Heading out to Austin’s Fuel Room in Libertyville, I had the latest album from E&E blasting in my Escalade. I was on my way to shoot the band live and get some promo video from their show opening for Rehab. As I entered the building I could see that there was a pretty good crowd already forming. I grabbed my credentials and started to head into the room when I ran into drummer Jason Meudt who was excited to see me since I couldn’t make their last gig about a month back due to our crappy Chicago winter!
I have to admit I was excited myself to see the band preform live, I just recently got to know the band a few months ago when I did a full interview with them for Chitownrocks, minus their guitarist Randy Cooper( Ex Texas Hippie Coalition) who was back in Texas. I got to say that these guys were all pretty cool and laid back when I did the interview and even before the gig, but the second they hit the stage it was like a punch to the jaw! Great energy, especially the lead vocalist Jesse Andrew.
They opened with ‘Bring it Down‘ and from the start had the crowd in the palm of their hands. Jesse had a great connection with the crowd pumping them up in between songs screaming “ Are you all ready to have a good fuckin time tonight”?
Next was ‘Your will’ ,a little bit slower of a song but still powerful. I see this song being on the radio as a top hit. ‘Dead sleep’ and ‘Locust’ were up next which absolutely shredded!
The next two songs were definitely slower but showed the versatility of the band. ‘Hit of Red’ started out with this great acoustic vibe from guitarist Jeph Stiph and haunting vocals by Jesse ( Another song that should be on the radio). After that… right into the Chris Isakk cover of ‘Wicked Game’ which seemed to wake up the crowd for the last two songs of their set.
First, my favorite track on the album ‘Man of God’ which kicks me right in the skull. Awesome drumming on this song and booming guitar along with the heavy bass of John “Stoppable” Vanders . Last but not least was their hit ‘Who you are’, which is a great heavy song with a powerful chorus to close out their set.
All in all Emperors and Elephants did not disappoint. In this day in age it really seems like the Chicago Hard Rock/Metal scene is starting to come alive with all these great bands, especially all the bands that are coming out on the Pavement label.
I can’t say enough positive things about Emperors and Elephants except get your asses up and purchase their debut album “Devil in the Lake”. Get it on ITunes or better yet, go old school and get to your local record store.
I’m out, Fly….
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