The state of Michigan has long been the home of many successful musical acts. Everyone from ’50s rock ‘n’ roll icon Bill Haley, ’70s rockers Iggy Pop, MC5, Bob Seger and Ted Nugent to more contemporary success stories such as The White Stripes, Eminem and Kid Rock have all hailed from the Great Lake State. Could the Grand Rapids, MI-based rock band Pop Evil be next on the list? Judging from their performance at The Masquerade, Pop Evil is very much on their way.
With their Midwest roots proudly displayed in the form of a Detroit Red Wing’s logo on drummer Chachi Riot’s kick drum, Pop Evil arrived in Atlanta to promote their latest and most successful release to date, Onyx. With increased record sales, airplay and a string of hit songs, Pop Evil is a hungry band on the rise. The hunger for success fuels the fire of live performance, at that fire is very evident in lead singer Leigh Kakaty, who performs with confidence and conviction. He strikes me as one of those very driven individuals who puts his heart and soul into everything he does.
Now on the band’s third album release, Pop Evil’s songwriting appears to be more cohesive and mature, as evidenced in songs like “Deal With The Devil,” “Flawed” and “Trenches,” all from Onyx. The ballad “Torn To Pieces” – which singer Kakaty wrote after the loss of his father – was delivered with sincerity. Of course, the band did jump back in their catalog for “Boss’s Daughter” from 2011‘s War Of Angels, which got the rollicking crowd jumping once again. “Last Man Standing” and “Trenches” brought the band’s rambunctious set to an end.
Pop Evil is a band that is doing everything right, and with continued hard work, large scale success (and inclusion in Michigan’s list of greats) is only a matter of time.
Full Gallery of Pop Evil
Performing along side Pop Evil were three very deserving and diverse rock acts that each brought their own brand of rock ‘n’ roll to Masquerade’s Hell Stage.
Atlanta’s own Kickin Valentina got the night off to a great start with a set of sleazy, tattooed, whiskey-soaked rock ‘n’ roll that could have come right off the Sunset Strip. The band easily won over the crowd at The Masquerade and would have performed a natural encore, but they ran out of time. The ensuing awkward moment had the band lingering onstage in a “C’mon man, one more song” staredown contest with the sound guy. The band wanted it and the crowd wanted it but unfortunately, the sound guy won.
Full Gallery of Kickin Valentina
Black Oxygen, another Midwest band, followed with a more upbeat, pop-rock approach. Front-man David Lyle played, sang and worked the crowd throughout their set, which highlighted songs from their first release The American Dream.
Full Gallery of Black Oxygen
Eve To Adam’s music was darker in nature and more serious in tone than their two predecessors. Hard-hitting songs like new “Locked and Loaded” and “Immortal” really came to life with what I’ve always thought is the key to a successful rock song: solid backing vocals. Not that lead singer Taki Sassaris couldn’t carry the load, he could, and he proved it throughout the band’s rocking set.
Full Gallery of Eve To Adam