Standing shoulder to shoulder, the crowd clad in black packed into Tiki on Main (524 Main St.) on March 19 chanted a familiar phrase to the band on stage: “One more song! One more song!” Happy to oblige, The Hot Topics launched into their second encore song of the night with the same explosive energy that characterized their entire set.
The pop-punk/emo cover band is a group of Evansville natives performing renditions of hits from bands such as My Chemical Romance and Green Day that stir up millennial nostalgia. Siblings Arielle Ricketts (vocals and keyboard) and Asher Plock (keyboard, guitar, and back-up vocals) make-up the band alongside their friends Gabriel Cabrillas (bass and back-up vocals), Jake Jones (drums), Drake Oldham (guitar and back-up vocals), and lead singer Cody Webb.
“We’re reliving our youth playing this music,” says Ricketts, whose powerhouse vocals allow The Hot Topics to cover bands like Paramore and Evanescence.
“Hands down, this is the best genre to ever play because it’s bangers and hits the whole time,” adds Oldham. “Just looking out at the crowd and seeing every person screaming at the peak of their lungs to every song makes you so happy.”
From their first show in April 2021 to First Friday in Haynie’s Corner last August, The Hot Topics have amassed a following.
For the tight-knit friends who started practicing for fun in Plock’s basement just before COVID-19, it’s been a wild ride.
“It’s kind of gone beyond all our expectations,” says Plock.
“Fans come to our shows dressed up and ready to sing along to the songs we all grew up with,” says Jones. “It’s truly a party every time and that’s exactly what we’re hoping for.”
Check The Hot Topics’ social media pages for information on upcoming shows — including their second First Friday appearance on Sept. 2, 2022 — new merchandise, and to book them for your next private event, party, or wedding.