South of Eden rolled into a steaming hot Jacksonville, FL aboard their school bus, “Bluebird,” only minutes before storms hit the town. The band has ventured far south from their Columbus, OH residence to share new music with a growing fan base before an album release. Their EP, The Talk, was released August 2020 (Lava Records) and received positive reviews in the press, including a video review in Rolling Stone. They plan to tour the entire country as soon as possible.
Reminding of rock and roll cowboys, the band stepped on stage and was immediately welcomed at the 1904 Music Hall, where they played on May 2. The small but supportive Sunday-night audience cheered them on from their first song to their last. One person remarked: “Now, that is rock and roll!” The venue felt welcoming, unfancy, beloved by locals, and had excellent lights and sound.
The band’s performance rose true to their declared dream: “We aren’t looking to bring anything back, but instead to remind people what rock n roll means.” They transmitted exactly this impression as they blasted off with “The Talk” and maintained a fast pace throughout their set. The very first catchy guitar riffs, along with Tom McCullough’s drums, pulled the audience into a world that was equally nostalgic and current.
The band, in their present line-up, formed only in 2018, but their sound gives the feeling that they had played all the larger stages for a decade. Their remarkable stage presence, confident sound, and Ehab Omran’s soaring voice, are reminding of early Sabbath, blousy southern vibes, and gritty garage rock.
South of Eden also put on a party! They interacted with the audience, taunting them to guess how many guitar solos Justin Young would insert into any one of the songs, or if Nick Frantianne (bass) would play the correct intro to “Hurricane.” The melodies were catchy and the rhythms fast paced, perfect for dancing and signing along. Their setlist was much longer than the music already released. Seeing this band live is by far a more entertaining experience than just listening online.
Setlist: The Talk, Monica, Hurricane, Mr. Brownstone (Guns N’Roses), Solo, Touch the Ground, Thunder, Lone Riders, Stranglehold, Loaded Bong, Pindrop, Sister, Dancing With Fire