Ugly Kids roll back the years at the Regent: It is very easy to forget how successful Ugly boy Joe were in the early 1990s. Their mainstream fame was fleeting, that’s right. But the one from 1991 As ugly as they want to be EP, which was filled in 1992 America’s least wanted album, saw them tour internationally with the likes of Def Leppard and earn a handful of radio hits.
Through the second album, 1995’s Threat to sobriety, the love affair seemed over. The band was treading water, even though there were solid tunes on that record. Bizarrely enough, frontman Whitfield Crane would front the metal/hardcore crossover band Life of Agony in New York by ’97 – truly one of the weirdest encounters of musical minds. He then formed a metal band called Medication with former Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader.
Crane had apparently fallen in love with UKJ’s crazy rock. But in 2010 the band reformed and it has stuck stubbornly ever since. That said, this is their first show in their old place in quite some time. And by God, we’re getting all the greats at the Regent. “Neighbor”, “Panhandlin’ Prince” and their cover of “Cats in the Cradle” from that first album, the great “Milkman’s Son” from the second, and much more. There’s nothing like “Motel California” and just the cover of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spade” from the 2015 comeback Uglier than before. We get some from last year Rad Wings of Destinywith “Failure” as a highlight.
They, of course, end with “Everything About You,” which is just as much fun as it was in the 90s – rap section and all. Honestly, it’s great that Ugly Kid Joe is sticking around. For now.
Before that, the band of wrestler Chris Jericho blurred played and Jesus we wanted to hate them. First of all, fuck wrestling. But also, the band’s gonzo-metal sound is so polished and radio-ready that it’s the kind of thing that usually lifts us up.
But fuck, Fozzy is just too cute. The likes of “Enemy” and “Do you Want to Start a War” are fine, but the show is irresistible. Jericho has three, by our count, costume changes that some would say is overkill for an opening band, but we love it. There are TV screens showing anime, dry ice guns (yes, really), Jercho’s ego platform, guitarist Rich “The Duke” Ward’s incredible moves, and the fact that Trixter man PJ Farley plays bass.
But best of all is Fozzy’s cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” – a song about gay sex sung to the fullest by a roomful of metalheads. God bless Fozzy and their love of free love.
Earlier, the evening was kicked off by Atlanta rockers Pistols at Dawn, and they did a great job shaking away Thursday’s cobwebs with their melodic hard rock/heavy metal. They didn’t have long to shine, but they did. Quite literally – their guitarist had lights on his guitar that he held up like Excalibur.
Overall, this was a great show and great bill.
Ugly Kids Roll Back the Years at the Regent: For more information, visit regentdtla.com.
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