Rocket From The Crypt Bring Auckland To Life

Deliverin' the goods. Oh yeah.

This past Sun. (Feb. 2) saw San Diego's finest wrap up

the far eastern leg (Japan, Australia) of their world tour in Auckland, New

Zealand. Rocket From The Crypt hit town the day after appearing with

Silverchair in Christchurch, on New Zealand's south island. It was a sparse

crowd that turned out on this Sun. night to catch openers Regurgitator. The

Australian 3-piece came on hard and heavy but ultimately failed to ignite much

response, and for good reason, their tuneless, hip hop influenced metal showed

that they were little more than a garage band still trying to figure out how to

write real songs.

Rocket From The Crypt took the stage and were

immediately faced with a Spinal Tap moment. It seems the stage lights were

acting up and the band was left standing in the dark for several minutes while

crew members raced around to repair the problem. When the lights did go up, the

band noticed that a good portion of the crowd was in the upstairs "drinking

area" (this was an all ages show) and tried everything, including sending

trumpet player JC2000 up to the balcony, to drag everyone down to the main

floor in front of the stage.

The band was looking good, decked out in

matching silver sequined shirts and black pants. The six piece group, including

a horn section, seemed a bit disappointed in the low turnout (about 500), but

front man John "Speedo" Reis was determined to have some fun.

Tunes from

the band's latest CD Scream, Dracula, Scream made up the bulk of the

set, with "Middle", "Born In '69" and "On A Rope" leading things off. While the

band sounded great, especially with the horn players filling out the sound, the

real focal point was Speedo. He is passionate about his rock 'n' roll, and his

in-between song rantings come on like a fire and brimstone preacher spreading

the Good Word. At one point he declared that the "state of the art was on fire

and we needed to put it out with our dancin' shoes."

During Speedo's intro

to "Drop Out" he claimed he quit school in the 7th grade, which made him "dumb

as fuck, but cool as shit." Few could argue. Close to the end of the 60 minute

show, he told the crowd: "You only got one life to live and you got to live it"

and ripped into "Young Livers."

One more song, "Come See, Come Saw," and it

was all over. They managed to squeeze 16 songs into one hour and then they were

gone. In these days of predictable encores from bands that no one really cares

to hear any more of, it was a surprise to find that when Speedo announced the

last song, it really was the end. This is a band you can believe, if not

believe in.