Eva Under Fire brings rock to Champaign-Urbana

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Sydney Laput

Eva Marie, lead vocalist of rock band Eva Under Fire, sings at the Canopy Club on Thursday. The group headlined at the venue with The Hangovers opening for them.

By Lucy Bridges, Staff Writer

Headliner Eva Under Fire and opener The Hangovers played Thursday night at The Canopy Club in Urbana. The bands performed in front of a small but lively audience, bringing inspiration and rock to the Champaign-Urbana community. 

Both rock bands are paving their way into the music industry as female-led bands, a trait not common in the rock community. 

The Hangovers is a five-person rock band started by lead guitarist Zach Dable, vocalist Mollie Krueger and guitarist Josh Eggers during their time at Millikin University. Since starting, members of The Hangovers committed their time to touring the Midwest and the South. 

Although The Hangovers didn’t show it, Dable said the band was experiencing pre-show jitters about opening for well-known rock band, Eva Under Fire. 

“It puts a little pressure on us,” he said. “We want to be our very best so that anybody that is with their crew sees us and hopefully is impressed by us.”

He said all the bands that The Hangovers have opened for are accepting of the young rock band, and are great to meet and talk with before and after the shows. 

The pre-show nerves were not apparent once the band stepped onto the stage. Members sang, danced and rocked for a full 45-minute set. Krueger flaunted her broad vocal range, while guitarists Dable and Eggers, bassist Sammy Darty and drummer Kyle Beaman brought strong instrumental rock and high energy to the set. 

The band performed a variety of different songs and covers, including its most streamed song, “The Creek,” and a cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” The Hangovers performed a unique set list full of energy and excitement, expressing genuine happiness and a visibly strong bond between the bandmates. 

On the changeover, Eva Under Fire fans made their way to the front of the stage, eager to hear the rising rock band’s impressive music and powerful presence. One fan, Aaron Hart, a junior in ACES, wore an Eva Under Fire T-shirt.

“They have a good style,” Hart said. “They have that edge that I look for, and they really just show how powerful a band can be.”

Eva Under Fire consists of lead vocalist Eva Marie; guitarists Rob Ryberg and Chris Slapnik, bassist Edward Joseph and drummer Corey Newsom. The members have performed and opened shows since the release of their first album in 2015. The band’s Thursday night performance was its first time headlining a show since it was on the radio. 

The band took the stage with power, energy, excitement and eagerness. Marie walked into the spotlight on the stage, pointed at the audience and riled up the crowd by asking, “How are you feeling, Urbana?” 

The band jumped right into its set list, which was composed of some older songs like “Anchors” and “Betrayer.” The songs reflect power and intensity, along with beauty and meaningfulness. Eva Under Fire showed its talent by connecting to the audience emotionally, while also bringing laughter, power, cheer and rock to The Canopy Club. 

A majority of the songs the band played were from its newest album, “Love, Drugs & Misery,” with the addition of a few unreleased songs from its upcoming album that’s set to be released on Sept. 23. 

The most-awaited song for fans “Blow,” which has received increased radio play this month and it reached #11 in the active rock charts this week. “Blow” was the major attraction for many fans to attend the concert on Thursday night, as the band has garnered lots of support from the song’s popularity. 

Reflecting on the band’s rising popularity and history, Marie thanked the audience for making their dreams possible and achievable.

“If you know us, then you know that we really write from our hearts,” Marie said. “We love it when you guys give us the chance to share our story.” 

The banter and sincere connection between the band members created an ecstatic vibe for the audience. Some fans traveled to see the band play. Shannon Morrison of Williamsport, Ind., is a new fan of the band, and she spoke on the emotions that the band evokes specifically Marie. 

“She inspires as a woman in rock,” Morrison said. “You don’t see many of those. It looks like she can get out there and put on a hell of a show.” 

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