Great music, no matter what the genre or or the year it came out, always has the power to connect us. It can also be incredibly honest, so-much-so that it carries a universal message. It has the power to take us to our best and worst days of our lives. I’m sure we’ve all had those moments when a certain song lights up our eyes, or we can remember those chaotic days when music was our only friend. This Saturday, Power Serge reminds us why they’re the best damn cover band in the land by serving up that nostalgia while sporting Aquanet hairdos and ulta tight spandex.
For the uninitiated, the band formed in 2004’ and in those early days they played every once in a while for their friends and family. They got together to cover songs they loved growing up. The last few years, Power Serge has blown up beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. Now, they play for capacity crowds whenever they take the stage. The ‘80s cover band often shares the stage with acts like Steel Panther, Sweet and Tender Hooligans or Me First & The Gimme Gimmes. The difference is this band doesn’t do gigs every day. They do this because they just love to get in front of a crowd every now-and-then to rock the pillars of heaven and earth.
Not only do they play the music that turns us into teens again, but they dress the part. These cats come out wearing spandex, big hair and lots and lots of DayGlo. They literally look like they came out of an episode of MTV’s Head Banger’s Ball.
Take away the glitz and costumes and what you have is some of the most accomplished musicians you’ll find anywhere on the planet. Truth is, despite their cover story that they’re from Yugoslavia by way of the OC, this band features one insanely entertaining and spot on lead singer who lives vicariously through karaoke. A great band should make you laugh, and a moment later break your heart, and this band does that. Power Serge does that with their power pop hair metal songs that take no prisoners, then before you know it… their fans bust out their lighters and cry to those power ballads that defined a generation.
In a recent interview, rhythm guitarist Dan Hammond told us that the band thinks about their playlist before each show. They’ll play a song they like, but in the end, they play songs they believe will entertain the crowd and hopefully, make them forget about life for a while. Songs that’ll propel them back to an ‘80s haze (in a very good way). For me, I always tell anyone who’s interested that I can tell a great band if they cover Bon Jovi. Not because I am this huge Bon Jovi fan, actually, quite the opposite. It’s not a band I would normally listen to, even back in the ‘80s. When a band can cover “Living on a Prayer”, put their own spin on it and make me think that songs sounds cool, that’s a kick-ass band; that’s what you get with Power Serge. They’ll also play other favorites like Panama or Jump by Van Halen; Talk Dirty To Me and Live Wire by Mötley Crüe; Photograph by Def Leppard; Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns n’ Roses; Firewoman by The Cult; Rock You Like a Hurricane by Scorpions; Every Rose has its Thorn by Poison and Don’t Stop Believing by Journey just to name a few.
Power Serge’s roster includes local OC band members who bring our favorite musical memories to life. They feature lead singer Sean Henry (aka Sergei Von Sergio – the Karaoke King), Brian Mashburn aka Smash (currently in Bite Me Bambi – Starpool / formerly in Save Ferris), on guitar and keys, Ian Matteson aka U.P., that’s short for 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. Honestly, this is such a dynamic band, but the draw is Sean Henry. He’s everything you loved about the ‘80s Hair Metal days. He literally oozes that Chernobyl-like sexual energy that Van Halen’s Diamond Dave sported back in the day. He’s simply a great entertainer and the band executes on every cover they do, it’s definitely music for the masses.
When asked what concertgoers can expect this Saturday night, Dan (aka Karel Poborsky) said “I can’t tell you what to expect, but just know we’re a party band, so be ready to have the time of your life.” Ironically, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) just happens to be in town; so this should be a pretty packed house and cartoon-crazy event. If you’re looking to be entertained and forget about life for a while, check out Power Serge.
Power Serge performs at House of Blues Anaheim Sat. Jan 26, 7 p.m., $12-15, all ages. For tickets and full info, click here.