–by Vicki Lee and Randy Thompson
–photos by Sean Derrick / Thyrd Eye Photography
We went to Pop’s Nightclub in Sauget, Illinois on Friday evening to check out a full night of music from three young, up and coming bands and were not disappointed.
The evening began with local St. Louis band, Euphoria, leading the way. Their set started out with straight ahead rock and roll tunes that had the audience moving immediately. Initially the sound system seemed muddled and the lead singer, Kendrick Bearpaw’s voice was not coming through as clearly as it could have. Chickee Slain, on lead guitar, is a very talented musician who really held her own tonight, while bassist, Simon Wacker and drummer, Sam Shull held it all together with their steady, driving rhythm.
The fans knew their music and screamed their approval throughout the set. They ended their set with the original, emotional rocker, “In Your Mother’s Basement”; sadly, the band announced they won’t be playing together for a while. Here’s hoping they will get back on stage before long, as they have a lot of talent to share.
Billy Tibbals Band came to the stage next to rock us with a punk, glam rock, British invasion sound synthesis. They even dressed the part, with the bass player, Joe Cope, in a ruffled front shirt and Billy Tibbals coming to center stage sporting a tight-fitting suit with a David Bowie-like haircut and affect. The band played solid rock tunes with a decidedly mod sound and some power punk riffs provided by guitarist, Tristan Dean, who had a Ramones vibe that carried him through the night’s set.
Cole Sandman brought a steady, syncopated beat on drums with the band’s fluid melodies interspersed to bring a groovy rock feel to songs like “Onwards and Upwards” and “Hollywood Baby”. They demonstrated their versatility with songs from the upcoming EP Stay Teenage ranging from “The Best Day I Ever Had” with its driving guitar and the slower, dreamy “Three In The Morning”. The audience was fired up by the energy of the band and Billy’s fierce playing and leaping.
Their approval was evident as they sang and danced, clapped, and cheered through the set. It was an enjoyable and solid set and we’re looking forward to hearing more from them when the EP drops on April 12th.
Then the Detroit based Mac Saturn hit the stage and they hit it hard with the Funk heavy opener, “Diamonds”. The crowd was immediately pulled in, jumping and singing along. They have a solid fan base here and it’s well deserved.
The band members are extremely talented, and each had opportunities to highlight their skills during the concert; first drummer, Angelo Coppola during “Persian Rugs”; then bassist, Jive Moses at the start of “Boxcutter” and later Mike Mooney would do a long solo after “Get On The Phone”. \Guitarist, Nick Barone and keyboardist Evan Mercer brought depth to “Five Long Minutes”.
And through it all is Carson Macc, a charismatic force on stage as he belts out catchy, danceable rock tune. As a front man, he struts, poses and elicits screams from the crowd ala Mick Jagger.
This band is jaunty, sexy and electric, blending Funk, Blues and Soul with a solid, Motor City Rock foundation. They were determined to keep the crowd moving and the energy never wavered as they played new music and all the songs from their 2022 EP Until The Money Runs Out.
We had last seen Mac Saturn in October when they were an opener at the Red Flag. We liked them enough to follow them to Pops tonight. It is obvious to us that they have grown and matured into the headliner role. The music is tighter and the harmonies deeper. They’re a hard-working band and judging from tonight’s show they appear to be upping their game. We are definitely looking forward to seeing them when they return to St. Louis to see what new surprises they have in store for us.
Check out the full gallery of photos after the Setlist below.
Mac Saturn Setlist:
Get On The Phone
Ain’t Like You
Five Long Minutes
Plain Clothes Gentleman