All the hits and more... but no Sandwich?
Ugly Kid Joe are in Australia to celebrate the twenty fifth Anniversary of their seminal release, America’s Least Wanted. I recently had the chance to speak to their lead singer, Whitfield Crane, who told me I was in for a “Kick Ass Rock ‘N Roll Show” and tonight is the chance to see them deliver. In that interview, Whit spoke highly of the support acts for tonight, Tim McMillan and Dallas Frasca.
Tim McMillan, with his acoustic guitar and musical partner Rachel, are on stage as I arrive. Their set is not really what I was expecting at this gig, but by the end of their set, I am laughing appreciatively along with the rest of the crowd at their antics. Tim and Rachel give us acoustic Slayer, Metallica and even a cover of the theme from Game of Thrones, in between funny anecdotes about his family’s embellishing skills. A great start to the night.
Next up is Dallas Frasca, a three piece of two guitars and drums from Melbourne. What a sound they are able to bring with them even without a bass. It’s straight out rock n’roll that gets you pumped up. Dallas Frasca has an amazing voice which reminds me a bit of Melissa Etheridge. She has a great live presence and at one stage was out mingling with the crowd having a great time. The band has the punters suitably warmed up for Ugly Kid Joe.
It’s about 10.30 p.m. and there is no longer any room up front as everyone has shifted down that way in preparation for the Californian natives to take the stage. Straight off the bat the band cranks out Neighbour and the crowd goes wild. From the outset, all the band are really looking like they are just having a ball up there and this remains evident throughout the rest of the set. Next up we are treated to Madman, and as Whit said to me, those lyrics are just plain evil… Well this crowd is loving the evilness of it, and so am I as it is one of my favourite Ugly Kid Joe songs.
The guys are all on song throughout the set and even though some of these tracks haven’t been played in 25 years, you wouldn’t have known as they are played note perfect. Whitfield Crane sounds amazing and has a commanding stage presence where he has the crowd in the palm of his hands from start to finish.
The setlist runs through songs from all the albums, covering favourites such as Jesus Rode a Harley, Come Tomorrow, Panhandlin’ Prince, Cat’s in the Cradle (dedicated to a couple of fans who met at an UKJ gig and ended up married), Busy Bee, Goddamn Devil and Mr. Recordman (with guitarist Klaus Eichstadt on vocals) before asking the crowd to determine the number of songs that they will sing to finish off. After a lot of crowd support and noise, it is decided we get three more and then because it is Ozzy’s (Osbourne) birthday (US time) we get a cover of Black Sabbath’s Sweet Leaf, Funky Fresh Country Club and to finish off, the song that broke them worldwide – Everything About You.
The crowd are now leaving, having had a great night and witnessing a real “Kick Ass Rock ‘N Roll Show” as promised and delivered. Catch Ugly Kid Joe on their remaining gigs if you can, it’s well worth it.
Wednesday 6 December – Capitol, Perth – 18+
Thursday 7 December – Fowlers, Adelaide – 18+
Saturday 9 December – Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne – 18+
- Jesus Rode a Harley
- Panhandlin’ Prince
- Come Tomorrow
- No One Survives
- Devil’s Paradise
- So Damn Cool
- Cat’s in the Cradle (Harry Chapin cover)
- I’m Alright
- Milkman’s Son
- Busy Bee
- Same Side
- Goddamn Devil
- Sweet Leaf (Black Sabbathcover)
- Funky Fresh Country Club
- Everything About You