Pop Evil sets a machine shop record with three consecutive sold out shows.

What happens when you mix a live music institution with a home state band? Pop Evil answered — a record-setting three consecutive night sellout. Michigan natives Pop Evil pulled into the legendary Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan for three shows on January 14-16. The group is still touring in support of their recent release, Up (2015).

National Rock Review was on hand to catch the Friday show on January 15. The Machine Shop fans filled the venue early and quickly, as opening acts Sour Jane and Ironsnake warmed up the stage and crowd. There was little room left to move when the lights dimmed and Pop Evil hit the stage. The Machine Shop stage is fairly small and low, so if you are lucky enough to be near the front, it is a concert experience like no other — almost like being in your living room.

Matt DiRito (bass) and Dave Grahs (guitar) crisscrossed back and forth across the stage. Chachi was his usual self on the drums; whether sitting, standing, or jumping around behind the kit he is a constant blur of arms, hair, and sticks. However, Chachi has respect for a Kodak moment, because he still manages to pose and make faces for fans and photographers. Leigh (vocals) entertained the crowd with a few stories as well as letting everyone know how appreciative the band was of their “home base fans.”

According to Machine Shop owner Kevin Zink there was little doubt that Pop Evil would accomplish this feat after Up became the highest charting album to date. The band has seen little downtime over the last few years, releasing album after album and steadily touring and playing all major festivals on the circuit, so he was not surprised by their success.

Pop Evil was formed in North Muskegon, Michigan by vocalist Leigh Kakaty with the addition of Dave Grahs (guitar), Dylan Allison (drums), and Jamie Nummer (bass). Tony Greve (guitar) became a full-time member around 2007 after a stint as a studio musician for the band. Around the same time, Matt DiRito replaced Jamie Nummer on bass. Dylan Allison needed major neck surgery in 2011 and was replaced by Josh “Chachi Riot” Marunde, while a year later Nick Fuelling replaced Tony Greve on guitar in 2012. This completes he final and still current lineup that stuck since Pop Evil is now one of the most exciting and dynamic live bands out there.

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