Cleveland Heights, OH (May 20, 2018) – Tucked away in the Coventry Road neighborhood of Cleveland Heights is the Grog Shop. Since 1992 the Grog Shop has been striving to serve up entertainment 365 days a year. Something special was about to happen on the 140th day of 2018. Them Evils were about to perform in Ohio – for the third time TODAY. Supported by two local bands, Dark Water Rebellion and Hamilton Handshake, this was shaping up to be a night of down and dirty rock ’n roll.
As we arrived and checked in, the opening bands were loading in and Them Evils were getting everything set-up and sound-checked. We looked around a bit at the clean neighborhood full of shops and restaurants. This eclectic offering will make for a well deserved early trip next time.
Cleveland area band Dark Water Rebellion approached the stage and you could feel the energy building. Brent Gorcie (lead vocals, slide guitar), Danielle Romanowski (drums) and Fabian Abarca (bass guitar) were ready to share their story. It was a special show for them as Danielle was celebrating her birthday tonight and had plenty of family in attendance.
They self-proclaim their musical style as Southern Gothic Swamp Rock. That description is spot on. The lo-fi sound they produce is dirty and greasy. With their gritty swagger keeping the hips moving and heads bobbing as they played their twenty-five-minute set. The simplistic and effective drums beats of Danielle accompanied by Brent’s distorted slide guitar created an awesome layer of instrumentation giving Brent’s gravelly vocals the perfect platform to shine.
It was a set that felt like a soundtrack from a movie, capped off by an energetic version of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” capturing all of the heart and soul of the original. Keep an eye out for this group and catch one of their upcoming shows.
- Favorite Girl
- The Horror
- Hell’s Forecast
- I Take Care of My Kids
- Bad Man
- Boom Boom (John Lee Hooker cover)
Cleveland area quartet Hamilton Handshake members, Ryan Matthews, Evan Phillips, Dave “Ziggy” Deitke and Kyle Thomas put on one heck of an energetic show. Their brand of blues-influenced rock n’ roll features in your face vocals accompanied by dual guitars with intermittent feedback, a solid bass line and super rhythmic drums.
This night’s show is the band’s next to last show ever, as they stated it was just too hard to get together and keep the focus on the music. They were all business tonight and were taking things to a seriously high level.
As they ripped through their twenty-plus-minute set they left no inch of the stage untouched. Whether it was performing while lying on the floor, in each other’s faces, or lounging into the bass drum, their show was on full tilt culminating in the destruction of the entire drum kit which started with frontman Ryan Matthews crashing into the kit about three-fourths of the way through their last song.
Out in support of their latest release “Rollin’ Stoned and Livin’ Free”, Them Evils were in full takeover mode of the Buckeye State on Sunday, May 20th. The weather had washed out their Saturday, May 19th show on the Bud Light Stage at Rock on the Range in Columbus. They were moved up to the Monster Energy Main Stage as the opening act at Noon on Sunday for their first show of the day. It was no accident they ended up on the main stage, and this is a preview of what is to come for this Southern California band.
Directly after their set on the main stage, they hit the Zippo Encore Tent for show number two, which was an acoustic set. Two shows starting the day off in Columbus prior to heading to Cleveland – and a daunting three-plus hour drive.
As they arrived in Cleveland they were not deterred one bit after the long drive, and were set up and performing a preliminary soundcheck by 7 o’clock at the Grog Shop. They were now set to finish off the Buckeye Trifecta.
Jordan Griffin (Guitars/Vocals), Jake Massanari (Bass), and David Delaney (Drums) showed hardly any signs of wariness as they spoke with Splice for an interview and hung around in the crowd for a bit while the opening bands got things started.
When it was time for Them Evils to take the stage, they approached it like everything else they do, straightforward. As Jordan called everyone to the front of the stage they were all business as they tore into their third show of the day with “Untold”. Fans had phones out and fists in the air, as this crowd was certainly ready to rock.
You could feel David’s tight rock-style drumming as the kick drum hammered along while he wildly rode the top of the kit. Jake’s thumping bass coupled with Jordan’s perfectly rock-toned guitar finished off the mountain of sound. Jordan’s vocals overlayed by David’s and Jake’s harmonies created serious rock vocal depth.
Their current single “Got Me Rockin’”, was up about mid-set. As they played this blistering tune, most in attendance were singing along, clearly showing Them Evils is catching on around the country.
Check out the “Got Me Rockin’” music video.
Jordan introduced the sixth song with a disclaimer. “Excuse my voice we’ve played three f***in’ shows today, so I’m a little raspy. So I’m gonna need your help on this next one. I promise you all know this s**t!” as they stomped into a powerful version of AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”. Jordan’s voice was still mostly on point during show number three, and a little rock n’ roll rasp never hurts anyway.
Prior to their last song “Have One On Me”, Jordan approached the front of the stage, clinked together his beer with fan’s bottles and cans as he did a quick cheer with the crowd. As they tore into one of their heaviest tunes they were still playing with as much aggression and fervor as the beginning of their set. Finishing up, Jordan thanked the crowd, and the crowd immediately gave it back, chanting “one more, one more…”. Did they have it in them to play one more song – to perform an encore to end a three-gig day?
As Jordan approached the microphone, we had our answer. “We haven’t played this in a while, so if we f**k it up it’s your fault”, and just like that Jake’s flurry of bass notes kicked off their second cover tune of the night as they absolutely crushed Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades”.
As they walked off the stage, Them Evils had just completed the Buckeye Trifecta – three winning performances and one long day.
With two released EPs to their credit, Them Evils and Rollin’ Stoned and Livin’ Free, Them Evils have an awesome catalog of music. Every song in their collection is an outright rock n’ roll earworm. Couple that with the energy they emit when on stage, and it makes for an awesome party.
Them Evils have grabbed the torch from their idols, and have rekindled the fire. Check these three out on the remainder of their tour, and you will be treated to rock n’ roll with the same intensity and grit as their predecessors.
- Put Your Love On Me
- She Got Nothin’
- Got Me Rockin’
- Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (AC/DC cover)
- Have One On Me
Encore – Ace of Spades (Motörhead cover)
Remaining Tour Dates
Friday, May 25 @ 8:00PM – Turf Club, St. Paul, MN
Saturday, May 26 @ 8:00PM – Lookout Lounge, Omaha, NE
Sunday, May 27 @ 8:00PM – Hodi’s Half Note, Ft. Collins, CO
Tuesday, May 29 @ 8:00PM – Metro Music Hall, Salt Lake City, UT
Friday, June 1 @ 7:00PM – Beauty Bar, Las Vegas
Saturday, June 9 @ 7:00PM – The Wayfarer, Costa Mesa, CA
Check out our interview with Them Evils – HERE
Check out our review of “Rollin’ Stoned and Livin’ Free” EP – HERE