UGLY KID JOE
Arcada Theatre – St. Charles, IL
Thursday May 18, 2023
Sunday, September 3, 1995 marked the last time UGLY KID JOE reared their heads in the Chicago area, but it didn’t take long for the Southern California act to get the sleepy city of St. Charles, IL moving as hundreds of fans turned out to see the Rad Wings Of Destiny Tour hit the Chicago burbs on May 28th, 2023.
Channeling his inner Ozzy, frontman Whitfield Crane seemed a little distracted, as if an ex-girlfriend was in the crowd looking to assissinate him. Original guitarists Klaus Eichstadt and Dave Fortman firmly planted themselves at the Arcada Theatre as the five piece leaned mostly on selections from 1992’s America’s Least Wanted and 1996’s underground classic Menace To Sobriety.
Opening the set with the new track “That Ain’t Livin’,” Crane, clad in a Lemmy inspired shirt, eyed the crowd up and down as they belted through “VIP,” “Neighbor,” “Jesus Rode A Harley” and the tamer Harry Chapin classic “Cats In The Cradle.” Missing were cuts from 1996’s Motel California, but the band debuted “Dead Friend’s Play” for the first time ever to a solid response, a track from their lastest release, Rad Wings Of Destiny.
Throughout the night UGLY KID JOE mixed new material with some deeper cuts, all with their groovy signature vibe, ending with the far-from-one-hit-wonder MTV topper “Everything About You.”
Twenty seven years later, the So Cal rockers are beating the Grandfather clock by keeping fans old and new headbanging nearly 40 years into their career.
Fozzy, the somewhat all-star band led by wrestler Chris Jericho, warmed up the suburban crowd with their fist-pumping anthems as guitarist Rich Ward (Stuck Mojo) seemed to be having the time of his life, and bassist PJ Farley (Trixter) held the backup vocals in perfect sync with the flamboyant frontman.
UGLY KID JOE Set List
That Ain’t Livin’
Jesus Rode A Harley
Dead Friends Play (live debut)
No One Survives
So Damn Cool
Cat’s In The Cradle
Ace Of Spades
Everything About You
Review by Tom Wojcik
Photos by Roman Sobus