|Ugly Kid Joe/Dallas Frasca - Belfast, Limelight 1 - 12 November 2016|
|Written by Marc Leach|
|Thursday, 24 November 2016 03:00|
On the 2nd of November 2012, the Belfast venue formerly known as ‘The Spring & Airbrake’ began its new life under the name ‘Limelight 1’ - and its debut concert happening earlier than expected! Due to phenomenal demand the co-headlining performance of Duff McKagan’s: Loaded and a five piece band from California, whom I shall name shortly, helped open the doors to a new era of the venue’s history. Following this special night, only one of these bands returned to the iconic venue not once but twice: no it wasn't Duff McKagan, as he got wrapped up in a Guns ’n’ Roses reunion; no, it was none other than the legendary, Californian rockers Ugly Kid Joe.
Before the antics of Whitfield Crane and crew, the Belfast crowd (though small in numbers at this point) were introduced to Dallas Frasca; a three-piece band from down under. AC/DC and Airbourne are typical sounds you hear come from Australia; the White Stripes though? Well it’s the White Stripes sound that helped influence Dallas Frasca’s sound with their mixture of only two guitars and drums. The band and the crowd numbers may have been small but lead vocalist Dallas Frasca, with her Bonnie Tyler style vocals, and her boys put on a performance like no other; from Dallas leaving the stage and intimate moments with the crowd to guitarist Jeff Curran treating his Gibson Flying V like a surf board.
You know, it really is a shame when a crowd miss the support band, especially when they put on a fantastic performance, yet in the half an hour interval before the final act took to the stage the masses gathered to witness none other than Ugly Kid Joe.
Despite being on their penultimate date of a 36 day (in a row) tour and having just came from a headline performance at the annual Hard Rock Hell festival in Wales, tiredness did not exist during the Californian hooligans’ set. Not once did the Belfast crowd take a breath as Whitfield Crane and boys plowed their way through a set of classic; from ‘Neighbour’ to the famous ‘Cats In The Cradle’ cover with a mixture of crowd banter in between. I will say this, it has been a long time since I have seen a drummer perform in nothing but his boxers (have you never seen Fionnbharr from Blackwater Conspiracy - Ed) but that’s what drummer Zac Morris' outfit of choice was for tonight: respect!
One of the highlights of the night was Sister Of Mercy and stand in guitarist Chris Catalyst’s performing a snippet of Stiff Little Finger’s ‘Alternative Ulster’ as part of the “play a famous song from the location challenge”.
Ugly Kid Joe may have been the headline act but a member of the audience named Ian became the centre of the entire show, with Whitfield comparing his side burns to Chris Catalyst’s plus allowing Ian to bring the night to a close by singing the final note of ‘(I Hate) Everything About You.’
Since their reunion in 2010, Ugly Kid Joe still have what it takes to not only let a 36 day in a row tour not tire them out but to put on a spectacular performance. It was a shame that the only downside to the whole night was a terrible sound mix, from a low vocal mix to an overpowering bass volume: but thankfully this didn't fully ruin what was a fun performance.