The Expendables Spring Blackout Tour 2016
with Passafire, Tunnel Vision,Roots of Creation, and Edjacated Phools
Baltimore Soundstage – March 24, 2016
By Randy Harris
Wow, opening night! The Expendables’ Spring Blackout Tour 2016 kicked off in the one and only Charm City at Baltimore Soundstage on Thursday, March 24. While all the dates on this tour feature Passafire and Tunnel Vision, the first run of shows also features Roots of Creation, and this particular show featured the local Edjacated Phools. Five bands, one stage, one epic extravaganza of rock-reggae. Edjacated Phools kicked off the evening at 7:30 on the dot, as a hefty early crowd came out to support the local group. The band definitely delivered with a high energy set, mixing up singing and rapping in their songs and riling up the eager audience for the touring bill ahead. After the short opening set, Tunnel Vision, from California, heated up next, while the excited crowd gradually filled in the venue. Tunnel Vision kept the energy elevated and rocked the stage, bringing a bit of that California feeling to us out east.
Roots of Creation, from New Hampshire, easily wins for best intro of the night. The band walked out on stage to the Star Wars theme song, which immediately sent the crowd into a frenzy, and proceeded to blow our minds. With a new album on the way in just a few weeks, the band played a mixture of new and old songs before closing out the set with more Star Wars music. Roots of Creation brought a bit of a different vibe to the stage, stretching a bit further into psychedelia than the other bands. Passafire, out of Georgia, definitely peaked the energy during their set, as they were by far the hardest rockers. The foursome blew the roof off of the venue and left the Baltimore crowd screaming for more. Finally, the coup de grace of the evening, The Expendables took the stage to a tremendous roar from the audience. Also hailing from California, The Expendables rocked out an epic closing set for a more than satisfied Baltimore crowd.
While I was admittedly a bit skeptical about the number of bands playing, I must say that the Spring Blackout Tour provided a great concert experience. The five-band bill provided lots of warm-up time for the crowd and an unmistakable build-up of anticipation for the headlining act. The changeovers were timely, the soundchecks were quick, and all of the bands did their part to keep things on schedule. The Spring Blackout Tour rolled through Philly, Burlington, VT and Portland, ME the rest of the weekend and continues on throughout the Northeast over the next week.