Pop Evil brought their Flesh and Bone Tour to the Reverb in Reading, PA on November 3, 2023. They brought along Fame on Fire and newcomers Lylvc (lilac). It was a perfect Friday night concert where everyone got to let loose from the weekly grind.
The night opened with Lylvc, a hybrid band that was born from the pandemic. The members have an immense mix of musical talents and backgrounds which come together to make a killer sound. They don't follow the current played out formula of rock and roll. They mix rock vocals from singer Alyse Zavala and rap vocals from Oscar Romero. Cam Gillette plays keyboard and guitar and is the composer behind their music. He had a lot of flash and pizazz on stage and I had a very cool conversation with him after the show about stage lighting and fan connections. The band is rounded out by Seth Morgan on lead guitar, Kenneth Kaval on bass and Ryan Powell on drums. For a band that has only been around for a couple of years they had amazing stage chemistry and played like they've been headlining stages for 20 years. They played 8 songs over a 30 minute set, engaging the audience and leaving the stage with a ton of new fans. They had a long line at the merch table between sets chatting with people and taking photos. Check out their newest EP Perfect Drug, you won't be disappointed.
Direct support was provided by Fame on Fire. They've been pounding through the rock scene since 2013 by starting out with metal covers of songs by Ed Sheeran, The Weeknd, Halsey and Adele. They released their debut album, Levels, in 2020 and their follow up, Welcome to the Chaos in 2022. Fittingly they started their set with "Welcome to the Chaos", which set the tone for the rest of their 40 minute set. I couldn't help but sing along through the opening, it always inspires me when I've heard a song a million times and then hear it live for the first time. As a music lover and photographer when I connect to a song, it helps me connect with the artist in a live situation. Lead singer Bryan Kuznitz had so much energy and delivered a powerhouse performance from start to finish. He connected with the audience on numerous occasions and had them join in singing with him. While this crowd was maybe a little less rambunctious than what they are used to in terms of crowd surfers and pits, they made up for it in the passion for the music. They played an 11-song set that included a cover of Linkin Park's "Numb" and ended with one of their biggest hits, "Plastic Heart".
Pop Evil came blazing out onto the stage following two amazing performances. This was my third time seeing them and covering their show. Each time they top the last with more energy, better musicianship and increasingly better vocals. Pop Evil is one of those bands that are much better live than recorded, recordings will never capture their true energy. Lead singer Leigh Kakaty is a true force when it comes to fronting a band, his personality is larger than life when he is on stage. Whether he is standing on the edge of the stage or standing with his back to the audience while staring down drummer, Hayley Cramer, you feel his power.
They opened up the night with "Paranoid " which is a pretty heavy track. You could feel the bass shake the floor through the versus. This led into "Deal with the Devil" which is off of their 2013 release Onyx which happens to be my favorite Pop Evil album. This song had the whole audience bouncing up and down and singing along. The last of the opening 3 was "Let the Chaos Reign", which was on the super heavy side. It's probably one of the closest songs they have to heavy metal, Leigh's vocals were gritty, Davey's guitar riff was chunky and driven and they rhythm section just plain boomed.
The rest of the set was a mix of newer songs, fan favorites and Billboard hits including "Skeletons", "Footsteps" and "Trenches". They closed out the night with "Breathe Again". The audience took in the last of performance with complete joy. Pop Evil delivered one hell of a performance to top off a great night of all flavors of rock and roll. This tour still has a lot of life in it, so if they are headed your way check it out. Tour dates available at popevil.com.