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Pop Music Review

A Banter Showing From Eve 6

Youthful trio puts on an able show with goofy antics and plenty of spunk before a sellout Galaxy crowd.


Conspicuously goofy stage antics are often a ploy to camouflage subpar songs. That's not exactly the case with Eve 6.

The trio's music isn't stunningly original, falling somewhere between Green Day's instantly memorable punk-pop and the grunge-lite of outfits such as Matchbox 20, but the youthful musicians play it competently and with lots of spunk--especially when there's an adoring audience urging them on.

The sellout crowd that welcomed Eve 6 to the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana on Sunday was raring to rock (particularly the female contingent, which made its presence known with lots of gleeful squealing) and spurred the group on to festive heights. Live, the songs were more full-bodied and edgy than the album versions.

Singer-bassist Max Collins' plucky, puckish charisma added lots of color to the set. His irrepressible urge to engage in hammy banter with the lively fans sometimes threatened to disrupt his group's momentum, but at other times the amusing antics really drove the music home.

During an unplugged interlude halfway through the evening, guitarist Jon Siebels donned a 12-string acoustic instrument, drummer Tony Fagenson manned a pair of bongos, and Collins set his bass aside. Unencumbered by his instrument, he vamped his way through a scrappy rendition of the Divinyls' 1991 ode to autoeroticism "I Touch Myself," using the microphone as a visual aid. Predictable as the stunt was, Collins did it with enough mischievous flair that it came off sassy instead of sappy.

So did the band's encore (a scruffy version of Peter, Paul & Mary's "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and an amped-up take on "Superhero Girl") when Collins led his cohorts back on stage crowned with a frazzled cotton candy-pink wig. Thanks to his moxie, he wore it well.

The local heroes in Lit were almost as well-received as Eve 6. The Anaheim quintet didn't put on quite as vibrant a show, but the musicians certainly fired up their set of chunky, melodic rock.

Frontman A. Jay Popoff (a straightforward torso rocker sporting a multitude of tattoos) took a more down-to-earth approach to stage banter than Collins, praising the audience, Eve 6 and his mom and grandmother who were in the house--then urging fans to request Lit's new video on MTV's "By Request," in hopes of supplanting the reigning kings of teen pop, 98 Degrees.

Despite the warm vibes generated by both bands, it was a shame the music itself didn't convey more personality. But then again, when it comes to teen pop tunes, hits often are simply a matter of six of one, half-dozen of the other.

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