A Band Worth Gambling On | Night & Day | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

A Band Worth Gambling On

So you've admired the glittering monstrosity that is the brand-new Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. You've been tempted to blow a wad in its 130,000-square-foot casino and bang your head in its eight nightclubs. But you've been waiting for someone to put the "rock" in the Hard Rock! Well, finally... this is your weekend! No, we're not talking about the Kenny Loggins show on June 4 but about the nonpoint show on June 5. Asked how he feels about playing the $250 million establishment, the band's singer, Elias Soriano, says, "The venue is awesome. I hope they don't mind that we're gonna tear that shit up."

Actually, they do mind. The hotel's assistant director of special events, Bernie Dillon, says his staff will remove all seating for the band's show, and "We do have a rule against stagediving." Hope they also have janitors adept at mopping up sweat. Because Soriano says that during concerts, "I like to make people dance or sing along. I make eye contact. I talk to the audience. There's a lot of jumping around. People are there to join in." The Hard Rock show will probably be fans' only opportunity to see the band until its new album, Recoil, is released in August.

With a sound that Rolling Stone described as "hoarse-throated rapcore," nonpoint broke out of the South Florida scene in 1999 and put out three albums on MCA Records before switching to Lava/Atlantic this year. Despite having such big-name employers, Soriano says nonpoint got "all of the fame, none of the fortune" and describes himself as a "starving artist" who remains down with the 954 (the band even prints the Broward area code on T-shirts). Until he hits his ultimate goal -- "rock stardom" -- Soriano can be found renting a place in Coconut Creek, hanging on Fort Lauderdale Beach, going to keg parties, and on-stage just once until the fall. So pay attention to nonpoint, not that other sound coming from the Hard Rock -- that's the slot machines serenading your wallet. -- Deirdra Funcheon

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