Pop Evil

Pop Evil @ The Apollo Theatre
Belvidere, IL

Having seen Pop Evil a couple of times beforehand, I knew I was in for a great show. It was a rather neat evening that revealed they were playing an extended set list. This included songs they claim to have not played in a long while. Just hearing those words made my levels of anxiousness rise. Nothing like having a rock band that is high energy performing more than expected. It also made sense since the doors were opened earlier than normal. 

All in all, the band(whom is heading towards the end of their current run of shows) was in peak performance mode by the time they hit the Apollo Theatre. I was blown away by how proficient and technically sharp everyone was. I mean they were spot on note for note. Hayley Cramer destroyed her drum kit. Quick and tight snaps on the snare while also slinging across her symbols up top. She did this all while engaging with the crowd at every opportune moment. Its been a while since I’ve seen a drummer put on a show like that. 

Three stand out songs:
Trenches - Performing their hit song off of the “Onyx” album Pop Evil gave the enthused audience a moment to remember. Having additional vocals for the choruses provided by Justin Benlolo(Brkn Love) and Daniel Carriere(Royal Tusk) Pop Evil executed with an absolute proficiency. The guitar lead ripped by Nick Fuelling is an extremely catchy hook. Those string bends backed by thundering 808 hits shakes the room. The song itself exudes power. Physically, you have to move your body and head bang. Having all of the touring frontmen belting out “We have to dig our way out of the trenches” on the front edge of the stage was simply awesome. 

100 in a 55 - Slowing the show down with a song that led the entire room singing quite boisterously was marvelous. At one point it gave me the goose bumps. To hear the lyrics sung with such a bluesy grace live had my head really thinking about the words being sung. A true rock ballad in every sense. Leigh Kakaty gave possibly the best vocal rendition I’ve seen of the tune. It was stunning, dazzling and appreciative all wrapped into one. This is why the studio recording will never match a live performance. 

Colors Bleed - Another great tune with fantastic guitar leads. It is the song that really got the crowd moving. Nothing too flashy, but its the punch you in the mouth early 2000s song style that the entire band head banged and jumped all over the stage for. A real body mover for sure. Bassist Mike Dirito, jammed the hardest out of anyone. Having stomped and hair flipped through the entire song from his platform above the guitar cabs on stage left. 

Before I end this I just want people to know that bassist Mike Dirito has a cancer charity for kids called, Star Treatments. As a cancer patient myself I cannot love this enough. Check it out at  https://www.facebook.com/StarTreatmentsOrg/

Set List:
Footsteps (Go Higher)
Take It All
Ways to Get High
Last Man Standing
Bosses Daughter
Monster You Made
Behind Closed Doors
100 in a 55
Colors Bleed
Deal With The Devil
Torn to Pieces
Waking Lions

Using Format