Ugly Kid Joe and Fozzy at Jannus Live in St. Pete, FL on 6/4/23 By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Jacob Striewski

It’s been far too long since the last time I’ve been out to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, FL for a show (probably since the late ’90s), but it’s been even longer since a band like Ugly Kid Joe has made it down to south FL to play, having not fully toured the U.S. in well over two decades (they’ve only really played some sporadic shows and festivals since reuniting a few years back).

My usual photographer/wife Brooke was unable to shoot this past Sunday, June 4 for various reasons, so for the first time ever, I allowed my teenaged son Jacob – who has apprenticed under Brooke a few times in the past – photograph the show from start to finish. It was a decision that we’re now both beyond glad to have agreed on (a couple of old friends of the Rewind It family, Kurt and Kevin, were also in tow for the evening).

Newcomers Pistols At Dawn were the first to grace the stage on Sunday night, and I was immediately put at ease by their youthful appearance, which I think helped to put Jacob’s nerves somewhat at ease prior to stepping up to bat for the first time in the photo pit. The band came on and ripped through an admirable set of hard rock/metal tracks with titles such as “Gauntlet,” “Fly,” “Cold,” and “The Truth.”

A cover of the Alice in Chains staple “Man in the Box” was decent enough, despite the track being overly played-to-death by this point. But the biggest highlight perhaps came in the form of a solo that saw guitarist Will utilize a lighted guitar to get his point across. Hopefully we’ll be seeing much more of these guys in the future.

Next up on the roster was Fozzy, who emerged after a brief intro of Journey’s classic “Don’t Stop Believin'” played on. While the rock fan in me is no doubt able to appreciate their old-school sound, the main draw has always been the appeal to the wrestling fan in me, with former ECW, WCW, WWF/WWE, and now AEW star Chris Jerchio at the vocal position (it also doesn’t hurt that Stuck Mojo guitarist Rich Ward and more recently, Trixter bassist P.J. Farley are also both in the lineup now).

Jericho and co. wasted no time to rip through tracks like “Sane,” “Lights Go Out,” “Do You Wanna Start a War,” “Nowhere to Run,” a cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax,” “I Still Burn,” “Burn Me Out,” (seeing a theme yet?) “Spider in My Mouth,” “God Pounds His Nails,” “Purifier,” “Enemy,” and of course, “Judas.” It was clear Fozzy were all about having a good time, which was no doubt punctuated when Jericho brought out a smoke gun and sprayed it above the crowd’s heads, all in good fun.

Another band that’s never been accused of lacking fun has always been Ugly Kid Joe. As a fan since their first album going all the way back to the early ’90s (when I was still a little scamp), it was great to finally get to cross them off my list, even with some considerable lineup changes (adding former The Sisters of Mercy/Ghost guitarist Chris Catalyst and Harvey Danger/Loaded’s Mike Squires on bass were indeed wise moves though).

Frontman Whitfield Crane (who also briefly served time in Life of Agony, and is still accompanied by original UKJ guitarist Klaus Eichstadt by his side) and company definitely came out swinging with “That Ain’t Livin’,” “V.I.P.,” and “Neighbor.” It was around this time that Crane pointed down at the photographers in the photo pit (including Jacob) and motioned for the two of them to come up on the stage. I watched in awe as my child fully embraced the moment and promptly ran to the stage, where he positioned himself for the rest of the night!

It was no doubt easy to enjoy the rest of the show from then on out, as a handful of classic tracks like “C.U.S.T.,” “Jesus Rode a Harley,” and “Panhandlin’ Prince” preceded a group of newer songs in the form of “Dead Friends Play,” “No One Survives,” and “Devil’s Paradise.” The classics “So Damn Cool” and their massive cover of Harry Chapin’s “Cats in the Cradle” had the crowd going at full steam by that point.

“I’m Alright” found the band and audience literally jumping throughout, while “Goddamn Devil” was probably the most welcomed surprise of their entire set (hearing Crane hitting the Rob Halford parts live was admittedly pretty awesome). Then instead of leaving the stage, the band asked their audience scream for its encore of either one or two songs (the loudest of course winning).

Then to everyone’s surprise, they actually broke out with three more tracks; “Come Tomorrow” (the one and only “weak” moment of the night in my book, which I would’ve much rather heard replaced by the likes of something like “God” or “Tomorrow’s World” instead), an intense cover of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades,” and obviously, the immortal “Everything About You” (at this point I saw Jacob actually photographing from above the spiral staircase behind the band, at which point I could only shake my head once again in disbelief!).

After the show, Jacob and I were able to meet and personally thank drummer (and unsung hero) Cam Greenwood for the awesome moment the band just allowed a young photographer like Jacob to have (it should also be noted that various members of the band “checked” on him throughout the night, giving him fist bumps and pats on the back to show encouragement). Having covered many shows over the years and having similar experiences myself was nothing compared to being able to finally share something like this with my kid, and my heart’s filled with joy as I type this all out. I can’t thank the guys from Ugly Kid Joe enough for giving this father and son duo such a truly special moment to bond over, and a memory that won’t soon be forgotten.

