Power Serge’s ’80s Glam Covers Thrive on Hellfire and Hairspray

Power Serge (Credit: Michelle Alvarez)

Once upon a time, not so long ago, bands like Def Leppard and AC/DC were the end-all be-all of our lives. Now, bands like the Foo Fighters are at the top of that proverbial ladder. With that in mind, for years, this band has been Orange County’s best kept secret. This Saturday, Power Serge returns to the stage! This band plays about once a year, and when they do, fans from every corner of SoCal congregate to have the time of their lives. People often ask, who is Power Serge? The bigger question is why do their fans love them so much?

The answer to the first part of the question is simple, Power Serge is home grown cover band, they formed in 2004. They’re not just any cover band, they are the crème-de-la crème of ‘80s Glam Metal cover bands. While full-on tributes to one band are great, but Power Serge doesn’t cover just one, they cover them all. It’s no surprise that ‘80s Glam Metal music and big hair is the great communicator and unifier between 30 to 50-year old’s and teens. That combination of power ballads and big hair has been such a weird fascination, it’s like a time machine. It can immediately transport you to any point in time, be it good, or bad. The thing about music, unlike people, it is always there for you and never lets you down. That is the draw for a band that does it right. This band does it right; it is formed by accomplished musicians, but their lead singer is what makes the difference between a good band and a great one.

The band is fronted by Sean Henry aka Sergei Von Sergio (the Karaoke King and son of a Yugoslavian beet farmer), who holds the stage command of Bowie, with the charisma of Freddie Mercury. He’s like a punk rocker in a Mariachi band; he stands out. It’s difficult at best to describe their performance. The only comparison that comes close is to imagine uber punk rock cover band, Me First and The Gimme Gimme’s, doing Def Leppard, AC/DC and Bon Jovi covers.

Inasmuch as Henry is a dynamic frontman, the band that backs him is electrifying. The roster includes local music icon Brian Mashburn aka Smash (Starpool / Wild Wild Monsters and formerly Save Ferris) on guitar and keys, Ian Matteson aka U.P., that’s short for Ultimate Partier (formerly in Home Grown) shreds on lead guitar, Ted Vega aka Mr. Vegas (Jamison Parker) is on bass, Dan Hammond aka Karel Poborsky (Home Grown) is on rhythm guitar; and Zach Amos aka Sgt. Rock (formerly in The Blood Arm) on drums.  Matteson provides mad guitar riffs, Mashburn and Hammond are collectively as good as it gets. Amos on drums is so Tommy Lee-like, it’ll make your head spin.  

What also brings smiles to their fans is not simply the music, these guys dress the part with spandex outfits and wigs, looking like they just walked straight out of MTV’s Head Bangers Ball with Henry at the helm.  His onstage antics ooze Chernobyl-esque sexual energy that even Van Halen’s Diamond Dave would be inspired by. They have a great sense of humor, they even dub themselves as Orange County’s greatest fake real glam metal cover band in the history of the world and beyond. Truth is, despite purporting to be from Yugoslavia, this band is living proof that music isn’t just sound, it’s an experience of sight and vision, and a means to touch your soul, if just for a minute. Don’t let the big hair and costumes fool you. The band is distinguished and has the musical chops to do justice to any song by any great band of any era or genre. Their fans will attest that there’s no voice too big and no song too difficult for this band to pull off.

We live in a very odd time, in an era of social media and sensory overload. Truthfully, we can all use the occasional break from reality; this band will entertain you. At a Power Serge show you may not be able to tell the difference between the original song and their version. In some instances, the Power Serge version may sound a little better. That may be a blasphemous statement, especially for Bon Jovi fans, but truth is truth. You’ll be treated to songs like Def Leppard’s, Photograph,  Van Halen hits like Panama and Jump, Firewoman by The Cult, Poison’s Talk Dirty To Me, Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns n’ Roses, Poison’s mega-hit, Every Rose has its Thorn and a ton of other great tunes. For the Jovi’s, and you know who you are, these guys put an edgy spin on Living on a Prayer. They’ll make you believe Jon Bon Jovi was in the house, and he is as cool as they come.  If last year’s show was a great indicator of their encore prowess, the crowd went cartoon crazy over their version of Journey’s, Don’t Stop Believing.

Power Serge has managed to harness the collective energy and our imprinted sonic memories and are just as entertaining as any one of the big iconic bands and songs we’ve come to love. If you ever wonder what lightning in a bottle looks like, I highly recommend checking out this band. It’ll be the best trip back to the 80’s you’ll ever take! If you like to dance, reason # 101 to come to the House of Blues, Anaheim on Saturday, February 17th! Also on the bill is Scotti Mars and the Hellcats, they are OC’s premier Rockabilly trio. Then there’s another import band, Sour Purge. This is Power Serge’s distant Yugoslav family band; they play 90’s ALT Rock covers. If you like tunes by Third Eye Blind, Weezer and Harvey Danger, you’ll love Sour Purge. Needless to say, there will be a little bit of everything for everybody. If you like a great sounding show, where you can dance and be entertained, check out Power Surge. This band is simply wicked good!