Ashley Smith & the Random Occurrence, Kerry Courtney Band at the Floridian
The Floridian Social Club in St. Petersburg was filled with great music Thursday, June 9, when Ashley Smith and the Random Occurrence headlined a show, with their friends the Kerry Courtney Band opening. Both bands knocked out great sets.
There were sound difficulties, some with the venue itself, some with the sound engineer. Read more about those issues here. The bands persevered despite those obstacles.
Kerry Courtney and his band put on a fine opening set. They can rock, but it’s not a rock set. In fact, Courtney kicked off the show with a solo tune, whistling, playing acoustic guitar, and singing in his very distinctive style. the band kicked in for “Somewhere Else”: keyboards, bass, drums, and violin.
“Coral Reef” was a fine tune featuring a great violin solo by Nick Ewing, who is also a member of The Random Occurrence. There was a great message to “Toxic Positivity,” followed by some great falsetto work from Courtney, who is an engaging frontman and story-teller.
He had a heartfelt intro to song “Active Shooter” following shortly after the Buffalo and Uvalde massacres. The crowd was plugged into this very enjoyable set, and we look forward to the next time.
[KCB: solo, Somewhere Else, Coral Reef, ?, Toxic Negativity, Sweetheart, Affection, Beautiful Ghost, Active Shooter, last tune]
Then it was time for Ashley Smith & the Random Occurrence to strut their collective stuff, and strut they did! The band kicked into “Vamp,” the intro to “Atmospheric.” Smith began behind the curtain, then moved to center stage. That tune is indeed atmospheric. They fired it up on “Sirens,” with Bryan Smith ripping an excellent electric guitar solo. Smith and acoustic guitarist John Soler work so very well together.
“Changing Views” began as a ballad but soon rocked out, with Smith’s vocals and Nick Ewing’s violin engaging in great interplay. Ewing also had a fine interlude a bit later, followed by stage “drama” as Soler broke a string when he was supposed to solo; Smith stepped up with a fine solo. The backbone of the back is clearly the rhythm duo of David Diaz on bass and Andrew Kilmartin on drums. They laid the foundation for the band’s fine set.
The venue did not properly showcase Smith’s spectacular vocal talents, but plenty of that shone through regardless. Dressed in a beautiful body-hugging dress, she owned the entire stage — right, left, front, and back. Her smile radiated throughout the hall as she strutted, danced, and rocked out.
Smith performs with ASTRO and solo at a number of venues in the area. Be sure to check her and the band out!
[ASTRO: Vamp > Atmospheric, Sirens, Loneliness, Changing Views, 3 Goodbyes, Strange, Limbo, Synchronicity, The Depths, Worthy, Tension, High Horse, Unfortunate, Intimate, Decide]