Rewind It Photographer Jacob Striewski (left) with Ugly Kid Joe drummer Cam Greenwood after the show.

Pantera, Alice Cooper and more at Welcome to Rockville in Daytona Beach, FL on 5/20 and 5/21/23 By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

The last time Rewind It Magazine made it out to Daytona Beach for the annual rock fest Welcome to Rockville in 2021, the event was held at the end of the year, and the weather was nearly perfect. Thankfully we skipped last year completely, which by all accounts reached near disastrous levels with torrential downpours that caused delays throughout the festivities.

Thankfully things did not go as terribly wrong by the time we decided to make an appearance on Saturday, May 20 (the first two nights just didn’t have enough to offer of interest in all honesty), although by the time we did finally make it, we had just missed Kreator’s (one of the main selling points of the day for myself personally) set, arriving just in time to see their crew breaking down their gear.

So we waited for Sepultura’s set on the very same stage instead. Having already seen them once back in 2011, I already knew what to expect more or less, and only stayed to hear a handful of tracks from them in the form of “Isolation,” “Territory,” and “Means to an End” before making our way onto better things.

One of the other main selling points for me personally this year was actually Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening, which is what we promptly left said Sepultura set early for in order to catch their full set. It was a blast hearing the likes of “Immigrant Song,” “Good Times Bad Times,” “Over the Hills and Far Away,” “The Wanton Song,” “Ramble On,” “Misty Mountain Hop,” “The Ocean Song,” “Black Dog,” “Whole Lotta Love,” and “Rock and Roll,” even if many of these by now are beyond overplayed radio standards.

Chevelle were the next act to catch, and although I’ve never had too much of an issue with their music (this would be my third time seeing them live, too), it was a perfect chance to take a breather and catch a bite to eat while listening to the likes of “Face to the Floor,” “The Clincher,” “Send the Pain Below,” and “The Red” in the background.

Then there’s good old Alice Cooper, who at this stage in the game feels timeless. And speaking of time, this marked my fourth time actually catching him in concert (and two of those instances I had actually worked security for him). “Lock Me Up,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “I’m Eighteen,” “Under My Wheels,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” “Fallen in Love,” “Snakebite,” “Feed My Frankenstein,” and “Poison” were all thrown out there before fans were given a guitar solo by the lovely Nita Strauss that ended in a jam of “Black Widow.”

“The Ballad of Dwight Fry” found Cooper singing in his signature straight jacket before his daughter Cheryl Cooper came on stage and decapitated him with a guillotine under the tune of “I Love the Dead.” The classic ’70s anthem “School’s Out” (complete with a few bars of Pink Fylod’s “The Wall” thrown in there for good measure) seemed to end the set before Cooper emerged behind a podium for an encore of “Elected.” Although far from my first time seeing him, it was surreal finally watching him with my two favorite people by my side, making it an especially fond memory for me.

For the life of me I’ve never really gotten the appeal of Godsmack, even though I have caught them live before as well (just once, back at Earthday Birthday in 2012). And how they were even remotely above Alice Cooper on the roster makes zero sense, but either way they opened with “When Legends Rise,” before going into the likes of “Cryin’ Like a Bitch!!,” “1000hp,” “You and I,” “Something Different,” “What About Me,” “Bulletproof,” and “Awake.”

By this time, frontman Sully Erna pulled back to have a “drum off” with drummer Shannon Larkin (who some may recall was the drummer for Ugly Kid Joe for many years). This lead to brief medlies of rock staples such as “Back in Black,” “Walk This Way, and “Enter Sandman” thrown in, and seemed like the perfect time to start heading over to the next stage.

And said stage contained what everyone had really came to see, the reunited Pantera. I was beyond lucky enough to see the band back at Ozzfest in ’97 when both guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul were both still alive, so it really didn’t bother me to see singer Phil Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown now joined by Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde and Anthrax’s Charlie Benante filling in for the departed brothers in tribute to them (it also gave my wife and teenaged son a chance to finally see them for the first time as well).

While my memory is somewhat fuzzy as far as what the band played way back over twenty years ago, there’s no mistaking the band ripped through “A New Level,” “Mouth For War,” “Strength Beyond Strength,” “Becoming,” and the recently added “Suicide Note Pt. II.”

“5 Minutes Alone,” “Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit,” and “Fucking Hostile” continued the non-stop aggression before the band slowed things down a bit, showing video footage of the Abbott brothers with “Cemetery Gates” draped over top of it before segueing into their trippy cover of Black Sabbath’s “Planet Cavravan.” More hard-hitting classics in the form of “Walk” and”Domination/Hollow” followed before they closed things out with “Cowboys From Hell,” effectively leaving even the biggest of naysayers with their jaws to the floor.

