How do you pack a venue tight on a Monday night and keep them begging for more? Pop Evil has the answer for that. At one point, with a mischievous grin and a gleam in his eye, the vocalist for Pop Evil, Leigh Kakaty announced to the roaring crowd filling Jergel’s that the show was coming to an end. The huge crowd gathered before him had already called them back on stage for more music twice and there was no way they were ready for this show to end, even at midnight on a Monday night. At his announcement of the “Bad news” a momentary hush fell over the sea of people who had spent the last four hours jumping, singing along and screaming for more. Holding back a grin Kakaty tried his best to look somber as well as he said in a mock serious voice, “My how the tide has turned”, before letting that trademark smile of his break out and the music start back up again.
From the start of this show, there were signs it would be a great one. Moments after the doors opened the venue was full and fans were camped out along the stage to be as close to the bands as possible. Excitement hung in the air and friends were gathered in groups talking excitedly while casting glances at the instruments, on stage and under lights, waiting to be played. The people in the balcony leaned against the railings trying to catch a glimpse of any action below where laughter rang out over the background music playing and everyone wore a smile.
At eight o’clock on the dot the music stopped and the people moved towards the stage area, where the lead vocalist of LIONIZE stepped out in a red sequin jumpsuit, followed quickly by the other members of the band. With a big smile and a ‘cool man Luke’ style raise of his eyebrows he lead the charge into a fun and energy charged sound driven with clear, crisp vocals and an emotional energy that got people standing up and taking notice. People who hadn’t really cared who the first act was reacted with an excited, “Oh yeah!”, to their friends as they began to rock right along with the rest. The band gave their energy as fuel for the shows fire and the crowd reacted with cheers and and shouts of excitement. By the time they were done, the people were on their feet, revved up and ready for anything to come, which is a good thing because this show just kept getting better.
The white eyed members of Ded came to play hard and drive the audience wild… which is exactly what they did. At one point even getting the entire venue down low to the ground during an intro, “Like you’re surfing a tidal wave!”, so they could spring up and join the band in jumping high in the air as the music began – and jump they did! Both floors of the venue turned into a sea of bodies soaring high and screaming for more. When the only people left jumping where the energetic members of the band the crowd kept lifted horns up during most of the set as some people stood in awe, trying to take it all in. Pounding music, dead eyes and that beautiful metal growl amongst music made for a set that caused even those who said they’d never take themselves to a metal show rave about them after.
Then came the reason these people left their warm homes and went into the cold November night… Pop Evil had arrived. First to the stage was the beautiful blond drummer, Hayley Cramer, followed quickly by Guitarists Davey Grahs and Nick Fuelling as well as bassist Matt DiRito. The music began and vocalist Leigh Kakaty took the stage with his signature smooth voice wooing those in attendance. What came after was a frenzy of rock, flying hair, hard core beats and dark riffs with vocals soaring over that create the sound Pop Evil is so loved for. They brought the love and the people before them and above them turned into a sea of raised hands and cell phones trying to capture a moment of the excellence that reigned supreme. Pop Evil live is amazing because they enjoy what they do and they bring the crowd in on a personal level through and between each song with a professional demeanor worthy of respect while still keeping it very real and warm. The brotherhood they so obviously share reaches out to embrace their fans and draws them into the fold for a time. Their energy grew as the show continued until it was at a fever pitch and even the band seemed sorry to see it end. They came back on stage twice to an audience begging for just a little bit more and delivered harder than ever both times.
When the music finally stopped, as it unfortunately must, the people began to head out, warmed by the excitement and energy of all they had witnessed. People were calling friends to tell them what they had missed out on and others talked of when these bands would be back into the area because they wanted to experience something like this again soon. All walked away with uplifted attitudes and eyes that seemed to shine from the inside. Pop Evil is a true live music lovers experience that I can say I was proud to be a part of and certainly one that anyone at last night’s show would recommend.
– Review and Photos by Jana Lee Macheca