LIVE: White Reaper at Mo Pop Festival
Not only is the music of White Reaper the ultimate nexus of charm and pure rock ‘n’ roll, but it is uniquely adrenalized as well. This is a trait that leaps from the record to the stage, as the band delivered an invigorating performance at this year’s Mo Pop Festival in Detroit, Michigan.
One of the most memorable aspects of White Reaper’s set was their banter between songs. They evaded the trap of appearing as musical robots who went through song after song without acknowledging the crowd by a wide margin, and instead revealed an innate ability to make the audience burst with laughter. Guitarist Hunter Thompson jokingly asked the audience if they were enjoying their sabbath, as the performance took place on a Sunday, and bassist Sam Wilkerson gave a shout out to his twin brother and White Reaper drummer Nick - who then promptly removed his shirt and pants before continuing with the rest of the set. White Reaper is effortlessly charismatic - something that will contribute to the band’s inevitable longevity just as much as their musical skill.
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of White Reaper’s live performances is simply watching keyboardist Ryan Hater. Taking full advantage of the fact that he does not have an instrument strapped to him, Hater jumps and thrashes - even making the occasional venture to the microphone to interact with the crowd. One of the most enjoyable aspects of watching live music is being able to witness the palpable cycle of energy that exists between a group of musicians creating art that they love, and a group of people who love their art. For White Reaper, Hater is a major catalyst for the radiation of this powerful electricity.
After reaching the conclusion of their set with the track “Judy French,” a single from their most recent album that drips with a delectable combination of goodness and grit, the previously quiet audience was in an uproar of applause and cheers. The audience had fallen White Reaper’s spell - an easy feat for a band that’s a refreshing combination of skill and stage presence.