The following day, Sunday, May 21, paled in comparison after what was beheld previously. By the time we had made it, Senses Fail were already on stage and wrapping it up, so after catching a couple of tracks like “Buried Alive, “Chop Suey/Break Stuff,” and “Can’t Be Saved,” we proceeded to the one that post-grunge ’90s rockers Filter was appearing on. They wasted no time with their five-song set as they plowed through “Welcome to the Fold,” “Face Down,” “(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do,” “Take a Picture,” and of course, “Hey Man Nice Shot.”

More ’90s rock followed as legendary skate punks Pennywise then took over the Octane stage. It was my third time seeing them since the very first Warped Tour I ever attended back in 2001, and I was still genuinely excited to hear tracks like “Peaceful Day,” “The World,” “Straight Ahead,” “My Own Country,” “Same Old Story,” “Fuck Authority,” a cover of Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings,” “Pennywise,” “Society,” and “Bro Hymn.”

Sets from the likes of mediocre acts such as The Mars Volta and Coheed & Cambria were again perfect opportunities to grab a bite to eat and check out the merch tents before watching the likes of trap rapper Ghostemane. For perhaps the first time ever, I fully understood what it felt like to be that fish out of water parent just there for their kid, as I endured songs with titles like “Nihil,” “Bonesaw,” and “Trench Coat” that made little to no sense to me.

Another band I can’t say I’ve ever had much interest in at all, Incubus, were somehow after all this. And while I still can’t say I’m a fan by any means, I never realized what a jam band they really are in concert (nor how easy-on-the-eyes their current bass player Nicole Row, who’s also served some time with Panic! At the Disco, actually is). All of their staple songs were present of course, including “Nice to Know You,” “Come Together” (Aerosmith cover), “Pardon Me,” and “Wish You Were Here.”

Another act I was there mainly for my kid were Deftones (it’s not that I have anything against them, they’ve just never been my style). But I was surprised to see their live set was actually quite entertaining, despite some of their songs still landing on the tedious side for me. But they managed to pack in sixteen tracks with non-stop energy that included “Genesis,” “Needles and Pins,” “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away),” “My Own Summer (Shove It),” “Diamond Eyes,” “Digital Bath,” “Tempest,” “Swerve City,” “Rosemary,” “Ohms,” “Minerva,” “Bloody Cape,” “Change (In the House of Flies),” “Rocket Skates,” “Nosebleed,” and “Engine No. 9.”

And finally, Tool. Sure, I was semi-into them when Undertow first came out back in the day like most sixth graders at the time. But I have long since disliked them ever since the first time I saw them live back in 2002, and frontman Maynard James Keenan performed with his back facing the crowd the entire time (exciting). I’ve seen them one more time since, in 2016 with Primus, where I promptly left soon after they hit the stage. On Sunday night, I did the same thing once again, making my way out of Rockville as they were performing “Forty Six & Two” (just their second track of the night).

I’ve since seen the images from the show and have heard others that stuck around for it express their disappointment as well. And Keenan’s drag outfit was far from some deep political statement about Florida or some meaningful artistic expression as some might try to spin it to be, but rather just another gimmick from an overrated, obnoxious hack. Hopefully this will be the final time I ever have to witness such a joke in person, and if anyone deserved to close out such a festival, it was definitely not them.

Album Review: Ugly Kid Joe – Rad Wings of Destiny (Metalville/UKJ Records)

By: Jesse Striewski

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to get around to finally reviewing the latest album from everyone’s favorite snotty rockers Ugly Kid Joe (back in the ’90s, I was totally that kid blasting their music in their bedroom), but nearly three months after its release, I finally sat down to give it an honest try.

I was more than glad I did when album opener “That Ain’t Livin'” first kicked into gear and I got that same vibe I did upon first hearing “It’s A Lie” kickoff 1996’s Motel California album, and I instantly knew we were off to a good start. From then on out listeners are given plenty of various musical styles for one to choose from in typical UKJ fashion.

From funk (“Up in the City”), punk (“Failure”), to even a touch of country (“Drinkin’ and Drivin'”), there’s no shortage of genres to be found here. Meanwhile, tracks like “Everything’s Changing,” “Kill the Pain,” and “Long Road” display the band’s more sensitive side, while a cover of The Kinks’ “Lola” shows the band can still pull off a decent cover a la “Cats in the Cradle.”

Aside from the occasional filler track (“Not Like the Other”), Rad Winds of Destiny (a take on the Judas Priest album Sad Wings of Destiny, for those of you wondering) is Ugly Kid Joe the way they’re meant to be; throw this in your CD player like it’s 1992 all over again and enjoy.

Rating: 3.5/Stars