–by Keith Brake
So the holiday season is upon us, meals, family, Black Friday shopping extravaganzas and our beloved annual concerts. The Pageant was the scene for The Urge this past Black Friday (11-23-2018) with special guests Fragile Porcelain Mice and Lojic. I don’t care if you saved thousands on deal after deal at the department stores, if you did not have a ticket to this show you missed the best bargain in town. When you consider A list bands that consistently deliver, and always come thru on cost/price ratio, you almost certainly have The Urge and FPM somewhere near the top, and on the same ticket, well that’s even better. The Pageant was packed to the gills, sold out in fact, with excited concert goers more than ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Urge’s album, “Master Of Styles,” and what a party it shaped up to be.
Lojic was first on stage to get things warmed up on a chilly and rainy November evening, and when the house lights dimmed the party commenced. Lojic played a fairly abbreviated set but that didn’t stop the capacity crowd from appreciating what they were there to do. The band did, however, play most of their set with a quite dimly light stage but the lack of visual connection did not dismiss the energy and by the time these boys were done the crowd was primed for FPM.
Fragile Porcelain Mice, you have heard the name, but have you witnessed a live set? First off – these guys are such good musicians that it’s almost mind boggling, and energy, yea they have that too; lots and lots of energy. FPM played about a 40 minute set that was good enough to headline most any show, it was as solid as one could hope for from a supporting act and the big Pageant crowd showed their support in spades, with rousing applause following almost every song they had in their set. Before they exited the stage they thanked the supportive crowd and reminded them of what the evening still had in store.
A single spotlight graced the stage as Donnie Fandango (105.7 The Point) appeared to address the patrons and lead them in the chant we have all come to associate with a fantastic show. PTMFUS, PTMFUS…From the left side of the room to the right, Fandango directed a competition among those in attendance to see who could be louder, right of left and when he was done a sold out pageant was screaming PTMFUS in unison. The local legends took the stage shortly thereafter and did not (well, they never do) disappoint. “Take Away”, “All Washed Up” and “Violent Opposition” were the first three selections, each riddled with charisma and energy beyond belief. The energy with which The Urge perform cannot be, in my opinion, properly quantified with verbiage but rather something one really must witness in person. When Steve and the boys do what they do it sometimes looks like the beginning of a mosh pit on stage, but they never miss a note, everything is spot on and I mean everything. Matt Kwiatkowski (Trombone) and Bill Reiter (Sax) make up a two man horn section that is as good as any, while Karl Grable (Bass) and John Pessoni (drums) comprise the rhythm section that keeps this six man masterpiece groovin’. Jerry Jost (guitar) and last but not least Steve Ewing (vocals and energy!) round out the last pieces of the group.
As per every Urge show the energy and crowd participation never falters and never fades, as someone who attends more than a few concerts in a year this level of joy and participation from a crowd always makes me smile. As it states at the head of this review, this was a five star show, no doubt. I can’t imagine that any of you who will be reading this have NOT been to an Urge show, but if you haven not, WHAT (exactly) are you waiting for? These guys deliver every single time and you ALWAYS get return on investment, never disappointing and never dull – a guaranteed home run.
AS always I greatly appreciate the continued support and would love to see what you thought about the show in the comments below the photo gallery! Happy Thanksgiving everyone, Peace!