Bad Neighbors reunited in front of a packed house for one memorable show.
CLEARWATER: This past Saturday, December 4th, Grass Flats Bar & Grill played host to a very special event when Bad Neighbors reunited on stage for one memorable performance that could accurately be described as simply amazing! Saturdays performance marked the very first time that the popular Tampa Bay band performed live on stage together since their break-up over two years ago. Even though the bands last performance together was on Halloween of 2008, the band sounded and performed just like they did years ago, if not better!
Bad Neighbors was a 5 piece (and at one point 6 piece) Heavy metal cover/originals band, originally formed in 2001. In it’s time, the band was arguably one of the best, most popular bands performing in the Tampa Bay area…garnishing a huge local fan following that would follow them to where ever they played in the bay area. Bad Neighbors performed just about everywhere there was to perform in Tampa Bay at the time, including such bars and venues as Boomerz, Shades, Carlie’s Lounge (now Harlie’s Nite Club), Bourbon Street, Gasoline Alley, Sneaky D’s Saloon, Gator’s Cafe & Saloon, and The Green Parrot (now Gunslinger’s Saloon), just to name a few. The band also performed at several outdoor festivals and events like the annual St. Pete Rib Fest, where they once opened for Blue Oyster Cult. Bad Neighbors was even once featured on a local cable tv show where they were showcased, filmed on a studio set performing several songs.
The bands distinctive sound and stage presence was always “Top Notch”. Regardless of whether they were performing cover songs or one of their many originals, the band had a uniquely tight hard rockin’ sound that was hard to match. There is no doubt that the reason behind their sound was due to the talent within the band. Had Bad Neighbors formed just 10 or 15 years before they did, when Tampa Bay was a hot bed on the national music industry scene, they would have given the other Tampa Bay bands a run for their money when it came to getting the attention from record executives.
Although the band had a few line-up changes during their existance from 2001 – 2008 (including Bassist Steve Hochberg leaving the band and being replaced by Brad Davis, and then later by Sammy Chaput), the main original line-up was as follows:
- Dennis Daley – Lead Vocals
- Lee Fenical – Lead & Rythem Guitar
- Mike May – Lead & Rythem Guitar
- Steve Hochberg – Bass
- Mike Dillon – Drums
Reunion Show Review:
Initialy all five original members were scheduled to reunite for the performance, along with the last official member of Bad Neighbors, Bassist Sammy Chaput. The two bassists, Hochberg & Chaput, were supposed to share the stage with the band at the reunion…..Hochberg performing for the first set, and Chaput performing for the last two sets. At the last minute bassist, Steve Hochberg, pulled out of the reunion, leaving Chaput to perform for the entire show himself instead. Unfortunatly In a way, one could say that history ironically repeated itself.
When the band hit the stage around 8:00pm at Grass Flats, the popular Clearwater outdoor bar was packed from front to rear with an eagerly anticipating crowd of fans. The house was not just packed with fans either. Several other musicians from local Tampa Bay area bands also came out to see Bad Neighbors perform as well. Members of LoudMouth, Wikkid, and Figure In Black (a soon-to-come Black Sabbath tribute band that includes Joe Diaz, owner of Circle Rehearsal Studios, on guitar) and many more, all came out to pay their respects to one of the greatest bands to come out of Tampa Bay.
Prior to the event, I spoke with lead singer, Dennis Daley, and he was optimistic that there would be a decent turn out for the show, but even he was amazed at just how large, and how energetic the crowd was. I also spoke with Grass Flats owner, Kirk Iannone. Kirk told me that not only was he honored that Bad Neighbors chose his bar as the venue for their reunion show…but that he was extremely impressed with the large crowd that Bad Neighbors drew to the event. What makes the large crowd showing up even more impressive is the fact that in recent weeks most bars in the Bay area have been seeing extremely low head counts, most likely due to the holidays and a declining economy. But the winter holidays and sinking economy didn’t keep the Bad Neighbors fans away from Grass Flats on Saturday, that’s for sure.
The crowd was not only huge, but extremely electrified with excitement as well. The band fed off of the crowds excitement as they performed with more energy then I can ever remember them playing with years ago. As the band played on throughout the night, their energy never slowed down…..they, much like the crowd, kept up the momentum all night long. Not only was the crowd soaking up every single note, but it was easy to tell that the band themselves were having fun, enjoying every single minute of playing together once again. Everyone in the band sounded phenomenal. You couldn’t tell that the band hadn’t played together in over two years. The band still had that tight “Bad Neighbors” sound and feeling that they had years ago.
In the weeks leading up to the reunion show, I had the oppertunity to speak with a couple of members of the band, and I asked them how the rehearsals for the show was going. I was told, that it seamed like they had never split up. They went on to say that after over two years of not playing together, the chemistry was still there. Bad Neighbors definitely proved that on stage Saturday night…The chemistry was definitely 100% still there.
At one point during the show Bassist, Brad Davis (Wikkid), came up on stage to play with the band. Brad Davis was a member of Bad Neighbors for a short period of time a few years ago when he replaced Steve Hochberg on bass after Hochberg’s departure from the band, before Sammy Chaput was recruited after a brief break-up.
Unfortunatly, just like the old saying goes, “All good things must come to an end”. The band finished the night, bringing an end to the long awaited reunion. The crowd, without a doubt, did not want to see the night end. The crowd would have partied with the band well into daybreak if they could have. After the band played their last song and thanked both the crowd and Grass Flats for one memorable night, they posed for some pictures on stage, per the crowds request.
You didn’t have to be a psychic that night to know what was on the crowds minds after the show….”Will Bad Neighbors fans ever see the band reunite again?”, “Will they have to wait another two years?” The fans may have gotten their answer that very night. On stage, singer Dennis Daley stated that they just might have to do a reunion show once a year. If and when the band does reunite again, two things are for certain…I will be there to cover the event, and I have no doubt once-so-ever that another overwhelmingly huge crowd will be there again as well. But until that day comes, you can catch some of the Bad Neighbors members performing all around Tampa Bay in their current individual bands. Dennis Daley is the singer for Diamond Gray, Mike May is the guitarist for Kilo, and Mike Dillon is the drummer for R!SE. Both Lee Fenical and Sammy Chaput are also still performing in the Bay area as well, filling in for musicians in other bands when needed.
In addition, you can also catch Steve Hochberg performing with the band Monster, and Brad Davis performing in Wikkid, along with Crossbreed drummer, Jay Diesel.
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