After the sudden, hopefully temporary closing of The Firebird where White Reaper was originally set to perform, the change in venue from one found on a small corner of a large financial institution’s complex to one just 5-miles away nestled between two strip joints was not lost on the band as guitarist and lead vocalist Tony Esposito joked, “you know where we’ll be after the show tonight.”
Pop’s Nightclub and Concert Venue in Sauget, IL, just over the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis, generously provided the last-minute space for the opening night of White Reaper’s You Deserve Love tour Thursday night. The larger venue gave the appearance of a smaller crowd that would have packed The Firebird.
Early fans were handed a White Reaper logo pin possibly as a small gesture to say that yes, you are deserving of love for attending the show. And those in attendance gave the love back, as well. The heavily male audience shouted out “You’re the man/I love you” to White Reaper which Esposito responded “Aww. I love you. You’re so sweet over here in Sauget,” (which Esposito pronounced like a local).
Since 2013, this Louisville, KY band has been churning out steady rock tunes that have a classic rock ’n’ roll vibe with some hints of power pop and at Thursday night’s concert, the band brought it all to life. From fan favorites such as “Sheila” (there were some appreciative squeals at the first riff) to “The World’s Best American Band” (they’re on their way) and the singles “Might Be Right” and “1F” off their forthcoming album You Deserve Love due out October 18, 2019, the band had the crowd riveted from start to finish with their catchy, driving sound.
Prior to White Reaper headlining, The Dirty Nil, a trio based out of Canada, performed one dynamic set for the growing crowd. The band sang and played hard and loud with a powerful, yet playful energy to the thrill of everyone. Songs included the just-released “Idiot Victory” and “Astro Ever After,” which lead vocalist/guitarist Luke Bentham dedicated to his family dog. They ended on “Evil Side.”
LA Weekly said straight up that the opening act, up-and-comers The Paranoyds are “one of Los Angeles’ best and brightest bands.” With a mostly edgy garage-rock aura, the addition of the keyboards lent a surfer-punk vibe to their overall sound although they could also bring on the hard-hitting, fast, all-out punk rock when they wanted. Songs included “Heather Doubtfire” and “Bear.” Their debut album, Carnage Bargain, came out about 3-weeks ago.
All photos from the night can be found here http://bit.ly/WhiteReaper19cz.