Skillet & Sevendust: Victorious War Tour

Phenomenon Concerts & The Rialto Theatre Present

Skillet & Sevendust: Victorious War Tour

Pop Evil, Devour The Day

Sep 04 Wed

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

The Rialto Theatre

$42.00 - $300.00

This event is all ages

General Admission Floor / Reserved Balcony

**Regular tickets go on sale 4/26 at 10 am. 

Sevendust VIP available HERE

Skillet
Skillet
Skillet has cemented their place as one of the 21st century’s most successful rock bands. Selling more than 12 million units worldwide, the Wisconsin quartet have received two GRAMMY® Award nominations and won a Billboard Music Award for the platinum-certified Awake. Their double-platinum single “Monster” was “the eighth most-streamed rock song of 2015” and currently has over 105 million plays (and counting) on Spotify, earning the distinction of becoming “the best-selling digital single in the history of Christian Music.” 2013’s Rise bowed at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 upon release and received resounding and eclectic acclaim from the likes of USA Today, New York Times, Revolver Loudwire and more. Their latest album, Unleashed, debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 and the first single “Feel Invincible” went to #1 on the Rock Radio chart. The track “Stars” was featured in the motion picture The Shack, released last March. Skillet was recently nominated for 3 additional Billboard Music Awards and their songs have been used by the WWE, Marvel, ESPN and the NFL to name a few.
Sevendust
Sevendust
In 1994, Sevendust first forged a familial tie amongst each other that translated into one of the most diehard audiences in the game. To this day, the connection between fans and the GRAMMY® Award-nominated gold-certified hard rock outfit only grows stronger. For their twelfth full-length and first release for Rise Records All I See Is War, the quintet—Lajon Witherspoon [lead vocals], Clint lowery [lead guitar, backing vocals], John Connolly [rhythm guitar, backing vocals], Vince Hornsby [bass], and Morgan Rose [drums]—did the best thing they could possibly do to combat all of the division in the streets and on social media; they went and made a Sevendust record—just bigger, ballsier, and bolder than before.
A trifecta of now-classic gold albums—Sevendust [1997], Home [1999], and Animosity [2001]— ignited their journey. Known as an equally intense and unforgettable live force, they’ve consistently packed houses around the world and decimated stages everywhere from Rock on the Range and Woodstock to OZZfest and Shiprocked! 2015’s Kill The Flaw represented a high watermark. Bowing at #13 on the Billboard Top 200, it scored their highest debut on the respective chart since 2010 and marked their fifth consecutive Top 10 on the Top Rock Albums Chart and third straight Top 3 on the Hard Rock Albums Chart. Most impressively, the lead single “Thank You” garnered a nomination in the category of “Best Metal Performance” at the 2016 GRAMMY® Awards, a career first. All I See Is War represents yet another new beginning.
Pop Evil
Pop Evil
POP EVIL
Leigh Kakaty – vocals
Dave Grahs – rhythm guitar, backing vocals Nick Fuelling – lead guitar, backing vocals Matt DiRito – bass, backing vocals Hayley Cramer - drums
When North Muskegon, Michigan native Leigh Kakaty formed Pop Evil, he chose the band’s name for a reason. He loved hard rock songs with good melodies but he also dug loud, crunchy guitars and propulsive metal rhythms. For Kakaty, it’s a natural duality that came from growing up in the Great Lakes and it eventually became the raison d’etre of his band.
“It’s just a natural part of who I am,”​ Kakaty says. ​“When I was growing up we’d roll out to the beach on the weekdays with an acoustic guitar and everyone would kick it. And on the weekends, we’d turn up the amps and, boom, everyone would try to break windows. It was all about the heaviness. And I needed both of those elements – the melodic and the metallic.”
Five albums into Pop Evil’s career, combining strong hooks with knockout punches is more important than ever. The band’s new record, simply called ​Pop Evil​, is a surging, contemporary sounding release that incorporates metal, alternative, hard rock and even electronic music. In the wake of the band’s peppy, upbeat 2015 album ​Up​, it’s a wake-up call, a musical rebirth that inspired the band to self-title the release, partially since they’d never done so. Their first album, ​Lipstick on the Mirror​ came out in 2008, and while it introduced listeners to the band’s core sound with well-received singles like “​Hero​” and “​100 in a 55​,” Pop Evil has grown exponentially since then.
