April 10th, 2014
After working the Christina Perri show Wednesday at the House of Blues, Tammy and I were just itching for some heavy, rock n’ roll, head-banging music. We headed out to Another Hole In The Wall in the middle of seemingly nowhere (Steger, IL) to rock out with Adrenaline Mob as they kicked off their first night back on tour. The fact that it was a Thursday night, we had work Friday morning, and the venue was an hour away didn’t stop us; we always say good music is worth any trip, any day of the week.
We took the hour drive and used it to our advantage, blasting music and getting more and more excited as the road passed by underneath us. And let me tell you, the show did not disappoint, so much so that when we found out they were playing 5 hours away in Waterloo the next day we argued all night about whether or not we should take a road trip (we decided against it seeing as we had prior responsibilities, but if we had no plans we would have been there in a heartbeat!). Pipe was the direct support, and we were a little confused when they came on stage sporting suit and ties. As soon as they started playing, though, it didn’t matter what they were wearing. Their talent was raw and real, and they put on an awesome show. When Pipe was done the crew ran on stage and got to work setting up. All of a sudden they took the tarp off the drum set, revealing a jaw-dropping kit sitting atop the body of a car. Tammy and I looked at each other, speechless, knowing we were in for one crazy show.
John Moyer, AJ Pero, and Mike Orlando began first, rocking the intro to “The Mob is Back,” and then Russell Allen jumped out and started singing, kicking the night off with a bang. They paused after the opener to announce it was their first night back on tour and that “The Mob” was back in town, and then barreled full speed ahead into the rest of their set, demolishing “Come On Get Up,” “Let it Go” and “Dearly Departed.” Tammy was taking photos most of the time, but couldn’t resist running back around the barricade to sing and go crazy with me to our favorite song of theirs, yelling at the top of our lungs, “so you took one in the FACE! Come on, get up!” Russell apologized for “working out the kinks” since it was their first show back, but we were having so much fun with our fists in the air and hair flying everywhere that we couldn’t tell if anything went wrong. We were so tuned into the raw music and the unbelievable energy jumping off the stage that any of the “kinks” felt like they were just an added dimension of the show. Real, live music never has to be perfect, anyway, it’s the passion coming from the stage that matters.
They played “Judgment Day” and “Undaunted” next, rocking out to their heavier, newer songs before slowing the night down with an older song, “Indifferent.” Then Russell and Mike grabbed acoustic guitars, sat down, and showed their hearts to the room. Russell talked about his daughter, saying how she has autism and that when writing the song, “All on The Line,” he wanted to raise some awareness for it and the fight that came with it. They paused again to talk to the room, telling us how at the end of the day what they truly love to do is write music, and they were really happy to sit down and show another side of them since looks can be deceiving. He said that even though they are a “badass heavy metal rock band” they wanted to pause for a minute to let their songwriting really show, and the beauty of “Crystal Clear” shined through just as I imagine that they hoped it would. Of course songs always sound gorgeous acoustically, but there was another added element from the passion Russell and Mike gave off, getting beautifully lost in their song, making every lyric and riff overflow with emotion. Once they were done, AJ stepped up to his monstrous drum kit for a phenomenal solo that left the room cheering. His solo wasn’t the only impressive playing of the night; Mike’s guitar solos left jaws on the floor, and John’s raw talent on the bass was simply remarkable. Mike and John both played with so much speed and pure talent that we felt proud to say we got to watch them work their magic for an hour and a half.
“Hit the Wall” and “Feelin’ Me” came next, and then Adrenaline Mob ended the night on a huge, heavy note with their thrilling performance of “Feel the Adrenaline.” The lights came on the second they were done, and you could tell that the audience was confused, not expecting to leave without an encore. Russell came back out to inform everyone that they did have a badass encore planned, but the cops had come to shut the show down. Yep, the first night The Mob was back they had a bunch of cop cars come out to a venue in the middle of nowhere because of noise, and that’s exactly how you know they’re going to have an unstoppable tour.
Take a look at Tammy’s photos!