Tampa Metal is Alive in 2024 (The Florida Metal Show)

By Jason Stallworth

March 18, 2024

Setup was at 2 PM that day, February 17th, 2024. The lighting crew started unloading and assembling massive amounts of gear on the stage. We were setting up our merch tables. More members and help from the four bands started to roll in. Backstage food, sound check, and wardrobe changes sprinkled with hints of butterflies.

The pre-show experience was almost as magical as the show itself. And I’ll never forget when the doors opened at 7 PM, the continuous flow of fans that kept coming in.

The Brass Mug in Tampa, FL was packed that night. Sure, packed in this case means about 300 people. But that exhilarating audience made us feel like we were playing in front of 30,000. And I’m about to share this epic experience with you.

***I have references and links to all bands and other relevant resources.

The Florida Metal Show at the Brass Mug in Tampa

The Florida Metal Show - Brass Mug Tampa, FL 2-17-2024 - huge audience

I had the opportunity to open for three legendary Florida-based heavy metal bands that night. This was the line-up:

  • Jason Stallworth
  • Siren
  • Oblivion
  • Seasons of the Wolf

Patrick Brown of Oblivion organized this show and of course, we all promoted this heavily (no pun intended). An abundance of effort went into this from every angle. I preface that to say that we had no clue what to expect since we were charging $20 for tickets, online, and $25 at the door.

It’s one of those things where you give it your all, no matter the perceived outcome. And you put the rest in the hands of the keeper of the universe, who was extremely generous that night.

Jason Stallworth – The Opening Act

The Florida Metal Show - Brass Mug Tampa, FL 2-17-2024 - Jason Stallworth Live

To spare you from talking in 3rd person, I had the honor of opening that night. You may (or may not) know that I’m a solo artist. I had released my 5th studio album in December of 2023, Overcometh.

That said, I didn’t anticipate playing these songs live. So I had limited time to put a band together. I certainly wasn’t going to pass this up.

The lights, the fog, the otherworldly sensation looking out at the crowd performing songs that started either in a small home studio or the patio with a couple of beers. There’s nothing like being up there playing the music that you wrote.

I ended up recruiting these phenomenal musicians:

  • Andrew Carlton on rhythm guitar (from The Drinking with Drew Show)
  • William James on drums (from the Tampa extreme metal band Must Not Kill)
  • Daniel Santana on bass (from the tech thrash metal band Precipice)

At first, it was just Will, Drew, and myself. And Drew was originally going to play bass. But it soon became clear that he needed to be on his native instrument – the guitar. He and I worked together in my studio between practices and he learned the songs fast. Having that second guitar was a must.

Will was on board from the start as well. Coming from the extreme metal style of Must Not Kill, it was no surprise that he nailed the songs quickly. We were pretty tight by the 3rd practice.

We still needed a bass player. I put the word out but the bass players we wanted were booked. And I was hesitant about putting a broad message on social media. I wanted to find a bassist through a close and reputable source, and that’s exactly what happened.

One night after The Drinking with Drew Show with Brad Mader (founder and guitarist of Must Not Kill), we started chatting about the upcoming show. He said ‘I’ve got the perfect person for you guys.’ Brad sent Daniel Santana (bassist for tech thrash metal band Precipice and someone he has worked with), and he responded with a ‘yes’ right away.

We had five practices, thanks to Siren’s guitarist Todd Grubbs for letting us use his music school for those. And actually, we didn’t recruit Daniel until the fourth practice. So there were only two practices as an entire band but I think we all did a great job pulling it off.

I enjoyed jamming with these guys and would do it all over again. We plan to!

Jason Stallworth Setlist – Brass Mug Tampa, 2/17/2024

As the opening act, we only had 30 minutes on stage time. And we only played songs from my latest album, Overcometh.

  • Walk with Me
  • Overcometh
  • Higher Purpose
  • Your Hand I Still Hold
  • Believe
  • Manufactured Chaos
  • The Damned

Siren at the Brass Mug

The Florida Metal Show - Brass Mug Tampa, FL 2-17-2024 Siren US Band on stage

Next up was the melodic heavy metal band, Siren. Chances are you’ve seen the videos with frontman Doug Lee and drummer Ed Aborn on my YouTube channel. I’ve become close friends with these guys and the rest of the band over the past several years.

A short backstory – Siren has the most interesting comeback story in heavy metal history. In short, they were on the edge of ‘making it’ but never quite crossed over. Many members went their separate ways and the fire fizzled out in the early 90s.

