Photos by Jim Gilbert, JTG Photo

The crowd of eager fellow concert junkies and music lovers formed before the Jäger Stage, waiting for the next band to make their appearance. Then the band makes their appearance known and the crowd begins to cheer, most in an excited manner, while some drunken. They began to play their first song, “We Are Stars” and the crowd threw their horns up, bouncing along to the beat. This band was very interactive with the crowd, made them feel like they were a part of the next big thing. This incredible band continued their set with “Ready”, “Invisible”, and quite a few more before performing their latest single, “Burn It Down”, which dropped recently. Who is this band, you ask? Introducing, Mindset Evolution.


Originating from Peoria, Il., Mindset Evolution is a five piece active rock band, with members Rob Ulrich (vocals), Skylar Baer (guitar), Bradley Prentice (guitar), Josh Bodeen (bass), and Joey Gibbs (drums). They formed in 2005 with a goal to get to where they are now. “We wanted a way to say that you have to find a way through, over, or around obstacles, and sometimes you have to completely change the way to do that, so it takes a mindset evolution,” explained Ulrich to Upstate Metal’s Kate Drexel last night at Rock on the Range, in the air conditioned media tent. Well, indeed they have gone through many obstacles like working very hard to go from playing in their hometown to being a part of the Warped Tour lineup. And with that, they have a strong fan base, as well as becoming the winners in the Best Buy Music Gear Battle of the Bands. Throughout the years, Mindset Evolution has toured with bands such as Seether, Hinder, Breaking Benjamin and quite a few more well known names. “Honestly, a lot of it came from our home rock station. They have been huge supporters of us for a long time and they would always throw our names out for us, and it started picking up that way. Last year, we won the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Battle of the Bands and then we got to tour the whole nation. Last year, we got to tour with Godsmack, Shinedown, Staind, and Adelitas Way…it was killer, killer,” said Rob when explaining how they got to tour with such major bands. “And In This Moment,” chimed in Joey, when pointing to Drexel’s white rubber In This Moment bracelet. “Ah, they are murderous, they’re so good live, love them!” said Rob, enthusiastically. When it comes to their influences, the band as a whole has a very eclectic taste in music. For Rob, “Tool, well, everything that Maynard James Keenan does, Eagles, Beatles, Clearwater Revival, Jay-Z, Eminem, kind of all over the board…a little Garth Brooks, I love Garth Brooks.” As for Joey, he makes the statement that makes Drexel very excited, “I have to say Trent Reznor is a God, that’s about it. I’m a huge Nails fan.” Then he proceeded to mention that he listens to Motley Crue, other 80s music, as well as “a lot of electronic music, like Depeche Mode.” As a band, according to Ulrich, the genres are very diverse for each of the members. “I think that’s awesome, that’s what makes bands…it gives them the opportunity to create something special and have those kind of influences coming, they’re so diverse, that when they happen to come together in a song, it creates something unique for that band.” Gibbs added that, “It’s a unique influence for the band especially when we sit down and write together, different elements are coming out of our style.”

Be sure to look out for their upcoming record, Brave, Bold and Broken, out this summer and their latest single, “Burn It Down” is out for digital download.


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