changing hands. Into very capable hands I might add. Andrew Mack, a long-time musician who has made regular appearances in some of Tallahassee’s top bands. As well as his business partner Shane are proud to continue the legacy of live music on the Ochlocknee River under the appropriate name “Legacy At The Riverfront”. Legacy will host its first show “love, sex + candy” (brought to you by 96 Nation) on February tenth. Here at Local Musicians Media, we would like to give the crew at Legacy our full support and we wish them all the best in this endeavor.

Now that all the heartfelt stuff is out of the way, let’s talk about the bands. There is a long distinguished list for this show but the one that immediately comes to mind first is Tragic! Now, I’ll be honest, I’m one of those people who normally shakes his head in disapproval at the thought of a rock band doing an acoustic set (sorry I like my guitars LOUD!) but holy smokes! The acoustic set Tragic has put together is an emotionally powerful plethora of tunes from their library that are incredibly articulate in their acoustic form. The word in the scene is that Tragic may make a habit of doing acoustic sets, if that’s the case I would advise anyone with ears to take one in.

Josh Ivester – Tragic (Vocals)

Another performance that left a lasting impression was Defy The Tyrant making their live return to their hometown of Tallahassee. The first time I met and worked with DTT was at The Warrior so it only felt fitting to shoot them during the last show. In the last few years since that first time working with them, Defy has only progressed forward and at a consistently mind-blowing rate. The show Saturday only further served to be evidence of that progression, featuring newer jams along with old favorites like “Fighting Gravity”, and “Voices” and also a duo performance of “Upside Down” feat. Dustin Blake. I know the scene was just as excited as I was to watch Defy The Tyrant “Tear It Down” one last time on the Warrior’s main stage!

Unfortunately, “The Chodes” were unable to make it due to mechanical issues. However, that gives me a great opportunity to shout out their replacement “Nightfall Ends”. “Nightfall Ends” drove from Chattahoochee to Tallahassee on less than an hour’s notice, showed up, cranked up, and banged out a killer set on the river stage. If that isn’t the spirit of local independent music I dunno what is. Other notable acts that kept us jamming on the river bank include “Ember Fading” (new EP out now), Trial By Stone, Despite The Irony, and a myriad of other top-notch Tallahassee talents.

Inside The Warrior, on the main stage, you could cut the energy in the room with a knife. Some of Tallahassee’s hardest-hitting bands had to hit the main stage one last time or it just wouldn’t have been right. Names like “Core”, “Tragic”, “Defy The Tyrant” and “Fighting Giants” dominated the evening. Also among the group was a newly reformed “This Dying Breed” featuring new members on drums, bass, and vocals. This was only show #2 for the new “This Dying Breed” but the seriousness with which they attacked the stage says everything that needs to be said about where they are as a band. I don’t know that I have ever seen the main room so packed. Andrew and I actually debated as to if the attendance record may have been broken that was set by “Core” when they made their iconic return performance.

Lastly, “Falls Chase” closed the place down, becoming the last band to play “The Warrior On The River”. The FC boys gave us a heck of a closer, from covers to originals they played songs like each beat was a vital piece of the evening. It was undoubtedly one of my favorite headlining sets of all time.

Landon Hamilton – Falls Chase (Vocal, Guitar)

I wish I had time and space to talk in detail about every great band that joined us on this special occasion. The playbill is below though, read it carefully and give everyone listed a listen. A special thank you to each and every band, fan, and staff member. You have all made my time at The Warrior a memorable one filled with Joy. Thank you to Chris and Alicia, your hard work across the last decade-plus undoubtedly got us all through unprecedented and difficult times. As a writer, I am angry that I can’t find better words to quantify all you have done for the Tallahassee Music Scene. Lastly thank you to all those who are and will continue this work under “Legacy At The Riverfront”.

So I guess that leaves one question… Who is ready to party at Legacy!?

5 thoughts on “Tallahassee’s “Warrior On The River” closes doors, leaves “Legacy At The Riverfront”

  • Pat Bodiford

    Didn’t get to see all the shows but the ones I did were great! Thanks Chris for having a vision. I know I’ll be back for that loud as hell music! Rock on

  • Lori C. Hamilton

    CHILLS, yes, chills came over me while reading this article and admiring your awesome pictures! I often tell the story of how this mama tried to make Landon (of Falls Chase) as country as I am but I lost out to his dad’s musical influence! However, watching these rock bands become brothers to my son over the years has sold this country gal on the family of rock and roll! While the music is sometimes harder than what I’d have playing in my truck, I am amazed at the talent of all of these groups and, even more so at how they support and build each other up. I’ve made a lot of my own new friends through the years at the Warrior and I’m looking forward to continuing those friendships at the Legacy! Look for me to arrive by boat from time to time…it’s just a killer venue on the river! Thanks to Chris and Alicia for all of their hard work. AND, thanks to you, Preston for all you have done!

  • charles hamilton

    Falls Chase/powerful, emotional, moving. 1 thing i noticed … they have a lot less stage gear than all the other bands but just as loud and it makes for fast load in and load out.

  • Curtis Rogers

    Awesome article Preston!
    I’ve read this a few times. Well written my friend. Once again, thanks for your awesome words bro!!!



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