It’s almost unfair how easy John Reis and the other five pattern-and-bejeweled costumed players in Rocket From The Crypt make it look while playing nearly perfect scuzzy and high-speed punk rock.
They have been at it for going on close to three decades, of course, but they’ve somehow not mellowed a bit and Reis gets red faced from screaming/singing by the end of the first song.
The San Diegans’ Wednesday show at Mohawk/House of Vans had something from every part of the RFTC catalog, packing 17 songs into 40 minutes and still leaving Reis plenty of time to verbally joust with fans.
“Who’s ready to party?” he asked after walking on stage, with the packed outdoor crowd cheering in response.
“That’s unfortunate,” he answered dryly before the guitars/bass/drums/horns combo launched into “Venom.”
The run-through material from 1995’s “Scream, Dracula, Scream” (from the band’s improbable major label deal with Interscope… the ’90s were weird) was something of a highlight, with that album’s opening triad of “Middle”/”Born In 69″/”On A Rope” chugging with the force and control of a muscle car.
Somehow, this was the band’s solitary show during South By Southwest. They made every sweaty second count.