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Concert Review: Ultra Q In Chicago 06/02/2022

Oakland-based quartet Ultra Q brought their headline tour to Chicago’s Cobra Lounge Thursday night (June 2) and for long-time fans, it was a triumphant return. Usually touring overseas, the band treated their patient fans to a night of dancing, reminiscing, and celebration.

The night opened with sets from local band Pelafina and Minnesota’s WHY NOT, who did a great job warming up the crowd (seriously, check them out they’re great), but the anticipation that percolated throughout the night finally erupted once Ultra Q took the stage. The floor turned into one big dance party. Circle pits opened up with most of the crowd gleefully throwing themselves into the chaos. Even those who didn’t want to be a part of the destruction danced, jumped, and screamed along to every song.

The setlist was filled with songs spanning their short, yet impressive, catalog: “What D’you Call It,” “Redwood,” “Some Dice,” “Rosy,” “It’s Permanent” and “Bowman” along with some new songs the band’s been working. But just when things couldn’t get more thrilling, more intense, more exciting, the band took us back to their Mt. Eddy Days.

We already got a taste of Mt. Eddy with “I Luv Robert Smith,” an ode to The Cure frontman, but Chicagoans were treated to more Mt. Eddy-era tracks in celebration of the band’s 2017 album, Chroma. Blazing through tracks like “Whilshambe,” “Metaphor,” “Working Title,” and “The Whale Song” the crow grew more intense as they filled the air with ear-piercing screams.

Longtime fans reveled in the nostalgia, while new fans danced and screamed to their new favorite songs. Ultra Q left the crowd wanting to more to the point where they refused to let the band leave. As they tried to walk off stage, cries of “ONE MORE SONG! ONE MORE SONG!” erupted. After a brief pause, they gave in and ended the night with “Chroma.”

Whether you’re a lifelong Mt. Eddy fan or just getting into Ultra Q or you have no idea who they are, their show does not disappoint.  They’re just fucking good. They’re more vibrant, tight, and energetic on stage. And the show was just fun. They put on a high-energy show filled with hyper punk rock anthems and moody, confessional post-punk. From dancing to joking with the crowd and sharing smiles with each other on stage, it was a night for everyone to come together, dance, and celebrate.

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Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on AXS, Chicago Innerview, New City, The Millions, and Illinois Entertainer. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Creeper, and Green Day.

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