Decades later they discovered they still had a hefty fanbase in Germany (and other parts of the world). Ed Aborn, Siren’s drummer, started getting messages on social media asking about the band. They ultimately put together a comeback show at the Keep it True festival in Germany in 2018 followed by new music and the documentary that Chris Jericho financed called ‘I’m Too Old for this Shit: A Heavy Metal Fairy Tale.’
You can read the full story here: Siren’s Comeback with Ed Aborn

From the moment Siren started their first song to the end of the set, they were in their truest form, living out their calling. They were in their element and meant for the stage.

Vocalist Doug Lee owned the stage that night and did an amazing job engaging with the crowd. Hal Dun had an excellent stage presence while tearing up some rhythm guitar, Todd Grubbs was playing his usual scorching leads, Ed Aborn was back there drumming with the passion and precision he’s known for, and they had Ryan Tatum doing an awesome job on bass.

Siren’s Setlist – Brass Mug Tampa, 2/17/2024

Siren’s playlist included a mix of new and their classics from the 80s. And they highlighted songs from their latest album, A Mercenray’s Fate (released in 2022 on FHM Records).

  • Black Death
  • Soul Breaker
  • Terrible Swift Sword
  • Tornado of Blood
  • Dead of Night
  • Queen of Sin
  • Like a Bullet
  • Fuel-Injected Suicide
  • Iron Coffins
  • I am the Wolf
  • Death or Glory

Oblivion at the Brass Mug

The Florida Metal Show - Brass Mug Tampa, FL 2-17-2024 - Oblivion Florida metal band

Oblivion is another band that started in the Tampa-Brandon area in the 80s. They are classified as Old School American Metal. They played with bands like Siren, Nasty Savage, Savatage, Obituary, and several other notable bands in that era.

Like Siren, they made a massive comeback decades later and released The Executioner in 2023 on FHM Records. This was perfect timing for the Brass Mug show.

For starters, vocalist Patrick Brown is a phenomenal frontman. He has a way of drawing you in making you feel you’re a part of the show. The band was super tight. Keith Hancock was a beast on bass. Charles Colburn was freaking amazing on drums. Guitarists Rob Dungan and Scott Scarboro metalized the crowd with riffs and leads.

Oblivion’s Setlist – Brass Mug Tampa, 2/17/2024

Though they played some of their classics, the majority of songs performed were from their latest kick-ass album, The Executioner.

  • Rebirth
  • Resist Deny Control
  • I Disappoint Myself
  • D.U.I.
  • Pushed
  • Filled with the Spirit
  • Maiden of the Dungeons
  • Sharkbait
  • Sunflower
  • Upside Down
  • The Executioner

Seasons of the Wolf at the Brass Mug

The Florida Metal Show - Brass Mug Tampa, FL 2-17-2024 - Seasons of the Wolf

Seasons of the Wolf is a progressive, atmospheric, power metal band from Bradenton, FL. They broke into the Florida metal scene in the late 80s releasing several demos, later releasing full albums starting in the mid-90s. They’ve been semi-steady since, releasing their latest album in 2018, Last Act of Defiance.

This band was a perfect fit and complimented the entire Florida Metal Show that night. They brought in a unique and welcomed element with their progressive style of melodic songs, heavy guitars, and enchanting keys. I perosnally loved hearing the keys and progressions in their songs.

An interesting fact is this was the first show with thier new vocalist, Robert Vaughn Baxter. It was as if he has been with the band for years. They were super tight and has such a cool sound.

Seasons of the Wolf’s Setlist – Brass Mug Tampa, 2/17/2024

***To be posted soon!

Side Show Acts & Entertainment – Vic Vega

The Florida Metal Show was more than just four cool bands playing cool tunes on stage. We also had entertainment between bands.

Vica Vega, who presented and organized this show, hosted the intermissions. He kept the crowd company while the bands switched. And we also had an escape artist.

I guess the question is who in the heck is Vic Vega? I’ll give you a hint…he’s also the frontman for one of the bands that played that night (and it’s not me!).

Keeping the Metal Scene Alive in Tampa

We must give a huge thank you to the Brass Mug in Tampa, FL. This venue has been around for decades and continues to host both local metal bands as well as larger bands that come through this historic metal area.

We also appreciate all of the support from the fans. We had no clue there would be such an amazing turnout. That said, we are planning to do the Florida Metal Show again next year, so stay tuned.

Links for Bands and More

Jason Stallworth

About the author

Jason is a melodic metal solo artist, songwriter, acoustic performer, and co-founder of Metal Mastermind.

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