Pop Evil captures Kakaty and his bandmates – rhythm guitarist Dave Grahs, lead guitarist Nick Fuelling, bassist Matt DiRito and drummer Hayley Cramer – at their most inspiring. Every song on the album offers a different spin on the concept behind the band’s name and in an era when many rock bands create a few strong singles, and six or seven less memorable songs and call it an album, Pop Evil is all killer, no filler – the best 11 songs culled from 30 demos.
There’s plenty to be excited about on Pop Evil. The first single, “​Waking Lions​” starts with clattery electronic drums and a chugging guitar riff interjected with a squealing harmonic, then the first verse kicks in like a mob smashing down the doors the confine them. As Kakaty hits the euphoric chorus – backed by buzzing guitars and a minor-key counter melody – he sings about reaching within and overcoming obstacles ​“I want to stand up 100 feet tall / ‘Cause fear will never lead my way / I’m ready to run 100 miles strong / I will never be the same.”
By contrast, “​Colors Bleed​” – for which the band shot an insightful video -- was inspired by current events and features a charged rhythm, incisive guitar licks, and confrontational vocals. ​“Step aside watch the colors bleed / The rise of democracy / Fight the System / Stop and listen / True colors, how can you miss ‘em? / Born with knowledge, raise the fist / Face the enemy, just resist.”
The song blends aggressive rock vocals and rapping, bringing to mind Rage of Machine (even if the bridge and solo sound more like Pink Floyd).​ “Rage was my favorite band growing up,”​ admits Kakaty. ​“Because he was a frontman of mixed race, Zack de la Rocha was my hero. He was the guy that I could relate to when I grew up rapping. In the beginning of my career with Pop Evil, I moved away from that vocal approach in hopes to find the right song to bring it back. It just naturally happened on this record.”
Lyrically, songs like ​“Colors Bleed”​ cover new ground for Pop Evil. Instead of being about dysfunctional relationships, self-empowerment or mortality, Kakaty digs into today’s headlines and addresses what he feels about capitalism, hypocrisy and violent confrontation.
“It was important for me to document things that we’re going through right now, such as what happened in Charlottesville, what’s going on with North Korea and where the government is at,”​ he says. ​“As a lyricist, I need to address all sorts of subjects and emotions and politics is a part of that. I felt I needed to write about the things I’m feeling as a mixed American -- someone whose mom and dad came to this culture with big dreams, hopes, and aspirations because this is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Anyone who comes to America is a native of this country, so it’s so important that we all come together. When we join together, everyone wins.”
“With a band name like Pop Evil, we felt like the Evil has always been de-emphasized just because of the situations we were in,”​ Kakaty says.​ “It always seemed like the people around us wanted to focus more on radio play or writing more mainstream, melodic stuff. That’s definitely a part of what we like to do, but this time we made a rock album for rock fans. And, in general, rock fans are real Middle American, middle or lower-middle class people who get forgotten about. Secular music has pretty much told the world that rock and roll and metal music don’t matter anymore. Having lived that life and thrived as a rock band, it’s hard not to take offense to that, but it’s important to try to be a part of the solution rather than the problem. And we’re doing that by turning up the amps and saying, “Look, we can make heavy songs that really rock and we can also write catchy songs that someone who likes Pearl Jam or Led Zeppelin can get into.”
The struggle was a regular obstacle for Pop Evil as they prepared to record their definitive album. Before they could finish the ​UP​ album cycle, they had to find a new drummer. Joshua Marunde (AKA Chachi Riot), who had been with the band since 2011 gradually lost interest in being a touring musician and decided to open his own CrossFit gym. He stayed with the band until the end of May 2016 in support of ​Up​ and then amicably parted ways with the band, forcing them to find a replacement while on the road.
After some soul searching, their management team brought a few ideas forward, one being a female drummer and the band members decided that it could be a terrific idea to work with a female drummer in order to give the band a new perspective that wasn’t solely motivated by testosterone.
They took recommendations from industry contacts and invited a bunch of women to email them audition videos. After carefully examining a bunch of playthrough videos one stood out to Pop Evil. It was one video sent in by English drummer Hayley Cramer (ex-McQueen) who they invited for a try out in their hometown and absolutely blew the band away. The band decided to bring her out on the road while Chachi was finishing his

