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Kopek , My Darkest Days, Saving Abel, Hinder

Best Buy Theater

New York City, NY

February 8, 2011

On February 8, 2001, Senior writer Mark Balogh and myself had a great day as we headed into New York City to witness one of the bands that garnered’s #1 album of the year for 2010. That band was KOPEK and the album was “White Collar Lies”. The boys from Ireland are currently on a national tour opening for HINDER. Also on this great bill are SAVING ABEL and Canada’s MY DARKEST DAYS.

One thing was for sure, it was cold as hell in Times Square on this night with the winds whipping, but it was just a short wait for us to enter The Best Buy Theater for the show where things would heat up pretty quick! Before we get started I want to offer special thanks to HINDER and KOPEK’s management for taking care of us for the show.

KOPEK opened the night at about 7:00pm and it was a fair-sized crowd for such an early start. They played their 30-minute set of pummeling modern rock and you could tell these newcomers had a few fans already in the crowd. The sound was amazing as KOPEK played a selection tunes off their hot debut. Basically there was not one member in the band that didn’t shine on this evening. These boys are headed for huge stardom, if there is any justice, and if I were you I’d jump on the bandwagon now! Don’t say I didn’t tell you...

After their set we had a chance to meet up with the boys backstage and I have to say I have never seen a band that is this humble and they honestly love getting the chance to play to the American fans.

Next up was Toronto’s MY DARKEST DAYS. I was not familiar with these guys and truthfully never heard their music but man, they are another band to catch while they are on the way up! Obviously NICKELBACK’s Chad Kroeger thought enough of them to sign him to his production company, so who am I to disagree! I was very impressed with them and their sound as they utilized the dual vocals of lead vocalist Matt Walst and guitarist Sal Costa at times and their overall modern rock sound with a heavy pop-edge was right on the money. This is another band that is humble to the fans and I was very impressive overall!

Next on the bill was SAVING ABEL. You remember these guys with the infectious single “Addicted” from their 2008 self-titled debut don’t you? Well we only got to catch a short bit of their set but they sounded good and the crowd certainly enjoyed it from what we could hear backstage.

After talking with the KOPEK boys about their future touring plans (look for them out on another national tour with COLD in March) it was time for the headliner of the night. Oklahoma’s HINDER was primed to hit the stage but before that we had a chance meeting with a couple of the guys as lead singer Austin Winkler and drummer Cody Hanson were both very gracious and genuinely warm to us. HINDER’s stage setup featured some cool iron gates with cool lighting. These boys may have been playing a theater on this evening but it could have been an Arena with that stage setup!

Winkler has a charisma that glows and you can see no matter what he ended up doing in life he was going to be successful. I loved their set of non-stop energy and super power ballads as they played a good mix of songs off their three releases.

All in all this was one enjoyable show with four quality bands. All the band members we ran into seemed thankful and happy for what they do. Even after their show Sal Costa of MY DARKEST DAYS passed by and said I hope you guys got some good shots tonight. It’s stuff like that which shows these guys are genuine and the real deal. I really can’t help but wish all the bands the best of success in the future.

RockEyez would like to thank all the bands, Glenn Herlihy, CEO of Religion Music, Elias Chios/Religion Music, Nicole Poulos at Sideway Media and Paolo d'Alessandro of UEGInc for a great night of music!

Kopek Line Up:
  • Daniel Jordan – Vocals, Guitar
  • Shane Cooney - Drums
  • Brad Kinsella – Bass
My Darkest Days Line Up:
  • Matt Walst – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Sal Costa – lead guitar, vocals
  • Brendan McMillan – bass guitar
  • Doug Oliver – drums, percussion
  • Reid Henry – keyboards

Saving Abel Line Up:
  • Jared Weeks - lead vocals
  • Jason Null - lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Scott Bartlett - rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Eric Taylor - bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Blake Dixon - drums
Hinder Line Up:
  • Austin Winkler - vocals
  • Joe Garvey - lead guitar
  • Mark King - rhythm guitar
  • Mike Rodden - bass guitar
  • Cody Hanson – drums

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