Riot Fest presents...

Ultra Q

All Ages
Thursday, June 02
Doors: 6pm Show: 7pm
$15 ADV / $18 DOS
Riot Fest Presents:
w/ Support TBA
June 2, 2022
Cobra Lounge
235 N. Ashland Ave
Doors: 6 PM // All Ages
*** All patrons must wear a mask indoors if not actively eating or drinking. Anyone entering the concert will be required to show proof of full vaccination for entry per the City of Chicago mandate. We will accept a hard copy of your vaccination card, a printed photocopy or a digital image on your phone, and must match your Government-issued ID.***
Not to add to the deluge of artistic clichés brought on by the Global Event Which Shall Not Be Named,but spending more or less a year in the house offers plenty of time for reflection, reevaluation, andrevision. Though there was a lot to process alreadyin those months, it was an opportune time to try andget your shit together, whatever that may mean for you. For Jakob Armstrong—in addition to manyother things like the rest of us—part of it meant fine-tuning a collection of songs first recorded in late2019. A prolonged process leading to five of the seven songs onGet Yourself a Friendretooled into theirbetter-than-even final form.Jakob Armstrong—youngest son of Green Day frontman Billie Joe—began playing guitar at seven yearsold and honed his craft privately until about sixteen, playing in bands in and around Oakland aftermeeting friends with like-minded tastes in music. Soon enough, with the memories ofUltramanactionfigures fighting in his mind, he and a group of friends he cultivated from those years playing around andpouring over records, formed Ultra Q (its name inspired by anUltramanprequel series).Fusing together the skyward lift of Interpol, the clever guitar interplay of the Strokes, the maudlinromanticism of the Cure, and the often impressionistic narrative gifts of Arctic Monkeys, Ultra Q’sgrowth since their 2019 EPWe’re Starting to Get Alonghas been exponential. A traditional alternativerock sound was baked by the California heat, shards of broken glass gleaming in the sunlight, spanningthe distance from Berkeley to Rodeo Drive. Over blaring guitars and thunderous drums, Armstrong’svoice is carried by a very familiar lilt. 2020’sIn a Cave in a Video Game, self-recorded by Armstrong on awhim while quarantined, could easilybe slotted between the blown-out, lo-fi tones of early Wavves andthe works of intentionally harsh-sounding Columbus band Psychedelic Horseshit.Opening double-shot “Pupkin” and “It’s Permanent” soar to the heights of Ultra Q’s powers in muchdifferent ways; the former a black-clad romp through a rainy graveyard, the former pushing straight tothe clouds with its soaring chorus. “Straight Jacket” veers pleasantly close to the jangle-pop of the Go-Betweens. “Bowman” features guitars like cats getting intoa scratch-fight while an astoundinglymetronomic drumbeat is played live rather than punched out on a beat pad. Closing the EP is its titletrack, an affecting end credits anthem full of nostalgia and a twinge of regret.As a whole,Get Yourself a Friendmarks the synthesis of a songwriter’s vision and his band’s ability,forged through an invisible existential threat and an ever-changing world, eager to show what they’vefound while we were all inside.—Martin Douglas