jakub | March 12, 2023

Bikeweek in Daytona Beach, Florida Was The Place to Be For Multiple Bands on Multiple Stages on March 9, 2023



With Bikeweek 2023 quickly coming to a close, I headed to Daytona Beach one more time. This Thursday night, March 9, 2023, had an epic lineup of Central Florida Music Live bands in just three venues, The Boot Hill Saloon, Main Street Station, and The Full Moon Saloon. All three locations had main outdoor stages added to accommodate the influx of a million visitors that descend upon this beach community every year for Bikeweek. With cold temperatures and snow on the ground in the North, Florida is the perfect getaway location. It also didn’t hurt as we have had perfect weather with temperatures in the low 80’s and sunny skies.

Traffic was a bit more congested than the weekend before, and the number of iron horses rumbling through the streets had grown exponentially. The crowds were in great spirits, and everyone was behaving as to be expected. Law enforcement was out, but seemed bored as laws were not being fractured much less being broken. This was just good clean fun and everyone was having a great time.

I arrived about 3:00pm and Main Street was in full gear. My first stop was the Boot Hill Saloon main stage, then on to Main Street Station and finally The Full Moon Saloon without crossing Main Street and having to weave in and out of motorcycles. All of the main stages was occupied and the bands on the list I identified to cover using the Central Florida Music Live mapping app, were already into their sets. So, I popped in and out photographing these bands immediately. This went almost non-stop until I departed the beach seven hours later.

Bikeweek 2023 was a showcase of Central Florida cover bands and was a great event, organized extremely well. I can hardly wait until Bikeweek 2024.



September Dogs At The legendary Boot Hill Saloon 9:30pm – 1:30am

September Dogs is a four-piece band with Cate Rettig handling the vocals and her husband Michael on guitar. This band packs a punch and they can be found coast to coast in Central Florida. Get out and give them some support by having a great time and rocking out with them.



Michael Rettig – Guitar

Cate Rettig– Vocals

Brian Peterson – Drums

Mario Cortes Lopez – Bass




Big Love At The legendary Boot Hill Saloon 6:00pm – 10:00pm

Big Love is the latest project that Orlando’s Timbo DiDuro is involved with. I have been wanting to get out and see this fun dance band and this was my first opportunity. The Boot Hill crowd was laying back but after encouragement by lead singer Greg Coats, people started to get into the music and dance. If variety in songs and entertainment is what you’re looking for, get out and see Big Love and start dancing!



Tim Diduro – Drums

Greg Coats – Vocals

Tony Little – Guitar

Stephan Gercken – Bass

Wesley Camp – Keyboards


Alex Hayes Band at Main Street Station 10:00pm – 1:00am

Alex Hayes Band is a Bikeweek staple at Main Street Station every year. Playing high energy Country rock and a mix of classic rock, the crowd always gets into the music. The front stage on Main Street doesn’t have a lot of room, the fans were packed in front of the stage dancing and swaying to the beat. A fun band and their show is always a good time!



Alex Hayes – Guitar/Vocals

Tony Roman – Bass

Emmanuel Lozada – Drums

Mariano David Rivera – Guitar




Blistur At The legendary Boot Hill Saloon 6:00pm – 10:00pm

Blistur was on the inside stage at Boot Hill, and they rocked out their original as well as cover tunes. This band needs a big stage but were stuck inside on the smallest stage on Main Street. You could feel the energy in their performance, but I believe they were bridled by the lack of space. This is a band that is on my list to see again in a different setting.



Chris Kellam – Lead Guitar

Neal Gupton – Drums

Vince Jones – Bass / Keyboards




Occasional Astronauts At The legendary Boot Hill Saloon 2:30pm – 5:30pm

Occasional Astronauts Has some of the most talented musicians in the Central Florida cover band scene. Their full-time drummer Billy Ashbaugh is currently out on tour with John Lodge, the legendary bass player from the Moody Blues celebrating the 55thAnniversary of the album Days of Future Passed. In his absence, Reed Hayes has stepped behind the drum kit until Billy is back in April. Guitarist Kirk McKim will be heading on the road with Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters May-August, and Randy Pepper will be stepping in on guitar. Rick Jorgensen and Kenny Martin, two members of the band, started Occasional Astronauts. Curb 60 recorded two albums twenty years ago and singles “Come To Light”, “Taking Away”, and “Come With Me” have received airplay in several markets throughout the nation.  So, you can see that talent exists in this band as they rock the Central Florida market. Get out and see this talented group!



