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Pop Evil Luxor, Cologne, Germany
24th February 2019
Pop Evil - “Music Over Words” Tour 2019 - Special Guests: The Fallen State

POP EVIL is an American Hard Rock band from North Muskegon, Michigan, that was formed back in 2001 by Singer Leigh Kakaty. The band has released five studio albums so far, with their self-titled album being the most recent piece in February 2018. In the United States, POP EVIL enjoy considerable recognition, with their singles receiving regular airplay and the albums scoring top ten positions in the album Rock charts. Europe, however, seems to take longer to conquer for the five people from Michigan. To change that, they have embarked on a wide-ranging European tour, promoting their latest album.


The Fallen State

THE FALLEN STATE are a Hard Rock band from the UK, which has been formed in 2013. So far, the band has released a handful of EPs, however the band plans to release their debut album ‘A Deadset Endeavour’ in the course of this year. https://www.facebook.com/thefallenstate / http://www.thefallenstate.com

Music & Performance
The five members of THE FALLEN STATE entered the stage at 8pm to the sound of a very Scottish Medieval-sounding Folk tune and opened their set. Their music can best be described a straight Hard Rock, and the reference of artists the band lists as likes on Facebook serves as a good guidance: SHINEDOWN, ALTER BRIDGE, DAUGHTRY and PAPA ROACH. Singer Ben Stenning developed a very amicable but passionate stage presence, all while the instrumental fraction laid the grooving basis for the versatile songs. Ben pulled all the tricks of a sophisticated warm-up act, relentlessly asking people to put up their hands, and for the final song to get down on the floor and jump up when the chorus kicked in.  

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 6
Light: 6
Total: 6.5 / 10

TheFallenState IMG 7203


Pop Evil

The four guys from Michigan and the band’s newest addition, drummer Hayley Cramer from the UK, returned for their first headline shows since their highly appreciated support tour for 3 DOORS DOWN in 2016. With hit songs like ‘Higher’, ‘Last Man Standing’ and ‘Trenches’, POP EVIL displays a great versatility from soft mellow tunes to bone crunching Heavy Metal. Check out www.popevil.com or https://www.facebook.com/popevil.

Music & Performance
Shortly before 9pm, a stage hand announced the arrival of the band full boxing ring style, and speakers began blasting ‘Surrender’ from CHEAP TRICK. The band opened up their set with the crunchy Rock hit ‘Boss’s Daughter’ from the 2014 album ‘Onyx’. The follow-up ‘Colors Bleed’ from the band’s latest album also developed a neck-breaking intensity. Before the ballad ‘Torn to Pieces’, singer Leigh apologized for his voice as was suffering from a severe bronchitis and laryngitis, but he maintained that “POP EVIL isn’t cancelling no shows”, which earned him a great round of applause.

PopEvil IMG 7212

Fittingly enough, the band played ’Last man standing’ next, which spilled over into the iconic SURVIVOR song ‘Eye of the Tiger’. While Leigh served as an example of what to do as a dedicated front man, working the stage and often showing a wide range of emotions as he sang, he was also very humbled and appreciative by the reaction he was getting from the crowd, seemingly feeding on the energy reflected by the crowd in the small Luxor. The rest of the band also delivered a quintessentially flawless and inspiring performance. Rhythm guitarist Dave Grahs and bass player Matt DiRito helped out on the backing vocals, while lead guitarist Neill Fuelling churned out mesmerizing riffage, and Hayley Cramer masterfully served up the rhythm section, which tied together very nicely. After ‘Take it All’ the band left the stage, but Leigh returned a few minutes later, to perform an a-capella song full singer songwriter style. Then the band threw in another cover song from the 90ies, this time LIVE’s ‘I alone’, and after 70 minutes of playtime, the band left the stage for good.

PopEvil IMG 7217

Especially when regarding the fact that Leigh felt critically ill there is no denying that it has been an awesome performance by the band in a nice small club environment. So next time you get the chance to see POP EVIL in a venue near you, be sure to check them out. You won’t be disappointed.

Setlist
01. Boss’s Daughter
02. Colors Bleed
03. Deal With the Devil/Bodies (DROWNING POOL cover)
04. Torn To Pieces
05. Last Man Standing / Eye of the Tiger (SURVIVOR cover)
06. A Crime to Remember
07. Ways to Get High
08. Be Legendary
09. Footsteps
10. Take It All
---
11. 100 In A 55 (a-capella by Leigh Kakaty)
12. I alone (LIVE cover)
13. Waking The Lions
14. Trenches

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.8 / 10

PopEvil IMG 7223

All Pictures by Christian Beyermann
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