The drizzling, cloudy skies, and temperatures in the low sixties kept some way from the BBQ and chili cook off at Gator Harley-Davidson in Leesburg, Florida. Even so, the turnout was still pretty darn strong. Two Bands performed on Saturday January 23, 2021. SULFURIC played until 3pm and Blandini was scheduled to begin at 4pm, but there were delays caused by setting up the stage and then the presentation of awards for the cook off. Blandini finally took the stage a little before 5:00pm and jumped into a 1971 Small Faces hit “Stay With Me” written by Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood.
The show immediately heated up with Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” and then the 1987 hit from Whitesnake, “Still of The Night”. With the band warmed up, they decided to push out a couple of new songs; the 1994 hit from The Toadies, “Possum Kingdom”. Yes, they played that song so help me Jesus and “Traveling Man” by Bob Seger off his album “Beautiful Loser” released in 1975. By now the crowd was getting into the show, singing along and shouting out requests. Jeff Blando had another idea and the band burst into “Heavy Metal” by Sammy Hagar from the song track of the 1982 movie, you guest it, “Heavy Metal”.
The warm up was over and it was time to get down to the business of pure unadulterated heavy rock-n-roll. Blando stood poised behind his mic stand with cello bow clutched in his hand as he raked it across his Les Paul in true Jimmy Page fashion. The Led Zeppelin montage had begun. This is the pinochle of every Blandini show and the audience became unglued. The montage included, “Dazed and Confused”, “Good Times Bad Times”, “The Ocean”, “Whole Lotta Love”, “Stairway to Heaven”, and “How Many More Times” which covered over 22 minutes. Paul Drennan just pounded the bass line and Will Hunt played the perfect Bono. It was truly magical.
The band took a breath but continued rocking with Ronnie James Dio’s, “Rainbow in The Dark”. This was followed by the Who classic “Teenage Wasteland”. At that point those in attendance had to be thinking “What could possibly be next?” But, the show wasn’t close to being over as the band broke into “Do You Feel Like We Do” from Peter Frampton’s 1976 release of “Frampton Comes Alive”. It was complete with Blando’s mastering of the “Voice Box” which is critical to the authenticity and the recreation of the song. At the end, Blando yielded to drummer Will Hunt who ripped off an insane drum solo of days passed, and in my opinion, sincerely missed. The final song of the night was Ted Nugent’s “Just What The Doctor Ordered.”
Blandini is a three piece band of professional musicians that love playing rock n roll, and it shows. Jeff Blando on lead guitar is a member of Slaughter and Vice Neil’s solo project. On bass guitar is Paul Drennan who plays with George Lynch and is lead guitar in the blues band Three Forks Road. Will Hunt is currently the drummer of Evanescence and Slaughter. He has filled in with Motley Crew, Black Label Society, Staind, and George Lynch.
The three international musicians reside in Orlando, Florida, and when they aren’t touring with their respective bands, we the fans can see them perform around the Orlando area a few times a year. Blandini has been known to leave the state of Florida and perform around the country. I like to refer to them as the world’s greatest cover band! If you’re a fan of great rock-n-roll, Blandini is a must see band!
Jeff Blando – Vocals/Lead Guitar
Paul Drennan – Bass/Vocals
Will Hunt – Drums
Stay With Me
In The Heat Of The Night
Led Zeppelin Montage
Rainbow In The Dark
Do You Feel Like We Do
What The Doctor Ordered
The link to the show;
Freelance Photographer and Editor/Founder of AllMusicMagazine.com. My love of live music has taken me to incredible experiences with the top bands of all time in stadium shows to the smallest venues with equally inspiring musicians. Using the medium of photography and my publication, these memories will last forever.