Tampa, Fl (March 30th, 2023)
Pop Evil is one of those hard working blue collar bands that have battled in the trenches and built a beloved following one fan at a time. With each successive album across their seven album discography their prowess and fame have deservedly grown. Of course with their latest effort Skeletons, that means a tour and a chance for all their fans to see their beloved band live as well as hear their latest song.
With the Skeletons tour in full swing, there would be only one stop for their Floridian fans, and that would be in Tampa at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. While the show was on Thursday night, that didn’t stop things from being an absolutely packed house. Indeed their fans came in droves from all over the state for this night. So it was no surprise when the stage lights came alive and guitarists Davey Grah, Nick Fueling, bassist Joey Walser and drummer Hayley Cramer hit the stage and the crowd erupted wildly. The band immediately launched into “Paranoid (Crash & Burn)”. The extended opening to the song was tight and muscular and it instantly grabbed everyone and drew them in. When lead singer Leigh Kakaty joined them on stage and was delivering the opening chorus in a spitfire fashion that matched the energy of his band. When the chorus hit Kakaty let things soar. Now this is how you start a concert!
The next song that they dished up was “Let The Chaos Reign”. If there was a song that could ramp up the energy of the opener it was this one. Just like the song title the band really did let the chaos reign. Kakaty and his bandmates were on fire and the packed crowd was loving every second of it. When the song ended Kakaty reminded the audience of their latest effort Skeletons and asked everyone if they wanted to hear another song from it. Of course everyone cheered wildly and the band played “Circles”. One of the best performances of the night was “Work”. From the perfect spoken word delivery of the verses, and then when things shift mid chorus Kakaty throws himself completely into the delivery channeling every bit of angst and frustration he can muster. Cramer’s crashing powerful drumming follows the wide dynamics of the song to perfection.
The band threw everything they had into every song. From “Be Legendary” to “Eye Of The Storm” to “Waking Lions” were masterfully played. While the band may have working class roots, their level of performance is far beyond that. The combined guitar work of Grahs and Fuelling is as good if not better than any hard rock guitar duo out there. Regardless of the song, the two seamlessly shift between rhythm and lead work. New bassist Joey Walser adds new thump to the band and compliments drummer Hayley Cramer, who of course delivers thunderous drum work all night long.
As always there is that point in the concert where the band thanks everyone and heads off to stage only for the fans to cheer for more music. When the band came back on stage they grabbed their instruments and were set to get the show going again. But technical gremlins had other plans. Instead of just trying to wait until things were sorted out, Leigh Kakaty let the concert goers know that when these things happen he likes to sing acapella as a treat for everyone. Tonight, he said he was going to do something he hasn’t done in a long time “100 In A 55”. His voice was absolutely perfect. With this being such a well-known and beloved song in their catalog it was no surprise that this turned into a full blown sing along. It’s moments like this when things go off script and then the magic happens that makes live concerts such special events. Once things were finally fixed, the band closed out the show “Trenches”, and “Breathe Again”.
Over the course of the night, Pop Evil showed their fans every facet of themselves. From their working class roots, to their high energy hard rock abilities. Through every aspect of their performance the band delivered the goods and is clearly at the top of their game. Just like the album Skeletons, this tour is a hit and needs to be seen to be truly appreciated.
Seminole Hard Rock Casino: