Tantric was Soothing to my Rocker Soul
The first time I heard the band Tantric’s music was in a Sylvester Stallion produced film called “Driven” back in 2001. The film followed the scent of a young racing driver as he took his horrific plots twists and turns to getting his fingers on the Champ Car World Series trophy. The film was considered a flop by many in the film industry, but the soundtrack included a new band (Tantric) and their rising hit “Breakdown“ that hit the # 1 slot on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks List that year. And with their song being the first track on the movie’s soundtrack, people playing snippets of the soundtrack instantly got to know the band’s sound.
But Tantric has matured and shown great growth since their first sound hit the charts with a solid bang, and the band from Louisville, Kentucky has made sure to keep their rock roots close to their hearts. Sure the band has gone through a small transitional phase of tweaking its membership, but the quintet now have shown above and beyond that they are ready nightly to get the heads rocking and the music popping on stage. Most people might not even realize that Tantric used the social network Myspace back on May 8 2003, to release three of their upcoming album tracks to the public for a upcoming release called “Tantric III“.
When the band took the stage after the Rays versus Arizona Diamondbacks game on Friday night, lead singer Hugo Ferreira was more than ready to see if they could use their bass and make the canvas cloth high above the band’s stage sway with the pumping music out of their speakers. Coming into that night performance, most people had only heard maybe a few bars of their song “Down and Out” that was the walk-up music for Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
But tonight, the crowd would get to hear and feel the pulsing bass thump throughout the Trop and see that the song has long meaning, and tremendous appeal, even enough to post up as high as # 8 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock list. Tantric has been pushed into that label of being a post-grunge band with a solid sound and tremendous vocals, but the addition of electric violinist Mark Ratzenboeck, who is also a Sarasota native to the band, brought out another element of mixing a classical sound into the heard pulse of rock music.
Some say the opening bars of “Down and Out” with Ratzenboeck might be one of the most frequently identified sound bytes of the band’s career, which spans 4 albums since 2001. Ratzenboeck also showed his many talents before the game doing the National Anthem on his electronic violin, but not doing a live segment of Longoria’s batting walk-up music as Longoria did not fair well the last time Ratzenboeck did it live from just beyond the playing field.
It was a great night if you are a hard rock fan as the playing surface soon filled with fans who did not have to purchase or wear wristbands as all in attendance were welcome to come down on the field and enjoy the Rays free Friday Fest Concert from ground zero. That is one of the measures that makes these Friday night concerts pop. The fact that fans can come down and dance, sing along or even just sit on the Trop’s field turf and take in some great music all by simply buying a ticket to that night’s Rays game.
Here is a band that used to tour with the likes of Creed, past Rays Concert performers 3 Doors Down, Kid Rock and Shinedown. Tantric is a group that covered the old Fleetwood Mac classic “The Chain” and has seen their level of success grow since they changed their original name from C-14 ( short for radiocarbon). Ratzenboeck is the only Rays fan in the band, but there is a distinctive American League East flair to the band as drummer Richie Monica (New York Yankees) and guitarist Joe Pessia (Boston Red Sox) all keep close tabs on the standings throughout the Major League Baseball season.
The band tonight threw out a number of songs from their recent release “Mind Control“, and made sure to leave all of us wanting more before they ended the night playing the song most people had been waiting for….”Down and Out“. The crowd had thinned a bit by the time the first few chords were strummed by Ratzenboeck, but immediately a huge cheer went up and the assembled mass quickly got into the music and some even sang along with Ferreira. The song was pulsating with the riffs of lead guitarist Erik Leonhardt along with the increasingly intense drumbeats coming from Monica’s drum set.
It might only have been the second in a series of four announced Friday Fest Concerts, but if this is the style of music and performances we will ascend to, then Vanilla Ice (7/9) and Los Lobos (7/30) will just send us into a harmonious upward journey.
Tantric put on a fantastic show, and certainly got a few more fans from their performance. There is an old saying that you have to “live and breath Rock and Roll for it to be real to you”. Well, if that is the case, then Ferreira is living the dream, considering he has the band’s name tattooed on him.