It’s been 25 years since the iconic “America’s Least Wanted’ album was released by fun lovin’ rockers Ugly Kid Joe and while a lot has changed in that time, those songs which included “Everything About You” and “Neighbor” has stood the test of time as evident by the attendance in Perth on Wednesday night.
Before we get to the headliners themselves, honourable mention must go to the support acts of the night, of which both put on performances that were eclectic, entertaining and wild. The first act was local musician Tim McMillan on acoustic guitar along with side kick on violin Rachel Snow which was an unexpected show to say the least. We could throw words around like interesting and different but to be honest, there was an entertainment factor that couldn’t be denied and of course throwing in the interlude from some good ol’ Master Of Puppets from Metallica (which I suspect noone had actually picked up on!) threw themselves some favourable points on the scoreboard in my books. But a comedic show with tributes galore to various acts including the main band tonight made for a spectacle of a show, even if it was a little out there for some.
Dallas Frasca on the other hand was pure rock n’ roll, a kind of Zeppelin meets Motley Crue with an injection of the fun factor that even got the crowd involved with the singer/guitarist herself jumping into the pit midway for a full on interaction that was hard to miss. The Aussie rockers worked hard to win the crowd over, pulling all stops with a fresh take on classic rock and by the end they clearly had the audience on their side as everyone prepared to meet the Ugly Kid Joe boys following.
25 years is a long time in anybody’s books, particularly for some of us who were right there when Ugly Kid Joe hit the big time back in 1992. Back when grunge was the trend and stadium rockers like Metallica and Guns N’ Roses were the biggest bands in the world, Ugly Kid Joe seemed to be on the outskirts of what everyone else was doing. ‘America’s Least Wanted’ was an album that resisted the dreary self-centred genre that everyone was into at the time, a real rock album that had a more positive light in it’s cheekiness and energetic vibe. It’s no wonder the album has stood the test of time, still to this day those songs remain in your head. From the cracking opener ‘Neighbor’ to the mellow ‘Mr Recordman’, it had all the right ingredients to be a classic album in the making. 25 years later the band brought that iconic set of songs to Australia and even to Perth of all places, where it has been embraced consistently for over 2 decades. A feat that is not always easy for many bands.
With the tour being promoted with the promise of the full album in it’s entirety to be performed, the band decided to mix it up a little and break it up by adding tracks from their other albums through out the set which ended up being a brilliant idea. By doing so, it gave the fans an extended enthusiasm that never waivered through the night rather than being given all the candy at the top and be taken down a peg or two with slightly less familiar territory. That being said, the other tracks that included mostly material from their sophomore effort ‘Menace To Sobriety’ were received just as well as anything from the debut feature but admittedly, there was an energy felt from the debut album tracks that were undeniable too.
Frontman Whitfield Crane absolutely nailed it on vocals, a testament to his signature voice that has remained untouched to the ravages of both time and touring. With the rest of the crew equally on point and tight as a fox hole, there was something to be said about the live power of Ugly Kid Joe still to this day. Every track that was played including the killer “So Damn Cool” which was a highlight on the album set sounded perfect as if it was actually 1992. The band threw a few curveballs towards the end though and decided to keep the iconic ‘Everything About You’ until last which was again, a brilliant idea as it clearly received the biggest response on the night. Judging by the ton of stage banter all through the set with grins as wide as the stage itself, the band seemed to be in top shape both mentally, physically and musically as they played out one of the best live shows of the year. Witness these rock icons, they don’t miss a beat at all!
Sunday 3 December – Manning Bar, Sydney 18+
Monday 4 December – The Zoo, Brisbane – 18+
Wednesday 6 December – Capitol, Perth – 18+
Thursday 7 December – Fowlers Live, Adelaide – 18+
Saturday 9 December – Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne – 18+
Tickets through Destroy All Lines