role and split time during the month of May 2016. She entered into the band with total confidence and a new artistic vision.
“As soon as we saw her video we were like, ‘Oh my goodness. She’s the one,’”​ Leigh Kakaty says. ​“Her first tour with us was in packed arenas opening for Rob Zombie and Disturbed. It was crazy, but when things work, they work. She’s been like the big sister we never knew we wanted but we’re so glad we have. And she’s so passionate about the music. Songs that we’d been playing for years suddenly came to life in a different way and then she came in and killed it on this record. It was a rejuvenation for us. She’s nothing short of a blessing.”
With Cramer’s help, Pop Evil wrote a batch of new songs in their practice space before they started demoing. In addition to making sure the album was heavier than ​Up​, they wanted the time to create the album they wanted to make. While they had been forced to rush through past albums in three or four months so they could return to the road (the band had averaged 200 live concerts a year over the last ten years), they dedicated a full year to completing Pop Evil.
“When you’ve got a bunch of material to work with, weeding that all out takes time,” ​Kakaty says. ​“We’d wind up going with things we didn’t know if we were completely sure was right for the album and then I’d have to put lyrics on and if I didn’t totally believe in something it was hard to put my heart and soul into the vocals. So finally, for the first time ever, the record company/management agreed to give us the time needed to make the record and we worked really hard this time to try out everything and really use the best of the best.”
In Spring 2017, Pop Evil went to Sound Emporium studio in Nashville to work with Kato Khandwala. The band worked in Nashville between June and August, then went to Los Angeles to record vocals and Sphere Studios.
“In the past, we’ve all done our parts and it was a little awkward,”​ Kakaty says. ​“This time, everyone was together. Everyone was there in the studio offering their opinions and Kato was there to make sure we didn’t veer off track and to push us to deliver our best performances.”
Looking back at Pop Evil, Kakaty is thrilled that it came out exactly how the band wanted it to. The experimental parts give the album a cutting edge sound and the melodic passages – whether they comprise the crux of the chorus, verse or both – are undeniably memorable. At the same time, the band didn’t compromise when it came to delivering powerhouse metal riffs and emotionally expressive vocal lines.
“With every album, we’ve been able to branch off a little and do more of what we wanted to do,” Kakaty says. “With this record, we really feel like we finally got all the pieces together and created this monster of an album. It’s everything we talked about and strived for and we can’t wait to go out and really show people who we are.”
Devour The Day
Devour The Day
Much like beacons, artists of all kinds receive transmissions of inspiration, process them, interpret them, and emit them back to the world.
To thrive and ultimately succeed, this process requires shedding ego and letting go of pride. It resembles an active admission of humanity in all of its idiosyncrasies and imperfections. Most importantly, the message only resounds when the audience responds and resonates.
On their aptly titled third full-length album and first for Fearless Records, Signals, Devour The Day didn’t just blur the line between musician and listener; they abolished it entirely. The trio—Blake Allison [lead vocals, guitar], Joey “Chicago” Walser [bass, backing vocals], and Ronnie Farris [drums]—focused on getting closer than ever before by preserving the purity of these “signals” and honoring the crowd above all.
“If you’re part of the rock community, you’ve chosen to be a musical outsider,” says Joey. “The choice represents a certain integrity. We respect that so much. There’s no distinction or hierarchy between us and the people who listen to us. We’re all the same. A lot of times, that’s not clear in this business. It’s stuck in The Matrix where the artist is on a pedestal and the fan is below. We said, ‘Fuck all of this tired bullshit’,” he exclaims. “We’re admitting we don’t have ownership of these songs. Rather, they’re all gifts we’ve organized and put into the soundtrack for a community story. This is an escape from the norm. We’re just honored to have the opportunity to make another record and put everything into it.”
“We’re celebrating this community first,” adds Blake. “Whether or not we make music, we’re recognizing the fact we’re lucky enough to do this. We can’t take credit for the ability to create. We highlight the fact it’s a gift on this record by looking at everything from a different angle.”
A growing discography and countless gigs positioned the trio to do so. 2014’s Time & Pressure yielded the Active Rock Top 10 hit “Good Man,” which impressively sold 100,000-plus singles. Meanwhile, the band lit up festivals a la Rock on the Range in addition to touring alongside Sevendust, Three Days Grace, In This Moment, and many more. Most recently, 2016’s S.O.A.R. ignited a flurry of streaming success. “Lightning In The Sky” generated over 3 million Spotify streams and “The Bottom” cracked 2.6 million as the band regularly averaged nearly 200K monthly listeners on the platform.
Following tours alongside Skillet and Alter Bridge, the group returned from the road to commence work on what would become Signals in 2017. They eventually reteamed with S.O.A.R. producer Dan Korneff [Paramore, Lamb of God], but they revised and revamped the entire process prior.
Instead of penning a handful of songs and rushing to the studio, they accumulated nearly 100 pieces of music on their own. Without showing anyone outside of the core three-piece, they allowed the songs to evolve over six months, adding and tweaking along the way.
After laying down the music at Korneff’s spot, Blake personally tracked his vocals in his home studio.
“It was like being 12-years-old again and locking yourself in a room with your guitar amp and total freedom,” Blake smiles. “We got back to our roots and set about on our next creative evolution through doing so.”
The first single “Faithless” hinges on a hulking stomp brushing up against Blake’s guttural delivery. As a hyper-charged riff kicks in, the chorus rises in tandem to arena-size heights, seesawing between pummeling and passionate.
“The truth about so many aspects of our world has come to light,” the frontman goes on. “Dark secrets are being exposed in almost every corner of our society. The hidden prejudice of how we treat people is being uncovered. Power and greed have distorted our leadership. We are demanding a change. We must challenge the rules of conduct and refine them in every way to create an authentic world worth believing in.”
A barking dog trumpets the opener “One Shot” as muscular guitars and propulsive drums give way to another anthemic chant, “You only get one shot!”
Joey says, “Life moves like a passing shadow. We are a mist that appears and then vanishes. We can strive for success, power, glory, victory, fortune and acclaim but they too will fade. We have one shot at a legacy. We have one shot to be humble and gracious with a tireless and sincere conviction for something greater than ourselves. Keep your eye on the target.”
Elsewhere, “Wonderful Creatures” tempers thick beats and emotionally charged vocals as “Cliffhanger” encapsulates an all-encompassing theme, “There is a choice that begins all positive change.”
These Signals find Devour The Day stronger than ever, but they’re sharing their strength in the end…
“We want to level the playing field,” Joey leaves off. “We’re being real with our responsibility that we’re lucky to have.”
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