Smile Empty Soul brings Merican Chemicals to Kokomo

There are some bands that, when you hear them, you can close your eyes and return to the place you first heard them. Some songs have such vivid memories that you can’t help but smile when you hear them. Smile Empty Soul are one of those bands and their new record, Chemicals, released in October and shows the band at the top of their game. To promote the stellar record, the band has embarked on the Merican Chemicals Tour and they recently made a stop at Kokomo, Ind.’s Centerstage Bar and Grill. Opening the show was local support from Downfall of Society, From These Ruins and The Everyday Losers with national band Acidic, who are also on the tour, rounding out the support acts. After an impressive opening set from Downfall of Society, who had the always-difficult task of opening the night up, From These Ruins, out of Terre Haute, Ind. took the stage for the heaviest set of the night. [lg_slideshow folder=\”2013/Merican Chemicals Tour/From These Ruins/\”] Their debut EP, Brotherhood, has been well-received by virtually everyone who’s heard it and they have the reputation of making fans out of almost everyone who sees them live. Obviously there were high expectations for From These Ruins. Right off the bat, with their intro, fans started coming to the stage. They even had people leaving the back bar of the building (which is another room) to see who was on stage. With more of a hard metal sound, From These Ruins were by far the heaviest band on the bill but that didn’t affect them at all. They took the stage and owned it for the entire set. In just a 20 minute set, which was only four songs, they had people screaming, cheering, yelling, and fist-pumping, loving every minute of it. It’s rare to see a local unsigned band with as much stage presence and crowd awareness as From These Ruins but they have every making of a national act- look for them to be on a bigger stage in the next few years. Following them were The Everyday Losers out of Washington, Ind., who had more of a sound similar to Smile Empty Soul. The members of The Everyday Losers were heavily influenced by Smile Empty Soul so it had to have been the show of a lifetime for them and they took full advantage of the opportunity, playing a set that put them in the running for the top unsigned Indiana band of their genre. With frontman Dylan Seidel and brother Tyler Seidel on guitar with newly recruited drummer Niko Albanese and Danny Norton on bass, the band knows how to stand with the best of them. The crowd, already engaged by From These Ruins, was equally impressed with The Everyday Losers and wasted no time getting into the set. The Everyday Losers continued the streak of the night with impressive opening bands, something that just doesn’t happen that often.[lg_slideshow folder=\”2013/Merican Chemicals Tour/The Everyday Losers/\”] They’ve played with some big names already and they’re well on their way to bigger things. They have the potential, the sound, the professionalism and talent to do it and it’s no surprise how well they made the stage their own in Kokomo. After Acidic wrapped up an uptempo, entertaining and impressive set, Smile Empty Soul took the stage to finish off a night of outstanding rock and they didn’t disappoint. Smile Empty Soul have had so many problems with record labels over the years and with their music getting the proper release it deserves, the fact that their still going and making great music today shows the dedication and love they have for what they do and their fans give every bit of it back to them. In Kokomo they opened up with “Black and Blue” from Chemicals as well as three other songs from the new record- “Sitting Ducks,” “Chemicals” and the lead single “False Alarm,” which has been getting massive radio play on radio and Sirius Octane on XM. The also played at least one song from every other album they’ve done, which many bands don’t do anymore, which fans picked up on and fed off of. While a lot of people know Smile Empty Soul for songs like “Silhouettes” and “Bottom of a Bottle,” the band has a huge catalog of great songs and it was good to see them pull some of those songs out. They wrapped things up with a cover of Stone Temple Pilots’ “Dead and Bloated” that had everyone in the room singing and moving and they finished off with “Bottom of a Bottle” to end the night with a bang. [lg_slideshow folder=\”2013/Merican Chemicals Tour/Smile Empty Soul/\”] All-in-all, Smile Empty Soul still have it after all these years. With the decline in rock’s popularity it’s refreshing to see such a great band still going and performing at such a high level. If you didn’t know any better you’d think it was 10 years ago with how fresh and concise Smile Empty Soul were on stage. This band has a lot left in the tank and when rock’s time comes again, look for them to be at the forefront. -Reggie Edwards