Because the majority of Pop Evil’s equipment was already on stage, the opening bands did not have as much room on the stage, but they certainly made the most of what they had, beginning with LA’s Badflower. Their sound is hard to categorize into one genre- at one moment bluesy, at other times alternative, as well as an occasional hint of Beatles-type sound. Though their set was fairly short, it was packed full of guitar solos, and the crowd seemed to most enjoy the songs Soap and Animal. Their stage lighting was minimal but effective and they were most definitely high energy performers.
Next up was Red Sun Rising who immediately showed off their amazing vocal harmonies on Amnesia, from their album Polyester Zeal. Also a very active band, the members seemed mostly unaware that their stage space was limited and very actively engaged the crowd. Next up was Unnatural followed by The Otherside, to which the crowd the enthusiastically sang along. Vocalist Mike Protich told the crowd, “You sound beautiful!” Followed by a rocking cover version of Alanis Morissette’s Uninvited, Protich shared that the band is about to start recording a new album and played one of the tunes because as he said, the crowd wouldn’t know if they screwed it up. They closed out their set with Emotionless, which left the audience chanting for one more song. However, there must not have been enough time, as the band did not return to the stage.
After a brief pause for sound check and clearing of equipment, the main event- Pop Evil- took the stage with a massive backdrop of LED lights behind them. The band started off immediately with a fan favorite, Trenches, followed by Last Man Standing. Bass player Matt DiRito was all over the stage, as was his beautiful head of hair (there is actually a Facebook page all about his hair). They even threw in a cover of Eye of the Tiger before launching back into radio favorites such as Ways To Get High and Torn to Pieces. There was a brief period of microphone trouble that was quickly remedied, thanks to there being multiple mics available on stage. Next up was Sick Sense, before vocalist Leigh Kakaty announced that they were going to take us back to 2010 with Boss’s Daughter. The show contained a healthy mix of songs from all of Pop Evil’s albums, with tracks such as Divide, Silence and Scars, and Lux as well as crowd favorites such as Deal With The Devil and Monster You Made, as well as several others. Leigh grabbed his guitar for 100 in a 55 and the band left the stage. But of course the show wasn’t over yet. Soon Kakaty and drummer Hayley Cramer returned to this stage, this time with Cramer on the keyboards for an intimate performance of Beautiful. The duo let the stage yet again and returned once more with the full band to perform Footsteps, at the end of which Kakaty got out into the crowd and convinced them all to squat down “campfire style” to sing along and also have the crowds picture taken from the stage. An intimate end to a great evening.
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