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Pop Evil rises 'Up' in the world of hard rock

In the world of hard rock, the battles are fierce and victories are hard earned. Not only are you fighting against the grain in a landscape where most of hard rock has been evacuated from the radio in place of indie rock and pop, but every other hard rock band is fighting tooth and nail as well.

But the Michigan quintet Pop Evil (vocalist Leigh Kakaty, drummer Hayley Cramer, bassist Matt DiRito and guitarists Nick Fuelling and Dave Grahs) has been consistent at finding its audience. The last three of the band's four albums have hit high marks on the Billboard 200 and Pop Evil is now embarking on a headlining tour that will hit the Rapids Theatre on Feb. 23.

With the release of the 2015 release “Up,” Pop Evil began to play around in different sonic territories. The album's biggest hit,  “Footsteps (Go Higher),” experimented with new electronic beats on top of the hard-rock sound. Mix in a little balladry with a song like “If Only for Now” and some absolute stompers like “Take It All,” and it’s no wonder that the diverse record made it onto the charts. Buffalo has been blessed with some triple-A hard rock acts these past few months, and if you feel like you want to keep that streak going, then do not miss these guys.

Doors open at 6 p.m., the show is at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Rapids Theatre (1711 Main St., Niagara Falls).  Tickets are $22 advance, $25 day-of show (


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