Nova Rex at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL on 7/1/22 By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

Around this same time last year, local rockers Nova Rex brought the thunder to the Amway Center for pre-game and halftime sets during an Orlando Predators home game. This past Friday, July 1, the band rocked the house again, this time with The Babys singer John Bisha behind the mic.

I’ve caught the band live several times over the years, but this was my first time seeing them with Bisha on vocals. The band – which is still rounded out by founder/bassist Kenny Wilkerson, Britny Fox guitarist Greg Polcari, and drummer Shawn Lowery – seemed as rejuvenated as ever on this particular night.

As usual, Rewind It Magazine arrived fashionably late thanks to I4 traffic and rain hit along the way. So by the time we did make it, the band was already well into their pre-game set with the hard-hitting “Break Away.” Shortly after the guys launched into the ’80s-esque power ballad “Alone Tonight,” one of my personal favorites of theirs that I don’t recall ever hearing them perform live any of the prior times I saw them. They rounded out their first set with the anthem “Turn it up Loud” before turning things over to the Orlando Predators to host the Jacksonville Sharks in their final home game of the season.

Rewind It photographer Brooke Striewski with the Prowlers dancers prior to the Orlando Predators/Jacksonville Sharks game on 7/1/22.

Things did not look too bad for the Preds as they went into halftime down by just two points 21-19, and Nova Rex took over the stage once again. This time they brought the big guns, launching into “Bring the House Down Tonight” and new track “Time Is Up For You,” complete with plenty of bangs and pyro explosions finish the night.

The Predators did not fare as well however, ultimately losing to the Sharks 37-34. But the action was far from over, as former F.L.Y. (Fast Life Yungstaz) singer Vee Fly, who now goes by 4MULA9, ended the night with some hip hop, including his most well known hit, “Swag Surfin’.” It was a fitting end to an already eventful night, one that will surely be remembered for a long time to come.

Vee Fly (a.k.a. 4MULA9) performing after the game on Friday night.

Interview with Nova Rex Vocalist John Bisaha and Bassist Kenny Wilkerson By Jesse Striewski

Local rockers Nova Rex are far from strangers to Rewind It Magazine; not only have we photographed a concert or two of theirs over the years, I’ve interviewed bassist and founder Kenny Wilkerson (who has become as much of a personal acquaintance as he has been a supporter/feature of our little publication) more than any other musician I can recall at this point.

Now, Kenny and the guys are back, kicking off 2022 with the recent announcement that John Bisaha, longtime frontman for British rock act The Babys, who also briefly sang with Nova Rex back in 2012, has replaced (now former) lead singer Adrian Adonis. Once again, Kenny and I – along with said newcomer Bisaha – recently caught up to discuss all things Nova Rex.

One of the first things I wanted to know was what exactly was the catalyst that finally brought Bisha and Nova Rex together again. John explained; “Kenny finally nailed what I want in my rider for shows – Good & Plenty candy! It’s my favorite, and he said he will keep me stocked! (Laughs). Seriously though – we are all looking to get out there and jam. This pandemic has kicked the crap out of everyone. Life is short. Gigs are fun. Let’s jam!”

I was also curious what the first order of business will be for Nova Rex now with John at the forefront, and Kenny stated; “Buying more eyeliner/tighter pants and recording new music.” Of course I also wanted to know how splitting with (said former frontman) Adonis went, and if he and the band were on good terms or not now. Kenny informed me; “It went as good as it could go, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Another thing I wondered was how well acquainted John was with the other two current members of Nova Rex, guitarist Greg Polcari (formerly of Britny Fox) and Shawn Lowery, prior to joining the band. He stated; “Greg and I had some communication last year with a couple of tunes – get the feel for some tracks. Now Shawn – is a different story – we go WAAAAAAY back. To last week…” (Laughs).

I also wanted to know from John how being a member of Nova Rex compares so far to fronting The Babys. He noted; “You’ll have to ask me after the first gig! It’s been a while since performing Nova Rex tunes; I did two shows many moons ago – and the only constant member is that bass player guy. Fronting Nova Rex is a way different gig than The Babys – a little more out of control, a LOT more cheese!”

And lastly, I asked if the upcoming Bike Week shows the band have set beginning Mar. 5th at The Legendary Boot Hill Saloon in Daytona Beach, will be the first to officially feature John on stage with them again. Kenny stated; “Yes, it’s a perfect place to showcase him at a hometown show and we are adding new songs, new dates, new look, and more mayhem as we speak!”

John Bisha (left) and Kenny Wilkerson on stage with Nova Rex in 2012.