Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Saturday, 17 November 2012 15:10

Concert review: The Urge (with Murder City Players and Disturbing the Peace) gets more than hectic at the Pageant, Friday, November 16

Steve Ewing of the Urge Steve Ewing of the Urge triplejam.com
Written by Will Kyle
Rate this item
(0 votes)

On its first show of three, the Urge sold out the Pageant and provided a wild evening of ska-punk, reggae, sweat and booze.

Disturbing the Peace opened promptly and rocked the audience hard with the night's most metal set. "Mission" featured wall-of-sound guitar distortion. Rob Tweedie offered a set of pipes that sounded like Brandon Boyd from Incubus. "Hyperballad" rose from post-rock ashes and blew up with keys and a quirky self-reliant metaphor.

From the balcony of the Pageant, I watched the old-school, reggae-infused Murder City Players. The band consisted of a saxophonist, trombonist, trumpeter, keyboardist, bassist, drummer, guitarist and two vocalists.

The dual vocals provided a nice dollop of energy which complemented the instrumental skanking. Mark Condelliere (aka Tony Rome) appeared about halfway through the group's set to assist black-hatted Prince Phillip. Both men danced and cheered at the swaying crowd, happy to set the stage for the Urge with reggae tunes ranging between covers and originals.

Soon, after an introduction by Cardinals third baseman David Freese, lead-vocalist Steve Ewing appeared on stage with the rest of the Urge as the crowd chanted some unintelligible call to arms. Karl Grable's triumphant bass glinted under the house lights.

"Take Away" from 1996's "Receiving the Gift of Flavor" sparked the Urge's set as the packed mosh pit undulated. The song dripped with Grable's wandering bass, Matt Kwiatkowski's trombone and Bill Reither's saxophonist. The Urge galloped around the stage during the song's break downs, jumping wildly, pushing the mosh pit up toward maximum riot-swirl. "Don't Ask Why" was full of angsty power rock that chilled-out during the horn-lead verses.

Ewing's vocals remained crisp throughout "Brainless," which featured a Gravity Kills-style, stabbing, "siren" guitar part. On the OG track "Going to the Liquor Store" from 1992's "Magically Delicious," the crowd lit-up singing the chorus along with Ewing, reveling in the idea of getting majorly hammered and fucking shit up.

Ewing introduced "Hollywood Ending," a new song, which is planned to appear on the Urge's next record. The song played frenetic with a tight chorus that mirrored much of the Urge's work on 2000's "Too Much Stereo," which gave me the impression that the Urge plans to pick up right where it left off before its demise in 2001.

"Say a Prayer" from "Too Much Stereo" opened with vocals and guitar then morphed into a dubbed-out, existentialist, religion study complete with "Hey's" from Ewing and tight drumming from John Pessoni. "Dirty Rat" brought the show to total punk rage. The pit swirled, a couple kids got knocked out, the cops ejected the sweaty perps and the show continued, the Urge not missing a beat, pushing the crowd toward frenzy despite the dangerous spin of the pit.

Confetti exploded from the ceiling during "Closer" from 1998's "Master of Styles." Fans raised their arms during the chorus as Ewing sang, "She brings me a little bit closer, a little bit closer to heaven." Jerry Jost's funky guitar during the verses allowed the chorus to go into its distance into alternative rock, moving away from ska, an interesting balancing act.

"Divide and Conquer" set the stage with more heavy punk for the accessible radio hit "Four Letters and Two Words." During the song, fans threw fingers in the air to mimic Ewing's words, "Four letters and two words, words that mean the same...". After another new song, the Urge rolled out an impressive cover of Bob Marley's "One Love," which -- after the moshing, ejected fans and cops -- seemed sardonic and ironic. "Violent Opposition" followed "One Love," again feeling like a manic shift. Apparently hard-core-ska-punk doesn't chase Bob Marley very well, but I don't think any of the long-haired young thrashers in the pit gave a shit.

"Jump Right In" had everyone, both pit side and beyond, supporting Ewing's vocal sentiment. Here, the mix was perfect, and again Jost's guitar balanced the group's sound between punk and ska with deft brilliance. The Urge closed their set with "It's Gettin' Hectic," whereupon the group skipped, jumped and jogged around the stage, pushing the energy past 10, as if no one in the group had aged a decade or two.

The Urge encored with "Too Much Stereo." Ewing showcased his verbal talent one last time, dicing up the song's frenetic chorus with quick lips and excellent annunciation. The Urge's first Pageant show of three was an utter success, an evening of raucous energy and throwback fun.

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr
KDHX Blog

Local Artist Spotlight


Tok Releases Gold Dollar Hen House Volume 3

Tue April 8
Tok is a Festus based rock band who has been rocking St. Louis for 20 years. They are due to release their third installment of their Gold Dollar Hen House collection on February 28, 2014 at Schlafly's…

88.1 KDHX Shows

m-grill.jpg

KDHX Recommends

April
Saturday
19

Get Down To Business: Getting Booked Locally and Beyond

Ever wondered how to get that talent buyer to open your emails?  KDHX is here to help.   Join St. Louis promoters Steve Pohlman of Off Broadway, Brian McCormac of The Old Rock House, and Mike Cracciolo of The...


April
Tuesday
22

Tuesdays at KDHX Sessions: Worm-A-Rama

Tuesdays at KDHX Sessions presents Earth Day Worm-A-Rama with Jean Ponzi on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:30pm at The Stage. This visual-musical celebration of living on earth will feature musical guest, Augusta Bottoms Consort, tuneful...


April
Wednesday
23

Jimbo Mathus

KDHX welcomes Jimbo Mathus to Off Broadway on April 23th.   For more info, offbroadwaystl.com.


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

3 users and 5480 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook