We were beyond ecstatic to be reviewing our very first live show as a husband and wife duo! It also happened to be our first major act that we have attended since February of 2020! We were ready to rock!! We jumped in the truck and drove 2.5 hours away to The Empire Concert Club & Bar in Akron, Ohio. On the stage tonight for the first stop of the “Intercorrupted Tour” was Killakoi, Any Given Sin (canceled) and Ra. We had never been to the venue before so we didn’t know what to expect. We found the venue and realized it’s a smaller place but the experience would be up close and personal. We head inside to be greeted at the door by a welcoming staff with our press passes. Killakoi was on stage performing their sound check as we entered the venue and we could tell they would be loud and bring the energy.
It was now 8:00pm and time for the Charlotte, North Carolina band Killakoi to take the stage. Killakoi was set to play a full set due to the cancelation of Any Given Sin. Rachel and I found our comfort zone right in front of the main speaker just to the right of the stage. It was loud and the entire band brought so much energy. Lead Singer Jordan Mattacchione never stopped, brought high energy, was a crowd pleaser and had the voice to go with the music. Singer and Bassist Sam Ocheltree, Singer and Guitar Kelly Flusk, Robbie Reimer on Drums and Ethan Gibbons in the Kage were the remaining band members. The Kage was a new instrument that Killakoi designed to test the sounds of new technology. It was unique and was a great addition to the set. “Not for Nothing” was awesome and I could have listened to it over and over. “Down” and “Better Off Dead” also just stuck in my head all night. In addition to their originals, they also covered Rob Zombie’s “Dragula”, which the crowd thoroughly enjoyed and sang along. Jordan also told us a little history during the show stating that Killakoi got their start from Ra Lead Singer Sahaj Ticotin 4 years ago when he took him under his wing. “It is so cool to come full circle and now open for Ra” said the singer. He also announced he would be pulling double duty playing guitar for Ra during the tour. I promise you this guys and gals: if you get the chance to see Killakoi, they won’t disappoint.
Now it’s 9:30pm and it’s time for the Los Angeles based band Ra to take the stage. Formed in 1996, they have been rocking for over 25 years. The band consists of Sahaj Ticotin on lead vocals and guitar, Jordan Mattacchione from Killakoi filling in on guitar, PJ Farley on Bass and Skoota Warner on drums. They opened up with ‘Jezebel’ as Sahaj’s unique and mesmerizing voice demanded our attention. Shortly after, they played their new hit “Intercorrupted”. This song is awesome and may be their best in 25 years. They then covered “Every little thing she does is magic” by the Police. Sahaj was perfect!! It got the crowd dancing, including Rachel, as she had put her camera away at that point and was just enjoying the show. They closed with the song we anticipated to finally hear live all night, “Do you call my name”. The crowd erupted to the 20 year favorite. For the entire set, Sahaj led the way with his absolutely tantalizing vocals, Jordan’s off the hook energy(after a full set with Killahoi!), PJ’s mastery of the bass, and Skoota’s pounding on the drums. They are the definition of the American rock band that speaks to your soul, makes you sway to music, throw up your hands and leaves you wanting more! In addition to their on-point music, Sahaj has this really down to earth vibe. Had we not had a 2.5 hour drive back to northwest Ohio, we would have taken up his invitation to hang out after the show.
Overall, for our first show and chance to review, it couldn’t have been a better night. Both bands put on a great show and kept a great mix to keep the crowd into it. The Empire Concert Club & Bar was an excellent place to watch a show and gave you the experience of the band in your own backyard. I highly recommend you check them out if you happen to be in the Akron, Oh area.
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