The LA based dark pop quartet, Rivals, recently put on a performance at Triple B's in Las Vegas and I had the pleasure of attending and photographing their set. Rivals is comprised of Kalie Wolfe (vocals), Sebastian Clarke (bass), Micket Woodle (guitar), and Josh Alves (drums), and this group first came on my radar back in October of last year when I was assigned to cover Assuming We Survive. Rivals was a support band for them on that tour, and for me, was one of the highlights in a pretty solid lineup that evening. I was familiar with their cover of the popular 21 Pilot's song "Heathens" , but that was the extent of my musical knowledge of the band. They didn't even perform it that night, instead focusing on original material, and with good reason, they have a lot of well written, great sounding, original tunes that deal with very relevant (albeit dark) topics such as depression, loneliness, and mental illness, while providing a message of hope and encouragement. Kalie delivers that message with emotion and energy, and really engages the audience. Her band mates provide a solid backing with quality musicianship and do a great job matching her energy on stage. They all seem to truly enjoy performing, and smiles abound throughout the set.
Rivals begins the set with Sebastian and Micket playing some auxiliary drums while Josh works his kit, then Kalie hits the stage and introduces their first song "Low." They follow that up with "Reflection", "Over It" and "Keep Going" then slow things down a bit while Kalie tells the story behind a song she wrote for her niece, "To Leila." Next they did "Moonlit" after which Kalie took a break while the boys played a three man drum solo. This was something I'd never seen them do before and it was a really cool interlude. After the solo Kalie came back and introduced "Wild Things" and even got in on the drum action doing her bit half way through the song. They brought the set to its ending with a new song that is not on their current album ( the new track is called "Supernova") and then wrapped it all up with the title track of their studio album, Damned Soul.
This was my third time seeing Rivals perform live and they get better and better every time. They were very well-received on the 2019 Shiprocked back in January, and many of my shipmates said that they were their "surprise" band of the trip. They put on a great show this night and I certainly look forward to their next visit to Las Vegas!
Rivals Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos