by Greg Turner
Wednesday night, the legendary Royal Grove in Lincoln NE, had a great lineup for the Powerman 5000 headlining show with touring support from Hed PE and Adema, as the Days of Disorder Tour winds down to it’s last few scheduled dates. Opening the 5-band bill, was Lincoln’s own The Rewind whose 30 minute set included “I’m Still Alive” and “Don’t Lie To Me”, songs from their upcoming EP release. Watch for it in Spring of 2020. The band has been playing shows with many touring acts in the area and just returned from a few dates on the West coast, including a show at the famous Whiskey a Go Go. Second on for the night was another Lincoln area band, Broken Skulls who performed a powerful set that included solid unmerciful metal with great harmonies from vocalist/ guitarist Jericho “Vandal” Vega and keyboardist/vocalist Joey “Ghost” Horton. Although minus a second guitar, their sound was beyond full and the band played a tight set. The onstage banter was light and humorous, pulling the Grove crowd into a Broken Skulls house party. These guys definitely know how to lay down the rock, but are cool enough to crack a beer and rock out in their 1000 seat living room.
Next up was Adema out of Bakersfield, California home to other great bands like the mighty KORN. Their sound was modern, with a cool techno vibe that kept their songs catchy, yet true rock and roll. Vocalist Ryan Shuck was laid back and personable, but was all business on the frontman duties. He had a great sense of humor and knew what city and state he was in, thanks to his watch as he pointed out. He made the quip that thanks to this technology you can now tell when singers are on drugs… lol. His vocals were clear and powerful, and cut through the band’s massive sound with well thought-out lyrical content and catchy hooks on the choruses, with the crowd singing right along. The band kept rolling from song to song seamlessly, a truly pro act. Keep your eyes on these gents, they are well worth the admission price.
Hed PE took the stage with a great vibe that soon whipped up into a metal onslaught by the second song. This legendary band comes right out of the gate with a sound that is very So Cal cool with an East coast punch. These guys are serious players, shifting gears between musical genres seamlessly. Utilizing talk boxes, cool percussion from drummer Major Trauma (Jeremiah Stratton), ultra low end bass and complex riffs, and even a vocoder in the mix performed by multi-talented vocalist and founder, Jared Gomes (M.C.U.D.). Their sound ranges from real school reggae, to badass metal complete with distorted industrial vocals, right into funk and jazz. This band makes you want to simultaneously dance to the grooves they lay down, then chant right along to the Ya Ya Ya’s… These guys are a great, fun live band that can completely pull you into their party on their terms… Cheers Gents!
And on to the headline act the mighty Powerman 5000. This band is a staple on the tour circuit, with many great shows in the Lincoln/Omaha area, and the crowd was definitely ready for this one. Taking the stage bathed in fog and armed with laser equipped guitars, PM5K put on a killer show that included inspired vocals from Spider One, despite being under the weather. A trooper for sure, as it was unnoticeable. The machine gun drum riffs from DJ Rattan complimented bassist Murv3’s robot/break dance moves while handling the low end duties with ease. A highlight of the show was the breakdown/medley of songs to the bass line of The White Stripe’s Seven Nation Army, that featured snippets of Run DMC’s It’s Tricky and even a request for Dragula, from Spider One’s brother Rob Zombie. The crowd responded well to the band’s well known repertoire, an impressive mosh pit for “When World’s Collide” off of their 1999 release, Tonight The Stars Revolt! and “How To Be Human” from 2014’s Builders of the Future (and I did notice the presence of Broken Skulls Jericho in the mosh pit….Lot’s of great energy and smiles in that one). PM5K ended the night with a gracious encore that put an energetic cap on the evenings festivities, solidifying their rock solid footprint in the Midwest circuit. Many thanks guys!