Review and Photos by LUIS MORENO
Contributing Photographer CELINA MORENO
Ultra Q, a 4-piece band led by Jakob Armstrong, son of Billie Joe Armstrong, took the stage at El Cid promoting the new EP Get Yourself A Friend. The Northern California-based rockers shook the house and brought a respected local musician to the stage.
Ultra Q came out blasting “Gool,” a track from their second EP We’re Starting to Get Along. El Cid’s temperature was rising, rising, and rising.
As Ultra Q made their way through the setlist, their adoring fans hit the mosh pit, bouncing in the small club and totally enjoying the driving music. Ultra Q treated their fans by previewing the new song “Pupkin” from the EP Get Yourself A Friend, to be released on Nov. 19. That was the only moderately calm moment of the night.
Jakob “Danger” Armstrong, Enzo and Chris Malaspina, and Kevin Judd comprise the band, which recently dropped the tracks “It’s Permanent,” “Bowman” and “Handheld,” ahead of the EP release. Get Yourself A Friend is Ultra Q’s third EP, their previous two are In a Cave in a Video Game and We’re Starting To Get Along.
Yet, the highlight of the night came when Jakob Danger called a local kid to the stage to play the guitar on “Viles.” The kid’s name is JR (“Junior”) Polanco. What made it special is Ultra Q had checked out @jjrpolanco’s livestream of his first real performance. They knew of Junior because he’s covered their songs, and his exceptional performances of “Some Dice” and “I Luv Robert Smith” warranted an invitation from Ultra Q to join them on stage.
Ultra Q is an up-and-coming band that hasn’t reached giant arena status yet. But, their message is “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
As Jakob is Billie Joe Armstrong’s son, he has a big shadow to get out from underneath. If you close your eyes there is no denying that you can hear slivers of sonic similarities in their voices. That’s to be expected in a musical family. But it’s safe to say Ultra Q and Jakob Danger do a more than admirable job of standing their ground and creating their own unique space.
Listen to Ultra Q here: