97X Next Big Thing Throwback: 97X Next Big Thing 8

The 97X Next Big Thing 8 took place Sunday, December 7th at what was then called the Ford Amphitheater in Tampa. It was a full day of new rock on two stages and it kicked off with 3 OH! 3 on the second stage at 10:30am. They were followed by Framing Hanley, who’s cover of the Lil Wayne song, Lollipop was a 97X staple throughout the year. Saving Abel headlined the second stage and their set featured the song “Addicted” which was one of the biggest songs in alternative music in 2008. The music shifted to the main stage with a performance from Ludo who led the audience in a sing-a-long of Jingle Bells for the holidays. Next up was a Miller Lite Green Room performance featuring Saving Abel on the main stage. Their intimate, three-song acoustic set featured a unplugged version of their song “Addicted.” Shiny Toy Guns followed with a 30 minute set featuring their hits “Le Disko” and “Ricochet!” The next band up was Anberlin from Winter Haven, FL. This was their second NBT performance in three years, having played in 2005. They would return in 2009 for their last (as of 2020) NBT performance. Another Florida band, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (from Middleburg, FL) hit the stage at 4:00pm. They closed their set with their hit, “Face Down.” Next up on the main stage was an NBT legend, Andrew McMahon with his band, Jack’s Mannequin. This was Andrew’s third of six NBT appearances (2002, 2003, 2008, 2015, 2017 and 2018) This was his first performance back after his cancer treatment.  Atreyu followed Jack’s Mannequin with a guitar shredding set including their song “Falling Down.” The biggest song of the year on 97X was by far, “Handlebars” and the band, Flobots was up next. This would be their only NBT performance but they would return in 2010 at the 97X BBQ in Vinoy Park. Jacksonville’s Shinedown, another Florida band hit the stage at 8pm. Their set featured hits from their first three albums including “Save Me”, “Fly from the Inside”, “45” and “Devour.” The mood definitely shifted when Flogging Molly hit the stage for their first NBT appearance. Their raucous set included the single “Float” from the album of the same name that was released earlier in the year. The 97X Next Big Thing 8 headliner was Avenged Sevenfold who’s lineup of M. Shadows, Zacky Vengaeance, Synyster Gates and The Rev delivered one of the most bombastic headlining sets in NBT history.
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