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Review Tue Sep 17 2013

Review: Rocket From the Crypt @ Double Door, 9/14

On Saturday night, Rocket From the Crypt returned to Chicago after a 10-year break. (Their "last" show was in 2005, but they hadn't toured for a couple years prior to that.) The San Diego rock'n'roll band had its highs in the mid-90s with the much-heralded Scream, Dracula, Scream and the equally heralded (yet harder-to-find until a re-release many years later) Hot Charity, but never really had any low points through their career. And I've never heard of anyone who saw them that had anything less than great to say about their performance. So could they continue to impress after a long hiatus?

From the start, it was clear that John Reis (a.k.a. Speedo) didn't miss a beat as the jovial frontman whose over-the-top stage banter always carried a wink and a smile. When they launched into "Dollar", it also became clear that the band's musicianship hadn't deteriorated. Now, it wasn't perfect, but it's also rock'n'roll and has some license to be a little raw. They tore through all eras of their discography, from 1992's "Don't Darlene" to 2002's "I'm Not Invisible" and hits like "On a Rope" to the lesser-known "Jumper K Balls."

As Reis pointed out late in the show, though, it's not just about what's happening on stage. Yes, he's the star of the show with tall tales of awe in seeing an elevated train for the first time, coming from a fishing village to impress Chicagoans, guitarist ND having cancer of the foot because he was in a walking boot from twisting an ankle, etc. But the joy and enthusiasm of the crowd added immensely with the entire front half of Double Door singing along, dancing, hanging on every word from Reis and rocking out through each song. RFTC's performances tend to bring out the best in crowds. And when any band feels the love that was exuded on Saturday, it's hard for them to not be at the top of their game. After an hour and a half and nearing 2:30 a.m., the show came to a close on a rousing "Come See, Come Saw" that left no doubt that RFTC's not lost any ground in the rock'n'roll hierarchy.

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Katie / September 18, 2013 9:46 AM

Spot on. Seeing Rocket From the Crypt twice was the best part of my weekend!

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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