The Emporium in Patchogue, New York is making a name for itself hosting some of the best hard rock and metal shows on Long Island since it opened its doors in late 2012. On Wednesday May 14th hard rockers Fuel came to town bringing along The Cavalry and Flames of Fury to break the spell of midweek slumber on Long Islanders.
With rock fans arriving early at The Emporium to grab a few drinks, they had the chance to catch NYC based metal band Flames of Fury. Formed in 2009 by Jason Perez and vocalist Angelica Vargas, the band has been actively playing shows around NY opening for the likes of Sebastian Bach, King’s X, and Amaranthe. Combining powerful female vocals by Vargas and aggressive metal guitars of Perez, their sound could best be described as the best of traditional heavy metal with modern hard rock flare. Each tune they performed had intensity and did not lack intrigue throughout the set. Vargas had a good grasp of her voice as she soared through anthem-like metal choruses. Their EP is out now and worth giving a listen.
Next out on the stage were national touring rock band The Cavalry. Making their start out in Los Angeles, CA the band made some noise headlining venues along the Sunset Strip and then decided to relocate to Nashville, TN after a few years. Tweaking their line-up a bite, The Cavalry now consist of Tristan Jackson (vocals), Taylor Wade (drums), John Provost (guitar), and Seth Teegarden (bass). Now a part of 7dc Records, the band has gained the support of established musicians such as Adam Gaynor (guitarist of Matchbox Twenty), Clint Lowery (guitarist of Sevendust), and Ben Carey (guitarist of Lifehouse /Elvis Monroe).
At first glance when arriving on stage The Cavalry looked to be a younger band which was just starting out, until they begin playing. Once you start listening, you can hear the pure talent that could only have come from years of experience in writing and performing music. Full of energy, the band performed an exciting set of their brand of alternative southern rock which grabbed the crowd away from the bar to the front of the stage to watch them rock out. Vocalist Jackson was full of spunk, running around the stage, floor, and even jumping atop bars and tables, making sure Long Island remembered this performance. Singing powerful and in a passionate matter, Jackson made sure to include the crowd during their cover of “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic. Jackson even received a big kiss on the lips from an excited female fan, which caught him off guard but was all in good fun in the moment.
The Cavalry continued their performance and introduced the audience to many of their songs from their debut album Out On A Wire (2011) and new EP Hold On Tight (2014). Each tune sounded like the work of a mature polished rock band read to make a big splash in the national rock scene. Extremely grateful for the opportunity to be direct support on this tour, the band self-confessed they idolized Fuel growing up. Jackson was upbeat and humbled by the turnout for the show asking all fans to hang out with the band and even offered free t-shirts. The Cavalry is a perfect example of a band that has an understanding of how important it is to appreciate the fans. Hopefully they will get the recognition and following they deserve as they continue to tour the US.
While glancing around during the intermission before Fuel’s performance, The Emporium became packed with rock authenticates which have followed the band from the early days of Sunburn (1998). Originally formed in Tennessee back in 1989, Brett Scallions joined Fuel in 1993 after original bandmates Carl Bell and Jeff Abercrombie saw him perform at a bar. It is difficult to believe that Fuel has sustained twelve different members since they began all those years ago, including a four year stretch where Scallions himself departed from the band. Fortunately for Fuel fans Scallions returned home in 2010 to reform the band with a fresh new line-up to tour across the states, reminding audiences the band was back. Finding stability in recent years with Swedish native Andy Andersson (lead guitar), former Shinedown member Brad Stewart (bass), and former Puddle of Mudd member Shannon Boone (drums), Scallion has done a fine job of putting together an all-star line-up of musicians.
As soon as Fuel began and Scallions sang, everyone in the room was jolted back to a time where rock music seemed to contain more soul. Scallions wore a big beautiful smile and was very excited to be at The Emporium. He let the audience know that he had lived in Hicksville Long Island for a few years and even joked about how he was never able to pronounce Patchogue, but nonetheless holds a place in his heart for Long Island and loves to return. As the set moved on, the band played all of their incredible chart topping hits including “Bittersweet”, “Innocent”, “Shimmer”, “Bad Day” and “Falls On Me”. They also gave fans a taste of exciting new tracks from Puppet Strings playing songs like the album title track and “Hey, Mama”. It was great to hear some new material from Scallions and the relatively new bunch. Scallions dedicated “Hey, Mama” to his wife Abby Gennet and let the audience know the couple was celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary on this evening. While his wife was unable to attend the show, Scallions gave a heartfelt speech in dedication to her which prompted everyone to raise their glasses and toast them in celebration.
Spicing up the set, Scallions and Andersson mixed in some soothing blues guitar playing in between songs. Fuel maintained momentum the entire performance through to the closing of sing-along favorite “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)”. Scallions exhibited a charming personality with his fans which added comfort around the room as he gave everyone insight into his personal life. Maintaining recognition over the last two decades with their high-caliber music, Fuel has reignited in recent years and remains lit through the storm of change while exciting audiences in the process.