Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rocket from the Crypt at Irving Plaza

John "Speedo" Reis
Vocalist/guitarist John "Speedo" Reis is perhaps the king of the punk rock scene in San Diego, California. After the breakup of his post-hardcore band Pitchfork (1986-1990), he formed both Rocket from the Crypt (1989-2005) and Drive Like Jehu (1990-1995). Rocket from the Crypt adapted its name from the then defunct 1970s punk band Rocket from the Tombs. Rocket from the Crypt achieved popularity with the albums Scream, Dracula, Scream! (1995) and RFTC (1998). Reis then formed Hot Snakes (1999-2005) and Sultans (2000-2007). Rocket from the Crypt disbanded in 2005, reunited for a one-time appearance on the television program Yo Gabba Gabba! in 2011, and reformed in 2013. The band presently consists of Reis, guitarist Andy "ND" Stamets, saxophonist Paul "Apollo 9" O'Beirne, trumpeter Jason "JC 2000" Crane, bassist Pete "Petey X" Reichert and drummer Mario "Ruby Mars" Rubalcaba. The band's sixth and most recent studio album is 2001's Group Sounds.

Headlining at Irving Plaza tonight, Rocket from the Crypt lived up to its reputation for an energetic live show, blasting away rock and roll tunes with punk dynamics. Reis coarsely sang the band's better known songs, including "Middle", "Born in '69", and "I'm Not Invisible" with gruff and grit, using the limitations of his vocal range to best use. The horn section accented the kick in many of the songs. Then, during an extended version of "Come See Come Saw," Reis threw his microphone at Rubalcaba, seemingly hitting Rubalcaba in the head. The song ended, the band exited the stage, and that was the sudden end of the concert.

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