POP EVIL @ Austins – Libertyville, IL

November 9th, 2013

By Kat Corbo and Tammy Vega

When we found out there would be a rock show Saturday night at Austin’s Fuel Room in Libertyville we knew the forty-five minute drive from Chicago would be more than worth it to satisfy our ongoing craving for live music. We got there just in time to catch half of Black Oxygen’s set. The crowd was sparse but those who were watching payed attention to them as they started off the show with an entertaining set.

The crowd grew bigger as the next act, Eve to Adam, hit the stage. Everyone paused their conversations and drew near the stage as the band opened with” Bender” – a heavy, fast paced song. We were among a select few who were full-on rocking out to their set: maybe it was because nobody was drunk enough to get rockin’ and rollin’ or because they were not familiar with Eve to Adam. That all changed  towards the middle  of their set as the crowd joined the band by singing along to “Straightjacket Supermodel” and “Immortal”. It was obvious that 95 WIIL Rock plays the two singles frequently, and their listeners were finally able to put faces to the band that they jam out to on their daily rides around town. Eve to Adam definitely left with more fans than they started the night with. This band is full on rock and roll – no strings attached and their set makes you feel alive. If you see ETA is heading to your town soon, we suggest you make plans to go see them and be sure to tell them we said hello!

Next up was The Letter Black. We were looking forward to seeing them for the first time because great rock front-women are hard to find. Although she had a strong stage presence, at times we were only able to catch a few of her higher notes. After watching her set we concluded that she does a great job at really pumping up the crowd with her killer stage presence. She is a very petite and beautiful woman, but don’t let that fool you… this girl can rock out just as hard as any of the guys on stage.

During the last set change the crowd grew in size and anticipation. Strobe lights flashed, the smoke machine started, and the crowd welcomed Pop Evil on stage with eager screams and applause. The Saturday night crowd was more than ready for an energetic set, and Pop Evil delivered. They opened with their newest single, “Deal With The Devil,” and an insane amount of energy bounced back and forth between the band and their fans. They transitioned right into “Hero,” one of their slower songs, but the audience kept the intensity going. They played for over an hour and included some of their bigger hits like, “100 in a 55,” “Goodbye My Friend,” “Monster You Made” and “Trenches.” Pop Evil’s stage presence continues to be one of the best we have seen in a while. This band is already great when you listen to them on CD but once you get a taste of their live show you get hooked, and they leave you wanting more. Frequently there are only one or two members of a band who really steal the show and keep all eyes on them, but this is definitely not the case for the guys in Pop Evil. Each member brings their own individual flair, leaving you constantly scanning the whole stage so that you don’t miss a thing. This entire night of music impressed us and left us feeling energized for our adventures ahead…

So exactly how much does this show leave you wanting more? Answer: a 6 hour round trip drive from Chicago to Battle Creek, Michigan to see the entire show over again… 3 days later. Yeah, it happened. There really is no stopping us and our passion for travel and music! Okay yes, we’ll admit it, there really isn’t much to the small town of Battle Creek, but it’s never actually about the destination; it’s about the experience. The adrenaline and excitement we get from spontaneously getting in our car (once again, this time on a TUESDAY in November) and driving down the highway heading to a rock show – its addicting. There is nothing like the feeling of living so in the moment. We drink coffee, talk about life, break out in to random Iron Maiden jam sessions, and then all of a sudden we pull into the venue and we realize what we just did. This truly is what life should be about – being spontaneous and adventurous. Letting your heart and the open road guide you to what truly makes you happy. We rocked out at a show in the middle of the week, we hung out with our friends in the bands afterwards, and we still made it back to work at 10 AM the next morning.

The second night was just as great as the first. Because this show was on a Tuesday night in the middle of Michigan, you might think it would not be as crazy as the one we went to Saturday, but every band delivered the same amount of energy as they did at Austin’s. To add to the great energy reverberating from the stage, the vibe at Planet Rock was pretty sweet. The venue has walls made out of chalkboard covered with many of the bands who have played a show there; it keeps you constantly gazing around the room to see which of them have been in the room you’re now standing in. Once the show was over a lot of the band members from each group hung around the venue and mingled with their fans – we truly appreciate the bands who take the time to do this. Music helps so many of us get through tough times, and having the opportunity to interact with the members behind this music really means the world to a fan.

Video clip of the night: http://eb.tl/3m9rc


Tammy Vega is a Chicago based photographer/hair stylist who lives for the thrill of a live show. She’s only been photographing since 2011 but her passion keeps her inspired to continue learning and exploring all there is to know in the world of photography. Never thinking this was going to be more than a hobby, her work began to get recognized and published which eventually led to the opportunity of working alongside Frank Mastalerz at FM Entertainment. Since then, her love for the music industry has grown tremendously, and she continues to strive to make her dream of working with music a lifelong career. Instagram: @tammyvega_ Twitter: @tammyvega_ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/redeyev