NEW YORK, NY—Emerging on stage with his body and arms stiffly wrapped, a mummified James Dewees played his final New York City show as Reggie And The Full Effect to a less-than-packed Highline Ballroom on Sunday, September 7.
Dewees transformed into alter-ego Fluxuation as the NYC stop on the Farewell Tour (According To Kiss)—a reference to the band Kiss’ extensive touring post-breakup—kicked off with “In The Mood 4 Luv” and “Your Girlfriends Hate Me.”
Behind a computer and keyboards, the techno-Brit persona was highlighted by the profile of a Kenny Logins-inspired mullet. “I’m not a pro,” Dewees said, “just a dude,” as his keyboard crapped out just two songs into the performance. A determined Dewees bribed the crowd for AA batteries with merch from openers Leathermouth, but it was a Reggie roadie who came through in the clutch.
After ample amount of power was provided, the remaining members of Reggie And The Full Effect —featuring a mustached Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance on bass—took the stage, following up the battery blunder with “F.O.O.D Aka Aren’t You Hungry” and the peanut butter and jelly ballad “Congratulations Smack & Katy.”
Dewees, a former plaque-proving Pizza Hut “Employee Of The Month” spoke about the formation of his synth- pop side-project before playing the first Reggie song ever written, “Girl Why’d You Run Away.”
Throughout the night, he talked about tooth-decay and drug addition, marriage and divorce. He chronicled his life’s struggles as he spoke in a southern-twang, ordered a shot of Jack Daniels and munched on a Homer Simpson cookie thrown on stage by a fan. He paused before “Thanx For Stayin’” to explain the band’s sophomore release’ Promo Copy—an album rumored to have only been released to record labels and radio stations—and pleased the crowd with the Loch Ness love track “Get Well Soon,” and the romantically heavy, “Better For You.”
But even as Dewees humored his fans by trading his Easy-E t-shirt for a Taylor Swift belly shirt to play a duet with opening act, MC Chris, the crowd was generally unenthused by the front man’s final farewell. Luckily, Finnish death-metal giants, Common Denominator, finished with a wigged head-banging rendition of “Dwarf Invasion” that revived the remaining Reggie faithful in attendance. Sending them off knowing that even though his decade-long run as Reggie And The Full Effect might have come to an end, the multiple musical personalities of James Dewees will continue on.