The crowd lingers with an expectation that comes from the famous name attached to the five-piece punk band playing tonight Frank Iero and the Future Violents, as Reggie and the Full Effect‘s James Dewees kicks off the night. Sharing stories that give fans a glimpse into Dewees and Iero’s deeply rooted relationship, the crowd laughs and admires as Dewees presents decades worth of accomplishments as everyone’s favorite screwy music veteran, all on a miniture keyboard. I see James Dewees as the fun, drunk Uncle that scorches the burgers at the family cookout on purpose; he’s a little senile but we love him just the same. Over the years, Dewees and Iero music careers have mixed together in more than one occasion, playing in multiple bands together and pulling their wide skill sets to create sounds that, much like Iero and Dewees themselves, don’t ever quite fit a specific label. This two-act bill serves as a family reunion tour of sorts (i.e. see drunk uncle comparison), where Reggie and the Full Effect once again meet Frank Iero to travel across America, toting a healthy amount of nostalgia mixed with full-blown passion for creating something divergent. After getting a My Chemical Romance goof recording “chicken, chicken, chiiiicken, chicken!” jammed in everyones’s head, fans that weren’t even alive for much of Dewees career peaks now understood the special dynamic that continues to bring these two together again and again.
Both Dewees and Iero undoubtedtly experience previous band associations long after the projects are over. From My Chemical Romance to the Get Up Kids, their names carry a weight that most musicians long for but they both honor it with grace, for the projects that shot them into the spotlight were life-changing for the band members and fans alike. With Iero’s emo background and Dewees’ punk aura, it comes as no surprise to see a crowd of Y2K-meets-emo fashion statements but this crowd caught me by surprise. They were so…young. I would say 80 percent of the crowd were under 19, even with some kids who looked barely out of middle school. As a complete fan of My Chemical Romance from the moment I Brought You My Bullets… changed my life outlook, I have no qualms with young people being the majority of the fan base but it definitely caught me off guard to be among the oldest in the crowd. Even in Frank Iero and the Future Violent’s latest record Barriers, noisey, rough guitars meet Iero’s bellowing howls for a sound that doesn’t always appeal to a younger age range. Not only was the crowd just young but this was THEIR band. Entering the Amos’ Southend stage from the stairs in what could be described as glorified, old-school mechanics outfits, the band was met with pure excitement as hearts made from hands were thrown towards multi-instrumentalist Kayleigh Goldsworthy and loud cheers were aimed for drummer Tucker Rule. Wearing matching shirts from previous shows and home-made jean jackets reading “FIATFV”, the fan outfits clearly displayed the tightly knit following the band secured, who promptly lost their minds when the man himself, Frank Iero, trotted down the stairs and onto the stage.
The yells that richoche off the venue walls of wherever Frank Iero plays is unmistakable and if you couldn’t hear him, you would know it was truly him from his hunched-over, rocking motions that are part of the individuality heard within each guitar rhythm. Seeing a Frank Iero show includes a large amount of not actually seeing Frank Iero’s face. With black shaggy hair almost always in his face, he’s electrified as his movements transform from loving family man back to a carefree punk-rock teenager, leading yet another band of extremely talented muscians. While he keeps his three young children from the social media spotlight by covering their faces with photos of his own, Iero never shys away from putting his ever-growing love for his family on display, including “BFF” in their setlist, written by his daughter Lilly. Like a superhero feeling a natural sensation, when it struck 8:45 Iero called to the crowd “my kids go to bed at 8:30 every night. I’m not wearing a watch, what time is it? 8:45? oh yeah Lilly’s in bed but she’s definitely not sleeping.” Laughing as he kicks off into another track, a calm and respectful sentiment washed over the onlookers as they discovered one of their idols also happens to be the type of dad every kid deserves.
Seeing a show performed by five musicians like Frank Iero, Tucker Rule, Matt Armstrong, Evan Nestor and Kayleigh Goldsworthy, led by James Dewees in such an intimate setting, feels a little unreal. The amount of deep-seated talent in Amos’ Southend that night brought a feeling of profound comrardery between musicians enjoying themselves and the onlookers who felt like they were just watching a friends band, and like Lilly said it herself, it felt like “best friends, forever”.
Listen to Frank Iero and the Future Violents new record Barriers
Listen to Reggie and the Full Effect solo EP 41