Celebrating their very first headlining tour, the Cherry Bombs traveled from their home base in Las Vegas to Trees in Dallas, Texas. It’s hard not to notice what an interesting venue it is for the dance group lighting the fuse to a new level of theatrical dance. A performance known for jaw-dropping aerial stunts, eyebrow-raising fire performance, and cirque-style skills seems far too big to be contained on a stage that isn’t the size of festival set-up. But if there is one thing we know after sitting down with the founder of Cherry Bombs, Alicia Taylor, they are up for any challenge thrown their way in the name of rock n’ roll!
The evening’s opener, Them Evils, is the band to get the party started. Bassist Jake Massanari struts onto the stage wearing a “baby girl” crop-top shirt that instantly steals the show, which he proudly tells the crowd is his girlfriend’s. They kick off with their high-energy song Have One On Me, from their EP Rollin’ Stoned and Livin’ Free. Their signature sound of “Classic Rock, Modern Roll” pulls the stragglers from the bar to the stage for more…drink in hand of course. Vocalist Jordan Griffin, also wielding his guitar, takes us into the next song Coattails, introducing the crowd to a bluesier side of their sound. The single is complimented by Mikey Qubti’s rhythm guitar and infectious stage presence that makes you want to move along with him. Rolling along into their third song Untold, drummer David Delaney sets the stage for
a hard-hitting sensation that can be felt throughout the entire crowd. So much so that as Delaney brings Griffin into a shredding guitar solo, Massanari jumps off of the stage with his bass in tow and hops onto the shoulders of a fan. He continues to play as he is taken around the crowd, who is going wild and seizing every opportunity to record the moment. As Massanari gets back onto the stage you can feel the performance chemistry between the entire band. It’s invigorating to see a group of musicians who are just as enthusiastic as their discography. The most memorable and seductive song of the evening, She Got Nothin’ hits the crowd next with a push and pull in instrumentals AND vocals that take the song over the edge. The guitar interplay between Griffin and Massanari is made even more entertaining as Massanari pours a beer over himself, crushes the can, and throws it offstage. Between taking shots mid-song with the crowd and
wet hair whipping to the sound of the drums, it feels the way that every rock n’ roll show should. They close out their set with their most recent release Burner, another Them Evils staple Got Me Rockin’ and a fan favorite Where Ya Gonna Crash Tonight. The power of Where Ya Gonna Crash Tonight grows with the “leave it all on the stage” mentality that the band clearly has. Qubti and Massanari climb from their amps to the riser set for the upcoming Cherry Bombs performance and give the crowd one last evil taste. As the song nears closing, Qubti jumps off the riser and crashes onto the stage. You can feel the crowd tense up as he hits the ground, but after only missing a beat he gets right up and continues playing. Massanari follows suit and hangs upside down from the riser as Delaney rings out the cymbals. Delaney eventually has to help him down with drumsticks in hand. The crowd urges Them Evils for more, so Massanari takes his bass, swings it over his shoulder, and breaks it onto the stage. With bass parts flying into the satisfied crowd, there are nothing but smiles to be seen.
The party continues as the venue falls into a black haze and the alluring Cherry Bombs logo shines on the screen, hanging behind the metal riser center stage. Feminine power takes over the speakers as Holy Roller by Spiritbox introduces the Cherry Bombs Girl Gang onto the stage. Draped in costumes that resemble an evil-cirque vibe mixed with The Purge, glowing faceless masks included, the ladies execute choreography that compliments the heavy sound and flashing strobe lights. As the song comes to a close, an unexpected creature is invited onto the stage by the giddy faceless performers. The eerie creature towers over the stage as the skilled stilt walker peers into the crowd until the stage falls dark. A scene from the cinematic endeavor Macabarét begins playing. A lone car driving through the desert depicts the opening story of the man-tagonist, who now takes the stage with glowing batons. As the glowing batons whirl through the air they slightly resemble the performer’s typical flaming batons, which is slightly disappointing not to see in person. But with safety as the number one priority, and being limited at certain venues on tour he puts on an entertaining performance to Where Eagles Dare. Continuing with the storyline, we are intrigued by a group of sexy hitchhikers who take the stage with their luggage, coats, and black bob haircuts. With Cold Hard Bitch by Jet playing in the background, they incorporate silk scarves into the dance routine as they entice the audience. Shortly after, a beautiful blonde temptress appears onto the screen to welcome everyone into the White Dog Saloon. We are left with her lingering mischievous laugh and the understanding that when you hear her call you have to drink. Sounds like a win for the crowd, but not for the male character being portrayed on the screen.
The stage, now painted in red light, allows the silhouettes of three dancers to appear. Their sultry performance to Blood In The Cut by K.Flay is enhanced as the male character sits in a chair and, much like the audience, is seduced by the beautiful women luring him into their web. The storyline thickens as the audience begins to realize that the White Dog Saloon is a honey trap. The show continues on with an aggressive and theatrical performance to More Human Than Human by Rob Zombie. From there, commotion begins in the crowd, and it is clear that part of the performance is coming down to our level. A pole, suspended by a rope hanging where fans once stood, and a masked woman appears in front of the stage. As the light changes to pink and blue, the performer begins the most elegant pole work as fans gather around. They stand close enough to see the strength of the performer as she moves, but far enough away that they won’t get hit as she shows off her flexibility and aerial skills. The pink lights turn to red as the dancer finds her footing on the ground and scurries off through the crowd. Alicia Taylor, founder, and director of Cherry Bombs, is now standing center stage, wearing an impressive flamenco dress with an edgy flair. It is at this point in the performance that you realize that the stage is carpeted, which makes all of these acts extremely difficult to perform. Taylor is standing on a piece of material that makes it possible to allow this part of the show to go on. It is hard not to feel an overwhelming sense of appreciation for the entire crew’s dedication and adaptation to whatever situation is thrown their way. Taylor begins executing the highly-expressive dance with percussive footwork and hand-clapping until a scantily clad assistant emerges onto the stage bearing a whip. The crack of it sends shivers down your spine, even more so as she continues with impressive tricks juxtaposed with flamenco dance elements.
Your attention is drawn again to the center of the crowd, where aerial silk hangs in two pieces from the ceiling. Fans part the seas as an ethereal creature crawls towards the fabric, appearing once in the light to be a white rabbit. The dynamic performance is taken up a notch, as well as the creativity of the wardrobe. The white rabbit climbs the suspended fabric without the use of safety lines, relying only on her skill and training to ensure her safety. She impressively flies through the air and strikes eyebrow-raising poses to Nine Inch Nails We’re In This Together until she spins to the final sound of the song. The journey through temptation and madness continues through the saloon with performances featuring Rage Against The Machine, Slipknot, Metallica, an extraordinary fire performance to Du Hast by Rammstein, and a metal grinding spectacle to Live Wire by Mötley Crüe. Without giving out too many of the final details, the audience finally finds out whether or not their man-tagonist makes it out of the White Dog Saloon alive. You will just have to find out for yourself on the next Cherry Bombs headlining tour.
CLICK HERE for more pics from the Them Evils show.
CLICK HERE here for more pics from the Cherry Bombs show.
Click here for a video promo from the show
Click here to read our interview with Alicia Taylor
Be sure to stay connected with Cherry Bombs for upcoming performances, dance workshops, and merchandise!
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CherryBombs (GIRL GANG EPISODES HERE!)
And stay connected with Them Evils for more Classic Rock, Modern Roll!