Reggie and The Full Effect/Hot Rod Circuit/Ultimate Fakebook/Koufax - Live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Reggie and The Full Effect / Hot Rod Circuit / Ultimate Fakebook / Koufax

Live in Chicago (2001)

live show

Reggie And The Full Effect. Who would have thought that this "band", composed of members of the Get Up Kids and Coalesce, would ever even sell records, let alone become one of the most popular things since sliced bread. 3 years ago, James Dewees started more than a band -- he started a phenomenon. Reggie and The Full Effect have found themselves with their own little place in punk rock history: the first joke band to ever become this popular, this quickly.

When I heard that Reggie and The Full Effect were doing a short tour, I almost wet myself. I knew that I would be in for a show. Then I saw the supporting acts. Koufax? Ultimate Fakebook? Let me induce vomiting now. At least Hot Rod Circuit was tagging along, they're hella good. So a whole bunch of us piled into a very small car, and headed off to the Metro for a night of rock.

Liz was already there holding a spot in line for us. Sweet. They let us in around 6 PM, and we got prime spots right next to the stage on the right side. We were treated to a gigantic Reggie and The Full Effect banner encompassing the entire back of the stage. The logo was very metallish, and looked super cool. Knowing my view was intact, I ventured off to the merch table, where I saw all sorts of stupid Koufax shirts, and all sorts of cool Reggie merch. I picked up a "Fiona Apple Can Kiss My Black Ass" button, as well as a patch that had the Coalesce logo on it, but it was scratched out and had "Reggie" written beneath it. Rock.

I got back to the stage just in time to watch Koufax stink it up. Koufax, for those of you who don't know, were on Doghouse Records, former home of the Get Up Kids. The Get Up Kids, after leaving Doghouse on semi-bad terms, tried to take Koufax with them. Doghouse wouldn't give up without a fight. A bidding war ensued. Rumor has it Vagrant paid something in the range of $30,000 for the band. Ridiculous, when you hear them. This band is made for the "light rock" station that your city has. I could see my mom listening to this. I could see this band touring with Chicago or Neil Diamond. Blech.

Their set seemed to take forever, even though it was only a half hour. Now I had to sit through another mediocre band, the Ultimate Fakebook. This band pisses me off royally, since they had barely even existed before Epic Records snatched them up. The kids loved them, I couldn't stand them. They were acting like huge rock stars, with cheesy guitar solos and metal god posing. Lame. Fortunately, the band only played for 20 minutes out of their 30 minutes allotted. I had no idea why, but I didn't care, they were done. Now the rock was going to start.
Hot Rod Circuit came on next, and I got psyched up. These guys rocked me at Krazyfest a month prior, so I expected more of the same. They started off with an old song, accompanied by a guy walking around on stage in only HRC panties. I don't know, just look at the picture and decide for yourself.
Picture: What the fuck?
Unfortunately, their set was about 99% new material. They said that after this Reggie tour, they were heading directly into the studio, so they needed to rehearse. Understandable. The new stuff sounds better than their older stuff, so hopefully Vagrant won't fuck it up and we'll all get a good record from them.
Picture: HRC, gettin' it done
Picture: Jay of HRC

Now, the moment we had all been waiting for: Reggie and The Full Effect. Smoke started to fill the stage. Then the members came out, one at a time. I immediately recognized the band - Matt Pryor of the Get Up Kids was playing guitar, and the Ultimate Fakebook was also providing guitar bass and drums. Now I understood why they only played for 20 minutes, and also why they were doing all the rock star posturing -- they have to practice! Regardless. Once the Full Effect was positioned, the man himself, Reggie [James Dewees, for those of you who aren't in the know] came out to a thunderous ovation. The band immediately launched into their rendition of metal classic "Raining Blood" by Slayer. I've never seen emo kids mosh this hard.
Picture: Rock sign? Check.
Picture: Sweet looking bass? Check.
Picture: Long hair? Check.
Picture: Alright then, let's rock!
Following the amazing Slayer cover, the band launched directly into "Girl, Why'd You Run Away." The moshing did not let up. This was getting insane.
Picture: Still rocking.
Picture: The Full Effect providing the backbeat.
The Ultimate Fakebook was doing a marvelous job of being the Full Effect, but Matt Pryor seemed a bit out of place. While everyone else on stage was having a blast, he seemed too worried about his guitar parts. If only he would've let loose, this show would have been unstoppable.
Picture: Matt Pryor
His somber attitude didn't stop anyone else from having a good time, though, as the band plowed through pretty much everything they have recorded, including all the little skits in between. Unfortunately, James was suffering technical difficulties with his keyboard-guitar [you all know what I'm talking about, you've seen them in a million 80's music videos]. I caught him here expressing his displeasure with the soundman.
Picture: That's not his index finger.
Since the keyboard-guitar wasn't working properly, Reggie [James] was stuck behind his wall of keyboards for the most of the night. It didn't stop the UFB guys from playing around.
Picture: Back to back.
Picture: "Up! Ok, now down! Ok, now up!"
In the middle of the set, we were treated to a drum solo by James. People don't realize he used to drum for hardcore heavyweights Coalesce. He certainly wasn't rusty, as he pretty much demolished the kit.
Picture: Drum Solo!
Soon after that, James changed into his Fluxuation gear and performed his ballad "Gloves", the majority of which he spent walking around the audience. Since we were right by the right side of the stage, he came right next to us and was hitting on both Carol and Liz. They were thrilled, I was engulfed with laughter. It ruled.
Picture: "I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love, like a glove, like a glove, like a glove, like a glove..."
James then left the stage as the rest of the band came back on, and they began 'Something I'm Not." Then Sean-O-Tronic came out in a bear suit and did his hardcore thing. It was heavy. This tour spared no expense.
Picture: [Sean wouldn't stop moving, so my picture sucks of him, sorry]
After Sean-O-Tronic stage dove, things started to get really crazy. The band wrapped up their show with the crowd going nuts, and they quickly left the stage. We demanded an encore. What we got was something out of this world.
Picture: Running out of steam? Hardly.
Picture: Guitar!
How could the band top anything previously performed in their set? They couldn't. So, instead, everyone's favorite Nordic metalheads Common Denominator came out and performed their hit "Dwarf Invasion," complete with armor, a gong, viking helmets, and a fucking *huge* sword. At this point the crowd was rabid, and the security was even more baffled: What the hell was this? This was Reggie and The Full Effect. In *fucking* Full Effect.
Picture: Insane. Simply insane.
Picture: Words can't describe this.

Once Common Denominator finished, the band left the stage once again. No one in the audience moved; we all expected more. Then the amps were turned off. Then the stage music was turned on. Then the house lights were brought up. Still, no one moved. We all expected more. The thing is, though, there pretty much wasn't anything left for the band to play [with the exception of "Brandi's Birthday Song" - how could they leave it out?!?]. Defeated, we started to inch towards the exits. As we looked at the clock, we realized the band had played for 75 minutes! Who ever would have thought that Reggie and The Full Effect could play to a full house, for over an hour, and still people want more? Reggie and The Full Effect never should have been this big, but maybe this will convince them to tour more often. As for our group, there was only one more thing we could say: Rock on.