Reed Hayes – Drums/Percussion. ​

Kirk McKim – Guitar/Vocals.

Rick Jorgensen – Bass/Vocals.

Kenny Martin – Vocals/Guitar/Percussion. ​




Hayfire at The Full Moon Saloon 9:30pm – 1:30am

The house band on the inside stage at Full Moon Saloon for five nights of Bikeweek was Hayfire. Five Consecutive Year Winner “Best Cover Band” by Orlando Weekly! They packed the house every night playing country music to the delight of their fans. With three singers, the sound is full as they harmonize perfectly. You can also see the comradery on stage as this band really enjoys every performance. If you haven’t seen Hayfire yet, what are you waiting for!



Brooks Vaughan (lead vocals)
Takara Lee (lead vocals)
Brandon Irons Goldthwaite (drums)
Bill Bernhard (bass / vocals)
Steve Becker (steel / guitar / harmonica)
Jordan King (lead guitar)




Sass at The Full Moon Saloon 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Sass is fronted by the charismatic and talented vocalist, Rachel Stump. Sass has been a band that has been on my list to get out and see them play for a while. They were extremely entertaining and great to photograph. Brian Bartleson just slays on the guitar. Their set was early in the afternoon and the crowd hadn’t grown yet at The Full Moon Saloon. My guess is this band engages a full audience and this band performs extremely well.



Rachel Stump – Vocals







Strut at The Full Moon Saloon 9:30pm – 1:30am

I was fortunate this Thursday evening to see two of my favorite Central Florida bands back to back on the same stage. First, Strut fronted by the ever so talented vocalist Lindsey Brown. This was only my second time seeing Strut. I know, I just said “two of my favorite Central Florida bands” and that’s true as I was completely blow away the first time I saw this band.

Emmett Hart III and Brad Lepp are the rhythm section of another popular Central Florida band, Rockit Fly. Emmett has also been a guest writer on All Music Magazine. Then there’s My friend of the last 17 years Darren Barhydt on guitar with the talented Scott Romans. The first time I came out to see Strut, Emmett took me aside and said they had a singer that was truly special, then proceeded to introduce me to Lindsey. A powerhouse band, with a female vocalist that nails every note, even singing Dio. What’s not to love?

Strut doesn’t play often as everyone in the band has other full-time commitments, but Strut has been playing together ten years and we all hope this magic continues.



Lindsey Brown – Vocals

Emmett Hart III – Drums

Darren Barhydt – Multi-Instrumentalist

Brad Lepp – Bass

Scott Romans – Guitar




Torn, Headlining on the main stage at Full Moon Saloon 9:30pm – 1:30am


Torn is one of the most dynamic bands in Central Florida. Seeing them perform is always a great pleasure and a lot of fun. Eddie Sweeney is a great front man that holds the attention of the audience. Pete Davitto is the quintessential rock guitarist with all the right moves and swagger. Troy Parrish on drums is not that flashy but holds his keeping the beat and the train on the tracks. My biggest surprise was Scott Bennett on bass. He is a spark and the extra energy on stage complimenting Sweeney. His interactions with Pete make the perfect match during the show.

Torn is out of Ocala, Florida and is a fun band that everyone enjoys. The members are engaging and great musicians. Every member of this band is exceptionally nice and cordial, and to top it off, great human beings. They are a pleasure to be around and share in their enjoyment of performing and love of music. They were the main reason I came out to the beach as it has been too long since I have seen Torn.



Eddie Sweeney – Vocals

Pete Davitto – Guitar

Troy Parrish – Drums

Scott Bennett – Bass






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