There is the smell of pizza dough baking in the oven and young-aged crowds stand in line against the bar while teens sit in booths drinking cans of soda.
Almost everyone is focused on the raised platforms at the back wall. It’s Friday night at Ybor’s Market Place on Seventh’s, and performances are scheduled from four local bands: Within Apatheia, Stone Groove Sunday, Maybe Foreign and Ascending to Avalon.
An hour and a half later than the scheduled 7 p.m. start, Within Apatheia begins the show playing ‘She,’ a tune with a surprising hard rock sound. Angel Toro, the lead vocalist, wears thick-framed eyeglasses and a plaid t-shirt.
He turns the audience’s attention the bass drum that the band spray painted white ’20 minutes before the show,’ Toro says. Then he invites to sing along to the next song: ‘Wasted.’
‘This song is about getting wasted, not having any money and going out with your friends’ Toro says.
The crowd easily picks up on the song’s catchy chorus, ‘hellip;lets party down because sometimes it feels like the end’hellip;’When Toro is done with his antics, Stone Groove Sunday takes stage. The band’s sound is reminiscent of Creed and Tool and even throws a little funk in the mix. Stone Groove Sunday’s bassist, Ryan Gerardi, introduces band mate Andre Mack as a ‘guitar virtuoso who does painting on the side.’
True to his introduction, Mack treats the audience with a short blues interlude known as ‘Manic Depression,’ which is met with whistles and cheers from the crowd.
But then the night changes.
Maybe Foreign’s symphonic keyboard use, heartfelt lyrics and tornado stirring drum solos fill the air as members of the previous two bands linger among the audience.
Maybe Foreign is a band of two families: Shane and Ryan Guy, brothers; Preston and Logan Williamson, brothers; and Preston’s wife, Emily Williamson.
While Shane Guy makes a quick guitar change, singer and songwriter Preston Williamson shouts ‘Everyone tell Shane to hurry up!’ The room resounds with ‘Hurry up Shane!’ and ‘Come on Shane!’
Before the night winds down, Ascending to Avalon hits the stage with its psychedelic rock-band enthusiasm. The quartet plays some hits from upcoming album ‘Behold the Wicked’ and ends the midnight hour with an artsy twist on hard rock.
The best band on this night is Ascending to Avalon, whose mature vocals compliment the hard rock instrumentals. Ascending to Avalon kept the crowd on its feet when the night reached its end.
Market Place on Seventh’s next event ‘Get Funk’ed Up,’ features the Tim Walker Band, The Commoners and Triptico on Saturday at 8 p.m. Admission is $7.’