Rich’s Place, Seminole, FL • April 1, 2000
Lee Ann Leach
Over 250 people packed into Rich’s Place on Saturday evening to party and hear the new and energetic sounds of Universal Baby. Once Universal Baby took control of the stage, the crowd settled onto the hillside and gathered around the bar to listen to the band that they had been hearing about for the last few months from anyone who had the opportunity to see them in one of their few live performances of recent days.
The show was full of energy and good times. Drummer Anthony Reckhart was fantastic. He carried the show with driving and precise cadences and laid heavy on the toms, which is one way to make me happy with any drummer! I love tom-heavy drummers! Owner Rich Cliff joined Universal Baby onstage and sang along with lead vocalist, Thomas, on “Lightning” and shared a mic with bassist, Sean Colpoys. Colpoys was not only handling bass deftly while onstage with Universal Baby, but he also managed and handled all production and sound for the evening’s performance. Quite a feat, and he pulled it off with grace and high marks. New tunes from Universal Baby included, “Make Love,” a tight, heavier sounding tune as compared to their normal pop rock sound, and “Thorn in My Side,” a great, radio friendly tune that is still buzzing around in my head three days later!
Best bets for this live performance of Universal Baby were, once again, “Tidal Wave” and “Mary Jane.” “Mary Jane” is a carryover from lead guitarist and lead vocalist, Jeremy Thomas’ Men From Earth days, and always a favorite with everyone in this area. “Tidal Wave” is a newer and unrecorded tune, but honestly, one of the best compositions Thomas has ever written! A moody, eerie song that Universal Baby debuted at a New Year’s Eve show that literally stopped everyone in mid-sentence and mid beer slug. “Tidal Wave” produced the exact same result’s at this particular show, and as I watched the crowd, I saw many opened mouthed gazes towards the stage as this song has just that ability… it throws you into a trance-like state from the first note to the very last chord. Awesome, awesome song.
The band closed the night out with the cheeky, so-true-it’s-comical “Stupider,” and then wrapped it all up nicely with “Beelzebub and God” with drummer Reckhart, once again outdoing himself with a bombastic pelting of the drums.
Universal Baby is one of the newest and hottest live acts coming out of the Tampa Bay area, and if you ever see them scheduled to play, be sure not to miss it… you will not be disappointed!! Hats off to Jeremy Thomas, Sean Colpoys, and Anthony Reckhart of Universal Baby for their display of professionalism and kick ass rock and roll! ◼