By Vlad T, Journalist-Rock At Night Detroit and Chyrisse Tabone, Photographer- Rock At Night Tampa
Live Review: Soraia with Hayley & the Crushers, Macho, and the Idiot Kids – October 7, 2022
The fabled Small’s in Hamtramck, MI, sees its fair share of strong national and local rock acts that thrive in its inviting spaces. Friday night saw another example of this with a quartet of acts whose electricity and sonic variety energized a cold evening.
The evening’s featured act was Soraia, a Philadelphia-based rock unit fronted by the irrepressible and magnetic ZouZou Mansour. An established presence on rock radio, the group evokes—both on recording and live—the kind of voice and rock dynamics listeners relished from 80s classic rock. The provocative Mansour prowled the stage—and occasionally club floor—with a supreme confidence in her delivery and vocals. She and her bandmates quickly triggered the audience’s enthusiasm, defying the punters—including a sizable showing of females wanting to dance and gyrate—to turn their gaze from the stage throughout the group’s set. The group’s energy and crowd-pleasing sounds—from beginning to end—make forthcoming album Bloom a highly anticipated, must-hear affair.
Tour mates Hayley and the Crushers, newly transplanted to Detroit from California, have a rich history of blending west coast-style power pop and Americana, topping it off with a stage show of color, exuberance, and crunch. Friday’s show, featuring the twin attack of spouses Hayley Crusher Cain and Dr Cain ESQ, was a rousing, energetic affair and especially special for the group, as it celebrates its new album, Modern Adult Kicks. As suggested by the new album’s moniker, kicks aren’t just for teenagers anymore, and the pogoing, singing-in-unison concertgoers—both young and young-at-heart—could only agree.
Churning up the audience were a pair of established Detroit outfits bringing their own variation to classic Detroit garage punk sounds. The Idiot Kids, fronted by Jon-Mikal Bartee, set the stage with its fusion of angular art pop and a staccato guitar-driven sound of strident, screeching urgency.
With a fresh release of their own, the girls—and guy—of Macho then brought a bludgeoning, self-described ‘witch punk’ that smacked the crowd in the face, only to be kissed right back. Detroit concertgoers expect power and energy from every tier of a concert’s lineup. Both Idiot Kids and Macho held up their part of the bargain.
Haley & the Crushers
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