Talk about a band that can handle a “worst-case scenario” situation. While Bay Area Ultra Q had two openers (Why Not and Glimes) originally set for their show at The Duck Room at Blueberry Hill, both weren’t able to make the show. To add to the fun, frontman Jakob Armstrong’s amp broke at 6:30, half an hour before doors were supposed to open. The nearest Guitar Center was twenty minutes away and the line for the show was growing. Handling the situations as best as they could, the band still performed an immaculate show.
Instead of going on later in the night, the band opened up for themselves as their “high school” band Mt. Eddy, performing songs in which some hadn’t been played in four years. Giving double the energy, all four members looked incredibly happy to be playing, despite the unfortunate situations. With harmonies from both Jakob and bassist Kevin Judd along with shredding guitar solos from Enzo Malaspina and thundering drum beats from Chris Malaspina, the crowd was already in awe of the scene in front of them. Fan favorites were performed such as “Orange”, “Zombie”, “Metaphor”, “I Luv Robert Smith” and title track of their 2017 debut album, Chroma which celebrates its five-year anniversary on June 2nd. For anyone who’s been with Ultra Q since the Mt. Eddy days, it was an extremely special night. Only taking a ten-minute break between sets, the band returned to the stage as their current selves, Ultra Q.
Kicking the Ultra Q setlist off was “Gool” from their debut EP, We’re Starting To Get Along. We traveled into “Some Dice” from their quarantine EP released in 2020, In A Cave In A Videogame, followed by “Rosy” and the title track from 2021 EP, Get Yourself A Friend. The setlist also featured recent Ultra Q singles such as catchy tune “Bowman” and gothic-nightclub esque, “It’s Permanent.” The band featured a new song they’d been “trying out” according to Jakob titled “So Very Emo” and teased it may be a possible single in the future. Once we reached “Chris’ ultimate test song” “Sticnpoke” Enzo encouraged fans to get rowled up by saying, “If you guys know how to mosh, you can mosh.” Thus, the pit had finally begun. Ultra Q closed their set out with the lead track from GYAF, the nostalgic-sounding “Pupkin.”
What graced the crowd and made fans feel really special was what Jakob said at the end, “We weren’t even sure if anyone would come to see us in St. Louis so thank you for coming.” Despite the downfalls of openers not being able to play and technical difficulties, Ultra Q accomplished what they came to do and gave 110% more energy than they had originally planned. Between their performance on stage and embracing their fans after the show, you wouldn’t have even known anything unfortunate happened to them. They’ll remember this show for a long time and how special it was. And if we’re lucky, they’ll come back to St. Louis to do it again.