||| Photos and writing for Buzzbands LA
Like many bands who experienced overwhelming success in the early ’90s followed by a period of radio silence, Eve 6 have spent nearly two decades forming and re-forming into a group that can still speak the same wordy language that their fans grew fluent in when the trio first emerged. Having been signed to RCA when the members were only 17, Eve 6 cut their teeth on the music industry at the perfect time for songs about girlfriends, parties and verbose angst. Their particular brand of alt-’90s pop punk was laced with grunge-y vocals, fast hooks and the ambitious lyrics to set them apart from other contemporaries at the time.
After a nine-year hiatus, Eve 6 recorded their fourth studio album “Speak In Code” in 2012 and have since been touring like a newly energized band of brothers. Saturday night’s show at the Troubadour was one of the last stops on their four-month tour, and ardent fans piled into the venue donning their vintage Eve 6 T-shirts. While some might think the Troubadour would be filled with thirtysomethings hoping to rekindle nostalgia from their high school days, chatter in the audience would suggest that this musical genre is just as relevant to most Eve 6’s fans today as it was in 1998.
When the trio of singer/bassist Max Collins, drummer Tony Fagenson, and guitarist Jon Siebels emerged, their now-matured edge was evident. Going straight into “Leech” from their debut album and then the close-to-home “Sunset Strip Bitch” from their sophomore release “Horrorscope,” Eve 6 started off with an energetic bang, cranking out some of their strongest tracks. Collins mumbled and barked some of his lyrics and with his bass slung low, he leaned over the front row, connecting with his hangers-on then moved across the stage to share a mic with Siebels. While a lot of sobering time has passed for Eve 6 during which the three have embarked on other personal and professional journeys, it’s clear they retain a strong bond and still enjoy playing their songs as much as their fans enjoy hearing them.
The slow point of the evening was early in the set with their hit “Here’s To The Night” — a prom staple from the early 2000s, and then the depressive “On The Roof Again,” which Collins described as “seven minutes of Smiths-esque doom”. Collins makes up for any band lacking in between-song chats with his long-winded yet comical discourse with Siebels. Fans were excited to hear “Arch Drive” and “Curtain” during which Eve 6 proved that pop-punk can still feel fertile especially with the backbone of Fagenson’s airtight percussion and with the help of their stage tech Brandon, on guitar.
Before they closed their main set Collins spoke about his pride that Eve 6 still retained its original members and the band’s belief that their first hit was a gift. “People ask us ‘Do you guys get tired of hearing it on the radio? Do you change the dial? Do you guys get sick of playing it live?’” he said. “And we look at them, we lose the indoor sunglasses for a moment, and we look them square in the eye and say ‘No we do not. No we are not sick of this song.’ This next song gave us everything. We didn’t deserve it. Yes, it might sound like it was written by a 17-year-old because it was written by a 17-year-old …” And then they moved into the requisite sing-along “Inside Out” from their debut. Eve 6 appeared truly appreciative of their sold-out crowd full of longtime loyals and returned for a two-song encore of “How Much Longer” and the blistering “Superhero Girl.”
There is an underlying sense that Eve 6 may feel they’ve outgrown some of their earlier songs, at least thematically and sometimes lyrically. However, they are still able to bring their now-matured relationship and genuine knack for the alt-pop-punk genre into their performances. While their fans have grown up along side them, it’s apparent that their audience will always want to hear the SoCal trio exhaust yet another topic they’ve exhausted frequently, with no regrets.