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.
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