A Sunday Surprise With Julien-K at the Orpheum

By on November 8, 2018

Ryan Shuck (Photo-Travis Failey)

It isn’t very often that an opener outshines the rest of the bill, but on Sunday night at the Orpheum, this rarity happened once again. Julien-K, out on tour with Jonathan Davis, and the Birthday Massacre, definitely picked up some new fans on Sunday Night at Ybor City’s Orpheum.  Don’t get me wrong, Jonathan Davis and his band were amazing with Ray Luzier playing drums, but Julien-K’s set was memorable.

Ryan Shuck (Photo-Travis Failey)

Julien-K is a four piece electronic rock band from California that rose from the ashes of Orgy, an L.A. industrial rock band fronted by Jay Gordon, with Ryan Shuck and Amir Derakh. Orgy sold over 3 million records and was best known for their cover of New Order’s, “Blue Monday.”

(Photo-Travis Failey)

Julien-K has collaborated in the past with Jonathan Davis and Chester Bennington’s solo project, Dead by Sunrise. Julien-K also created the soundtracks for popular video games including Sonic Heroes and Shadow The Hedgehog. Interesting factoid: The band got their name from Richard Gere’s character in American Gigolo, Julian Kaye. (Google it kidos)

Lead vocalist and guitarist Ryan Shuck opened the show with a shout-out to Jonathan Davis, who Shuck says is a close friend who has supported Orgy and Julien-K over the last thirty years. Davis helped signed Orgy to Korn’s Elementree record label in the 90s.

Amir Derakh (Photo-Travis Failey)

Shuck was dressed in all black, full leather duds and sunglasses.  Amir Derakh is the band’s guitarist and synthesizer player, and founded the band along with Ryan Shuck. Derakh broke out the blue lipstick and the megaphone throughout the set. Bass player, Bidi Cobra, provided back-up vocals with Galen Waling crushing the back beat on the skins. The music was so loud and the bass was so intense, I think my heart skipped a beat!  Julien-K kept the crowd jumping throughout the 7 song set with “Flashpoint Riot” and “Institution” and closed the show with “Blue Monday.”

Bidi Cobra (Photo-Travis Failey)

During the middle of the set and after conceding that no one cares what musicians personally think about politics, Shuck nevertheless took some time out to talk to the crowd about an amendment that was on Florida’s November 6th ballot, Amendment 6 (a/k/a Marsy’s Law).  The proposed law would expand the scope of victims’ rights under the Florida Constitution, including victim’s rights to due process; freedom from intimidation and abuse protection from the accused and protections for victims and provide victims with access to sentencing reports.

Ryan Shuck (Photo-Travis Failey)

Shuck shared that he had a personal reason to support the amendment and asked the crowd to vote Yes on Amendment 6.  Well, I won’t give Shuck all the credit but Amendment 6 passed with an impressive 62% of the vote.

Ryan Shuck (Photo-Travis Failey)

Julien-K’s musical style reminds me of a heavier Gravy Kills, and they were a great choice to get the crowd fired up for Jonathan Davis.  The crowd seemed a little reserved at the beginning of the show, but by the fifth song, the crowd was fully engaged and moving to the methodic beat.  I would highly recommend seeing Julien-K and I think that the band would be a solid addition to next year’s festival circuit like Hollywood Undead has been in the past.

Ryan Shuck (Photo-Travis Failey)

I have to admit it, it was awesome to find a “new” band to get excited about, especially one with an extensive catalogue of music to explore and experience. Luckily for me, Julien-K has four albums for me to discover and are expected to release their fifth album in 2019.

With only a few dates left on the Black Labyrinth Tour, but a huge tour to follow their new release in 2019, stay up to date with all things Julien-K at http://www.julienk.com/

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