Sunday, June 19, 2011
Rams Head Live – Baltimore, MD
Review by Marcy Royce
Photos by Marcy Royce
I was so pumped to know that on this day I would be able to do two things; attend the pre show private party where POP EVIL would do an acoustic bit (arranged by local radio station 98Rock in Baltimore) AND photograph and review POP EVIL’s main show later in the evening at Rams Head Live. Double good, just like double mint gum. Most of you do remember Double Mint gum, right? Ha ha!
The pre show party was held at Angels Rock Bar, just outside the Rams Head Live venue. My husband and I arrived 30 minutes prior to the arrival of the band. Everyone in line was psyched to know they would be hearing acoustic stuff from POP EVIL and also getting to meet & greet with the band, have things signed, and be able to be one on one with them. The band arrived to the applause of 40-50 fans. After settling in and getting all plugged and ready, POP EVIL performed Monster You Made from their forthcoming July 5th release of War Of Angels. Lead singer, Leigh KaKaty announced that the band finally had the physical copy of the it in their hands as he waved the coveted cd in the air. The fans were excited. It’s been a long road to this point. Now that the band has a new and supportive label, eOne, the cd is no longer on hiatus. Five months past the original release date of this February has made the fans hungry for it. I’ve already preordered my copy and I’m so ready to hear every song in it’s entireity since the teaser video on YouTube is no longer quenching my thirst. Or the fans around me. WE ARE SO READY! After the acoustic performance every member of the band hung out with us. I got some great one on one time with Tony Greve and Matt DiRito, whom I interviewed last month in Pennsylvania. We reminisced about that night and had a few laughs. These guys, and all the guys in the band, are so great to speak with. True gentlemen, genuine, fun and always appreciate each and every fan. And ya know, that will take them far in this sometimes fickle business. Staying connected to the fans with will carry them to the future very well.
Next it was off to Rams Head Live for POP EVIL’s main show!
I first discovered POP EVIL in August of 2009 when they were a support band for the Judas Priest’s Bristish Steel 30th Anniversary Tour, and I was quite impressed. I purchased their Lipstick On The Mirror cd and I keep it in my ipod’s shuffle rotation. There are some great songs on there and quite a few of them were in the set this night. And by listening to their freshman release over and over again, I have known for quite some time these guys are destined for greatness. There is so much good groundwork in those songs and I know there is more great music to come on their upcoming release on July 5th, which is just over a week away. THANK GOD!
Tonight is a very special night I came to find out. POP EVIL’s management team and their new label where in attendance. So awesome. I could tell by their performance they were on the very top of their game, more than ever. But wait, I’m jumping ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the beginning of their set.
I positioned myself in the press & photo pit and I chose my spot knowingly right in front of Tony. He’s always got great riffs I love to catch and experience up close. The ;ights dimmed, the crowd readied themselves as we all knew what POP EVIL was about to do. The boys attacked that stage like a angry lion catching it’s prey for dinner. HOLY SHIT! That energy about knocked me on my arse. Reinforcing to me once again that they mean business when they are gonna rock their fans to the floor. They kicked off the set with Breathe from Lipstick On The Mirror. Those first chords sent the crowd wild. The boys’ energy was unparalleled. They were like puppies let loose; bouncing, running, pumping, jumping and the crowd just couldn’t help getting caught up in all of it. I love to watch how each member performs and communicates with the crowd. Capturing those emotions with my camera is one of the greatest highs for me. POP EVIL certainly is not one of those bands who stays in one spot for very long while they perform on a big stage such as Rams Head. And as a photographer, I love that! Motion and emotion make the shot. And these guys deliver it to me each time.
The next song was Broken And Betrayed from War Of Angels. One of my favorites from the upcoming cd. As I continued to photograph I couldn’t help but pull away from my view finder to really watch them. I had not been close to any stage for this song yet. I began to rock my body with the beat that Matt and Jake, fill in drummer for Dylan Allison, created. Bass and drum are the heart and soul of any song. One of the reasons why I always gravitate to those two instruments. Man, did those two give me exactly what I wanted, what I needed, what I always yearn for. That song is awesome! I really soaked in each word that Leigh was belting out. He is so purposeful with his delivery and projection. And the connection he had with the crowd was like pure lighting. I gazed down the barrier and smiled as I saw all the hands in the air and just how many of the fans were singing along. Chills, I tell you, chills. Then Tony and Dave caught my attention. The licks and riffs I wanted to really see and examine. Those two are just like peanut butter and jelly, they go so well together, and their styles compliment wonderfully. Then, all of a sudden, the song ended. And I was kicking myself for getting so caught up in the emotion of it all that I realized I didn’t capture as many photos that I would have liked. Ah well, plenty more time I told myself.
The third song of the set was none other than Somebody Like You from Lipstick On The Mirror. Yes! POP EVIL had really begun to own the Rams Head stage and the crowd was almost starting to froth at the mouth like a rabid dog. More, more, more! The pounding drums and guitar melody just brought every one in closer to the stage. The front row just behind the barrier was getting a little tighter. As I began to sing along, Tony caught me photographing him. I pulled back from my camera, took a few more shots of him as he pointed at me and posed, then gave him the thumbs up. We smiled, knowing the other was doing exactly what we love. Tony uses several different Dean Flying V guitars. I love the best the yellow and green one he was playing when we found each other at this moment. Be sure to check out my photos of this special moment in the PHOTOS section of our sight.
I vacated the pit and headed for front of house to change lenses. As I walked on my way Monster You Made was starting. Another one from War Of Angels. I then headed down into the thick of the crowd to capture more magical moments from POP EVIL. The crowd was electric and intense. I couldn’t help but get swept up in it all. The songs that followed were: Daisy Chain (War Of Angels), Shinedown (Lipstick On The Mirror), Save The World (Official POP EVIL Facebook Page Download), Boss’s Daughter (War Of Angels), 100 In A 55 (Lipstick On The Mirror), Last Man Standing (War Of Angels), and Hero (Lipstick On The Mirror).
The set progressed with wailing solos, intricate melodic guitars, pound your chest drums & bass, and purposeful lyrics. All things, that when woven together properly, will make a band shine. Pepper in raw emotion, unbridled spirit, unending energy and you have all the makings of a truly talented band that will break the chains and move up the genre ladder. With this new label eOne working with the band and the management, I sure hope everything marries well. Because I predict it will and POP EVIL will explode and take this country, and other countries, by Evil Storm. In a relatively short time they should be headlining every show they perform.
And that, my friends, will make this photographer and fan, extremely happy!
For more information and all that is happening with POP EVIL including tour dates, and to find out where to purchase music and merchandise visit http://www.popevil.com/
Also check these sites:
And for really cool stuff: www.evil-nation.com
YouTube videos you should check out:
For War Of Angels Last Man Standing: http://youtu.be/4YB6H5q_gyU
Teaser Video for War Of Angels: http://youtu.be/2Ptq4jMH5OM
For Lipstick On The Mirror 100 in a 55: http://youtu.be/DcfmwfY2GOE
Special thanks to George Cappellini, Sr., at G & G Entertainment, and Chris Iteen, Tour Manager, for helping to make it happen. I would also like to thank George Cappellini, Jr. for the great and informative conversation after the meet and great. It was a great pleasure gentlemen, as always.