Live Photos and Gig Review Credit: Dave Burke (Photographer/Live Gig reporter)
Until Saturday night I’d been familiar with Pop Evil in name only, but the one thing I’d continually heard about the Michigan quintet was how amazing they were life, so I decided to see for myself.
Having been already bombarded with the sonic assault of Badflower and Red Sun Rising, the near capacity crowd at Milwaukee’s The Rave had only to wait another twenty minutes before vocalist Leigh Kakaty emerged from behind the drum kit, face concealed by a black bandanna, and proceeded to spray paint in huge red letters the word NOW over a cardboard sign reading “Rock N’ Roll” that hung from a section of chain link fence at stage right.
With guitarist Nick Fuelling hammering out the grinding riff and newcomer Hayley Cramer pounding out a steady beat on her kick drum, bassist Matt DiRito and guitarist Dave Grahs pogoed in place as they all launched into their Mainstream Rock Radio hit “Trenches”.
Waving a flag emblazoned with the band’s lion-headed crest Kakaty leaped to the front of the stage amidst shooting columns of CO2 a blinding red a blue lights. Clapping along, the frenzied crowd ate up every second of it.
The following 19 song set, that also included a spirited cover of Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger”, heavily favored their 2105 release “Up” and 2013’s “Onyx” and could be described in two words HIGH ENERGY. The adoring crowd couldn’t get enough and I was certainly impressed by the band’s passion and commitment to giving their fans a great live show.
Modern mainstream rock or “post-grunge” / alt metal as it’s sometimes labeled isn’t usually my go-to genre but if you’re a fan, I’d strongly suggest checking out Pop Evil when they come to your town.
Head over to www.popevil.com for tour dates, news and all things Pop Evil.