Like most spectators at Liberty Hall on September 2, Season to Risk frontman Steve Tulipana was duly impressed by Reggie and the Full Effect’s amazing ability to craft a spectacular show out of emo tunes that are unremarkable on record. But unlike the other fans in attendance, Tulipana was promptly asked to join the costume-intensive circus on its next tour, which kicks off October 29 in Minneapolis. The pairing of Tulipana, who will play bass, and James Dewees, the Reggie singer who doubles as the Get Up Kids’ keyboardist, marks the highest-profile collaboration yet between the seldom-connected schools of the Kansas City sound: the older, noisier branch and the melodic, more nationally known chapter.
“It’s kinda neat and fun,” Tulipana says of this monumental meeting of the musical minds. “It seems pretty logical. I don’t think it will freak anybody out.”
Granted, Tulipana’s a hired hand who won’t have much input in the program (unlike his equal-partner role in Onward Crispin Glover), but it’s intriguing to picture him playing the cuddlecore selections that make up the bulk of Reggie’s setlists. Dewees, a late addition to the Kids’ roster, has roots in Coalesce, one of the few area outfits ever to out-loud S2R, but here he trades high volume for happy hooks, throwing in an ace Slayer cover to keep the metal masses from staging a mass exodus before he gets a chance to unveil his group’s thrashy, stage-blood-splattered alter-ego, Common Denominator.
Changes of pace such as that fictionally Finland-based band and Dewees’ roller-blading British disco granny character keep Reggie and the Full Effect concerts fresh long after the normal expiration time for such sweet-toothed sounds. It’s these genre-jumping antics, plus the always-welcome opportunity to play dress-up, that lured Tulipana into the fold. “I didn’t even have to think about it,” he says.
As a Pornhusker and a member of the short-lived shockers RUST (Really Useless Satanic Trash), he’s already engaged in some of the most outrageously offensive antics ever seen on local stages. Nothing’s shocking anymore, even Halloween stunts such as Season to Risk’s Gene Simmons-masked performance of Jane’s Addiction covers under the alias Gene’s Addiction.
Still, even Tulipana hasn’t staged this kind of spectacle night after night in voluminous venues. Reggie will be opening for Alkaline Trio, which means big crowds. It also means the group will have to change its red-and-black “Paco” wardrobe from its summer tour, lest it overlap with a headlining act that prefers the same shades. Tulipana reports that the Full Effect will don all-white outfits this time around. He also hints at the unveiling of a “Lord of the Bling” trilogy.
Unfortunately, this historic Reggie lineup, which also includes Josh Newton, formerly of Shiner and currently playing alongside Tulipana in the Fire of 1666, won’t be playing a hometown gig. A road-tripper’s best bets are the tour opener in Minneapolis on October 29 and a Denver stop on December 5.