BY DEAN BIRKHEIMER | Go Venue Magazine
“I still believe in this rock ‘n’ roll. And I pray the music gon’ save my soul.” — Pop Evil, 100 in A 55-
The cold and the promise of snow did not discourage the crowd that showed up at the Bourbon Theater in Lincoln, Ne. Evandale, Them Evils and Pop Evil made damn sure heat filled the venue in the form of good ole’ unadulterated Rock ‘n’ Roll. Even comedian Don Jamieson did his part by keeping us smiling despite the frigid temperature.
Evandale was given the opportunity of opening the show by winning a type of battle of bands competition. Bands were to provide Pop Evil with their interpretation of Be Legendary and the winning group would open the show. Hence, opening the show was Evandale. Evandale is a five-man band comprised of E.J. Petry (vocals), Chad Riche (guitar/vocals), Eric Whitney (guitar/vocals), Cody du (bass/vocals) and Ryan Lang (drums). They are an Omaha band made up of some of Omaha’s most prominent acts, i.e. The Venculas, Shatterproof, Dirtfedd and Arson City. They define themselves as a “southern flavored hard rock band”. As soon as they hit the stage, they proved to be more than capable of opening this show. Their six-song set was a complete attention getter. Anybody who was there just to see Pop Evil, was now intensely into what was happening in front of them. Evandale took full of advantage of their opportunity and anybody who wasn’t aware of them then, assuredly is now. It’s certain this bands future is promising, and I cannot wait until they are headlining their own tour. They closed with Where You Belong which is their 2nd single off their self-titled debut EP. You can check out the video for it here WHERE YOU BELONG – EVANDALE. You can also keep up to date with Evandale by liking and following them on Facebook.
EVANDALE SET LIST:
BURN – THE ROAD – GHOST OF YOU – BLACK HEART – MANIPULATOR – WHERE YOU BELONG
From Orange County California, Them Evils have been accelerating quickly in the music scene. Their 1st single “Got Me Rockin’” off their inaugural EP “Rollin’ Stoned and Livin’ Free” came in at #53 on Hard Rock Daddy’s top 100 of 2018. Jake Massanari (bass) impeccably defines their sound as “Classic Rock with a Modern Roll.” Jordan Griffin (guitar / vocals) and David Delany (drums) make up the rest of the power trio. Jordan is a fierce singer with great vocal sustain and his guitar work is raw and always spot on. Off stage Jake is the joker of the three. Always ready with a one-liner, but on stage he is all business. He is non-stop movement and a non-stop crowd pleaser. David, who according to the other band-mates has the best hair, cracks skin with intent and resolve. They opened with “Put Your Love On Me”, which immediately absorbed the attention of the fans. When the fuzzy / distorted sound of “Untold” followed, the people in attendance could no longer be contained. They all knew that this was in its truest form a Rock Show. Their set featured “Practice What You Preach”, which included the “Gary Glitter Rock and Roll part 2” riff. I believe if you’re a national touring act and you’re going to do a cover, well then, do a cover. Them Evils gave us AC/DC “Dirty Deeds”, which was flawless, it showcased their musical abilities and it gave the crowd a chance to sing along and be a part of the show. There really is no doubt this band will be a solid headliner very soon. For anybody out there who thinks Rock and Roll is dead, Them Evils is proof that the heart of Rock and Roll is still beating…..and not in just Cleveland. Be sure to grab their EP “Rollin’ Stoned and Livin’ Free” and check out this video for “Practice What You Preach”.
THEM EVILS SET LIST:
PUT YOUR LOVE ON ME – UNTOLD – SHE GOT NOTHIN’ – PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH (GARY GLITTER SOLO) – GOT ME ROCKIN’ – AC/DC COVER (DIRTY DEEDS) – HAVE ONE ON ME
Before Pop Evil took the stage, we were treated to some comedy in the form of Don Jaimeson, who you may remember as the host of VH1’s That Metal Show. Sometimes this combination of comedy and music doesn’t work, and if not for the persistent screeching of some gal in the crowd, this could have been perfect. Don is a great story teller and you know he is genuine because he’s been on the road with rockers and in a way, is one himself. The story about how he got a hickey from Jack Bauer will remain with me for a long time.
As Pop Evil seized the stage, they were played on by “Surrender” by Cheap Trick. This was suitable as we had all given in a long time ago and were ready to let Pop Evil have their way with us. We were prepared for anything. What we got was EVERYTHING!! They came at us instantly with the scorching paced “Bosses Daughter”. The chorus has a hook that simply fires up fans. Sometimes you see a group that you know just gets it and Pop Evil is that group. They know how to play, they know how to perform, and they know how to be professional. Their entire set was a faultless combination of old and new as well as some splendid mashups and full-on covers. For example, their song “Deal With The Devil” was mashed with the Drowning Pools, “Bodies”. “Last Man Standing” was mashed with Survivors, “Eye Of The Tiger” and Art of War was mashed with Lenny Kravitz, “Are You Gonna Go My Way”. Their cover of Lives, “I Alone” was simply incredible, but I may be biased a bit as that is my favorite Live song. The five members of Pop Evil, Leigh Kakaty (vocals), Dave Grahs (rhythm guitar / vocals), Matt DiRito (bass / vocals), Nick Fuelling (lead guitar / vocals) and Hayley Cramer (drums) are as tight a band as you can possibly be. They feed off each other constantly but each has flashes where they shine independently. Song of the night for me had to be “Art Of War”. I believe it was their heaviest track and it showcases the guitar and has some tremendous crashing percussion. After 16 songs, the band departs, but the audience has not had enough, and Pop Evil isn’t done either. They reappear for a three-song encore which featured “110 in a 55”. Soon as it commences every Tom, Dick, and Harry knows what it is. The rest of the band joins in and the fans find themselves in a sing-a-long. The show ends with “Trenches” and with the fans waving back and forth. Pop Evil never stops working, they put on a show that once seen you’ll never forget. This is a must-see act.
POP EVIL SET LIST:
BOSSES DAUGHTER – COLORS BLEED– EX MACHINA – DEAL WITH THE DEVIL (BODIES) – ART OF WAR (ARE YOU GONNA GO MY WAY) – GODS DAM – TORN TO PIECES – LAST MAN STANDING (EYE OF THE TIGER) – WAYS TO GET HIGH – BE LEGENDARY – I ALONE (LIVE COVER)– REWIND – WHEN WE WERE YOUNG – A CRIME TO REMEMBER – FOOTSTEPS – TAKE IT ALL
100 IN A 55 – WALKING LIONS – TRENCHES