Hometown Sports Bar and Grill hosted Halloween edition of NightCaps drag show


Sean Reed

Hometown Sports Bar and Grill’s Stage Left, 249 E. Lincoln Highway, hosted Halloween-themed drag show performance on Oct. 21. (Sean Reed | Northern Star)

By Caleb Johnson, Lifestyle Writer

The Friday night crowd at Hometown Sports Bar and Grill’s Stage Left was quiet as the lights dimmed, then chords pierced through the air as SWEETIE, a band from Chicago played. 

After a riveting performance by the band, composed of Jo Pennington on drums, Sweet Johnny Marble on bass and Birdie Vee, lead singer and guitarist, there was a brief intermission. 

Then the drag show started when co-host and performer Ichabod Vicious shuffled on the stage in zombie glam to make announcements and introduce the other performers. 

The night continued with various performances by drag queens such as Dr. Cali Girlie and Kai Valentine, dressed in a mixture of stunning and gruesome Halloween couture. 

The second co-host, Kai Valentine, strutted on stage. Valentine appeared silhouetted in darkness as the stage lit up for a look at their outfit. They appeared to be dressed with a ghostly doll-like complexion in a leather skirt draped in silver chains, with black platform boots. As Valentine mingled with the crowd, eliciting hoots and cheers, patrons placed dollar bills in the drag queen’s hand, a popular custom in drag performances. 

Another crowd favorite was Emo Knievel. Dressed as a skeletal demon, Knievel was clad in fishnet, leather, chains and was even spouting horns. As they walked through the crowd, the audience stood and hollered, waved dollar bills and whistled in appreciation. Moving in tandem with the sultry music, they embraced the role by pouring a blood-red drink into an audience member’s mouth. This act got the crowd excited as they screamed and shouted yes. 

“I just love drag queens and Halloween,” Chicago resident Ianthe Dempsey said. “All their looks are just fierce. I am just so happy to have a chance to see this show while I’m in DeKalb.”

Girlie brought their best spooky look, dressed in classy black lace. The audience shouted and cheered at their performance as they danced on stage and then interacted with the crowd. 

“It’s great to see for me how DeKalb has changed. This didn’t exist, it’s cool to see what people are doing,” Pennington said. “There really wasn’t anybody doing drag performances when I was in DeKalb. I think it’s wonderful.” 

This show was part of a series called NightCaps, a drag show that the four performers work hard to put together. According to Vicious, the performers are grateful for the opportunity to come out and loved performing and enjoyed SWEETIE having come out. 

After the show, the performers held a brief photo opportunity on stage. Audience members then took several photos with the group of drag queens. 

To wrap up the night, SWEETIE gave an encore performance. The remaining audience members stayed and rocked out with the band. People took the opportunity to dance and enjoy the music. 

Valentine, Vicious and Girlie will be performing next at an 18 and up event called Hell on Heels, which starts at 7 p.m. on Oct. 29 at Fargo Skateboarding in DeKalb, according to Valentine. There is a $5 cover charge and tickets are only available at the door.