Pop Evil at The Machine Shop in Flint, MI

Pop Evil wows fans with a wild show at the world famous The Machine Shop with support from The Lows.

Providing direct support for the headliner tonight are The Lows from Detroit, MI.  This band burst on to the local scene over the last year and have quickly gained a following from the buzz of their power-packed live performances.  Led by lead singer Angelo Coppola, they tear through a set that has the crowd fired up and cheering.  Angelo is very dynamic, with giant leaps and letting his hair fly about throughout their set.  Their set includes “Let It Go”, “Wake Up”, and a cover of a Stooges song.  They are a lot of fun.  The band also includes guitarists Nick Behnan and Brandon McNall, Wolf on bass, and Duane Hewins on drums. Expect to hear a lot more from this band in the future.

Pop Evil have been touring almost non-stop since the release of their current self-titled album.  Tonight’s sold-out show is the first of 3 shows at the world famous The Machine Shop in Flint, MI.  This is a venue where Pop Evil played many times while working their way up the ranks.  With most of the band still residing in Western, MI, they still like to go back to their roots and play these intimate shows for their diehard fans.  And diehard fans they are, with many already lined up two hours before the doors open to get a chance to be up close, as well as many here for the meet and greet.

The lights dim and the familiar opening bass line of “Ways to Get High” gets the fans fired up, and then Hayley Cramer pushes it into overdrive with her powerful drumming.  She is a joy to watch as she whips her hair back and forth and regularly raises the drumsticks high before crashing down on the drum heads and cymbals. Singer Leigh Kakaty wastes no time getting close to the fans as he steps on top of a floor monitor and puts one foot on the bar leading to the front row.  He spends a good majority of the show perched in this location with fans providing a hand to steady him.

The next three songs, “Colors Bleed”, “Ex Machina”, and “Deal With the Devil” are all heavy and have the hard rockers going crazy.  They slow it down a bit with “Hero”, but that does not last long as they amp it right back up with “Art of War”, before slowing it down again with a fan favorite, “Torn to Pieces”.

With five albums under their belt, they have built up a solid and growing fan base over the last decade as each has had several radio friendly hits, and that streak continues with this release.  Tonight’s show draws from all of their albums, but about a third of the set comes from this current release including “A Crime to Remember” and “Be Legendary”.

The rest of the set includes several early hits including “Last Man Standing”, “Monster You Made”, and the rocker “Boss’s Daughter”.  They close out the main portion of their set with “Footsteps”, that has fans singing along to the familiar chant of “go higher, go higher”, and finally “Take It All” from Up.

After a short break, guitarist Nick Fuelling takes the stage alone and starts in on “100 in a 55”.  Leigh lets the fans know that this is their earliest song going back to July of 2005 and was written in Grand Haven, MI.  During the song, Leigh encourages everyone to take out their phones or lighters and wave them back and forth.  It is quite the spectacle to see. 

Leigh asks the crowd, “Can we get heavy on a Thursday?” before they crank it back up with the ripping tune “Waking the Lions” from the current release. This song once again has Hayley pummeling the drums into submission, while bassist Matt Dirito makes use of the whole stage, whipping his long hair front to back whenever he gets a chance.  The crowd is fully engaged with hands waving and others throwing horns and fists in the air. They end the night with the popular single “Trenches” that has the audience singing along. 

Leigh thanks the crowd for continuing to support them and shakes hands, fist pumps, and high fives several fans up front.  Nick, Davey Grahs, and Matt toss guitar picks to the crowd, as well as Hayley with her drum sticks before they all head off.  They love their fans and know how to take care of them and that is what keeps the fans coming back show after show.

As of the publication of this article, Pop Evil has one more show scheduled at The Machine Shop on September 30.  They will also be heading out for a festival in Mexico in October and then some shows in Canada in November and early December.

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About Gary Pahlow 40 Articles
Gary is located in Rochester Hills, MI and has been officially photographing and writing concert reviews since early 2016. His main music interests are metal and hard rock, but he is also a fan of most genres including alternative, indie, jazz, and even some pop and country. When not covering or attending concerts, you can find him traveling with his wife or watching the Detroit Red Wings.

1 Comment

  1. Michigan Rock and Roll at The Machine Shop.Music is alive and well in Michigan.Other Eyes also put ibn a great show warming the crowd up for The Lows and Pop Evil.The Lows high energy show left the crowd wanting more and Pop Evil gave it to us.Great show at a great rock and roll venue.

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