For most new rock bands, the first gig calls for batting lead-off on a three, four or five act bill.
Popular Ego flew solo for its first show, Saturday night in front of a packed Black Sparrow Pub. It was a bold move to not have another band that show, but it paid off for a memorable night for local music fans.
The four-piece is fronted by Chad Rainey, keysmaster of the Half Rats and piano man for Splendid Trend. Since Splendid Trend is on “indefinite hiatus” and Half Rats shows are few and far between, Popular Ego looks to be an outlet Rainey can put a lot of energy into.
And the energy is found in a more guitar-driven outfit compared to Splendid Trend. Rainey’s low, talk-ish vocals are retained but with newcomer Ethan Alexander and flashy basslines courtesy of Ryan Puetz (former Half Rat and current leader of Tigerfox), Popular Ego’s sound is more driving and straightforward. Andrea Santos, who provided beats for Splendid Trend, pitched in steady drum-work.
While Alexander picked most of the leads, the guitar tones were clean. But accompanied with Puetz’s heavy bass tone, it made for an interesting sound.
PE’s initial set was met with much positivity from the room. Some bounced and danced along. The tunes were tight. No fat and little frills. The show was more serious than a typical Splendid Trend one and that was a good thing.
Donning dress shirts and ties, the band looked good as well. In a perfect scene, PE’s debut would have been in a more suitable room for a rock band with better lighting and sound. But in 2012 in Lafayette, the Sparrow is still the hot ticket.
PE’s best sets are yet to come. With a lot of new sounds coming from Purdue bands, Popular Ego joins Tigerfox as two new bands from some of the Lafayette scene’s young veterans.
PE works. It does not stray from Rainey’s signature style but it still gives local music fans something new to take in.
Learn more on Popular Ego at www.facebook.com/PopularEgo.