There are many things in life that make us happy, but an endless summer … that’s at the top of our list. With temps still warm by any standard, September is proving to be hotter than the mercury leads us to believe. As a result, this year’s concert season is proving to be one of the best in recent memory–and now we get a night with Power Serge.
Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to cover some of the biggest and most iconic bands on the planet. During that time, I can honestly say I’ve never seen fans smile and be entertained the way they are when they see Power Serge. You have to ask yourself, “What makes this band so different?” To answer that, you must figure out why music means so much to us? Turns out, the answer is very simple: Music has always been able connect us, no matter what’s going on in our lives. Music can be honest and cruel, happy and sad. For most of us, there’s always a certain song we identify with. It can be our favorite song, a song that takes us back to our teens and helped get through loss, or it was what was playing when we first met that certain someone who gives us our eternal sunshine. It’s those moments in time that capture and define us. Mix that with the best damn cover band in the land, and that’s the true magic behind Power Serge.
We all know cover bands, and this one does hair metal, but with a flair. Powered by Aquanet and Spandex, these guys are a collective of some of the best musicians from several different bands in OC, and if you close your eyes … you’d think you’re listening to the real thing. For those unfamiliar with the band, they formed in 2004 and mostly performed for family and friends at little hole-in-the-wall venues. Now, 15 years later, they’re still at it, only they’re playing in front of sold-out crowds at venues like the House of Blues in Anaheim.
The best way to describe Power Serge is to combine acts like Steel Panther, Sweet and Tender Hooligans and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes; Power Serge would be their baby! This band only gets together once or twice a year to entertain us. It’s unclear how long they’ll continue to do this, but for now, they’re ready to rock the pillars of heaven and earth one more time and bring the Headbangers Ball to life! With their great sense of humor, this gig is dubbed as their 15th Annual Last Show Ever!
Take away the costumes and what you have are some of the most gifted musicians anywhere. Despite their cover story, they’re really not from Yugoslavia. They’re dudes from the OC who just love to have fun while entertaining us. Sure, Power Serge plays power pop hair metal covers, but somehow they manage to bring grown men and women to tears while screaming at the top of their lungs. In a recent interview, guitarist Ian Matteson told us that they plan to play a set list that will entertain the crowd and live up to the buzz their shows generate.
In the past, they’ve entertained us with larger than life songs such as Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer,” but they always seem to put their own spin on tunes to make them sound the same but different. When I say different, it’s different in a kick-ass way. Other songs you may take in include “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 the Scorpions; “Every Rose has Its Thorn” by Poison, “Rock and Roll All Nite” by Kiss and “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, just to name a few.
As for the band itself, their roster includes a who’s who of local OC music. It features lead singer Sean Henry (aka Sergei Von Sergio), who is also known as the Karaoke King. When you hear his take on these iconic songs, you’ll agree that the King is alive and well. There’s also Brian Mashburn (aka Smash), who is currently in Bite Me Bambi and Starpool and was formerly in Save Ferris, on guitar and keys. Matteson (aka U.P., which is short for “Ultimate Partier”) formerly did his lead guitar shredding in Home Grown, which also included Power Serge rhythm guitarist Dan Hammond (aka Karel Poborsky). Bass player Ted Vega (aka Mr. Vegas) was formerly in JamisonParker, and drummer Zach Amos (aka Sgt. Rock) is ex of The Blood Arm.
There are many great cover bands out there, but the difference is the takeaway. Power Serge delivers their sound with ease, while Henry literally becomes some of our most beloved musical heroes right in front of us. That ability to transform into the spirit of our memories is a show within itself.
When asked what concertgoers will witness this Saturday night, Matteson said, “I never know what to expect, but I can tell you this: We’re a party band … and we bring the boom!” So be ready for the boom when Power Serge plays the House of Blues in Anaheim. For their last show ever. Again.