By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy, Photos by Matt “Rabit” Martinez Red Hare Images
Hard rock has been witnessing quite the rejuvenation as of late. Not that it was dying in the least, but it has been making a huge comeback with new groups. One of those groups is Orange County’s own, Them Evils, whom I have seen twice already. They have the songs and the musical talents to turn heads in the rock world. So do Ohio’s own Red Sun Rising. The thing with Red Sun Rising is that they have a hard rock sound that is very similar to the 1990s rock era, my favorite era of music next to the 60s and 70s. On April 10th, both groups embarked on a tour where they stopped by the Parish Room, the small adjoining room at the House of Blues in Anaheim.
For the third time, Them Evils wowed the fans with their energetic hard rock performance. Guitarist/vocalist Jordan Griffin was a spectacle to watch every time his pick would strum on his axe. His voice would soar from the microphone each time his voice would carry throughout the venue. Bassist Jake Massanari is still the mad scientist on his instrument, constructing funky beats that got the fans to headbang. He would either climb on top of the amps or get in the middle of the crowd, electrifying them. Them Evils put together a righteous set list, which included “Untold,” “Gets Me High,” “Got Me Rockin’,” and “Bleed.” They even did a smashing cover of AC/DC’s iconic “Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap).” The best moment of the night was when Massanari climbed on the bar and started rocking out to the closer, “Have One on Me.” Once again, never a dull moment from OC’s bad boys of rock.
Full Them Evils slide show below:
Following Them Evils’ lead was Red Sun Rising. After listening to their sophomore effort, Thread, I wanted to see if they can bring it to the stage. They hit the stage, and got the going with “Push.” Right away, I love the vocal delivery by founder Mike Protich. Not only is he a tremendous singer, he is a showman with class. He sounds like he could front one of the groups from back in the 1990s. There was one incident where in the middle of the song, “Clarity,” his mic malfunctioned for a couple minutes, but he still kept going and did not let it faze him. Along with the voice, Ryan Williams and Dave McGarry provided stellar guitar work. They each took turns playing some badass solos, that were not too wild, but very slick, especially from lead player Williams. The melody and rhythm was played beautifully by the collective works of bassist Ricky Miller and drummer Pat Gerasia.
Red Sun Rising have a hard rock style, that would sometimes be a cross between old school grunge and 90s alternative, with a touch of blues rock. Red Sun Rising were razor sharp on stage, bringing in quality rock ‘n’ roll that fans can enjoy. Their set list was a mix of both their albums, with a majority of the songs coming from their critically acclaimed debut, Polyester Zeal. From “Lonely Girl” to “The Otherside,” “Deathwish,” “Veins,” “My Muse,” and “Fascination,” the crowd felt the power Red Sun Rising poured out that night. They threw in a cover of Alanis Morissette’s “The Uninvited,” which sounded pretty good. What was really cool to watch, was during the song “Imitation,” Protich took over on bass in the middle of the tune, while Miller grabbed the guitar, went on the bar, and ripped out a virtuous solo. It was a night where the bar became part of the stage. After a little breather, they finished the evening with an encore to their #1 hit, “Emotionless.”
Full Red Sun Rising slide show below:
The Parish Room became a venue where hard rock ruled the night. Both of these amazingly brilliant bands gave the fans of Anaheim a great show. Them Evils is always awesome to watch, while Red Sun Rising showed me that they can perform just as fantastic live as they do on record. Both groups will soon be hitting the festival circuit, which includes Rock on the Range in Ohio and Welcome to Rockville in Florida. They are coming, looking to dominate rock ‘n’ roll. To Red Sun Rising and Them Evils, I salute you. Horns up!!!