Southern California is a ways away from Laramie, Wyoming, but it’s close enough to influence Teenage Bottlerocket’s thrashy/skate punk sound. The band hailing from the Gem City were humbled by the turn out of the crowd at Santos Party House last night. In between sets, singer/guitarist Ray Carlisle explained, “I don’t think there are this many people in our town in Wyoming, and that’s pretty punk rock.”
Their set was nothing but punk rock, from their spooky entrance to the gentleman in a skull mask and hooded sweatshirt holding up a black and neon green sign encouraging the crowd to “Freak Out!” while the band kicked off the set with the title track off their latest album, Freak Out! Teenage Bottlerocket does what they want, even if it means stopping songs right before the guitar solo to thank everyone in the crowd for showing up tonight. Besides, who said guitar solos aren’t punk?
They even taunted the crowd right before playing “Fatso Goes Nutzoid” (off of 2009’s They Came From the Shadows), saying, “This is a punk rock song, let’s see what you got New York City!” The crowd accepted the challenge. “30 Seconds Of Rad” was another test, but this time the crowd was instructed to pogo by yet another neon sign. It’s kind of hard to pogo dance with a beer in your hand, but the crowd handled it just fine. The set got heavy with “Headbanger,” another track off 2012’s Freak Out, which induced enough headbanging to make Santos’s owner Andrew W.K. proud.
The band closed their set with “So Far Away” and Blue from Masked Intruder providing guest vocals on the last chorus. Opening bands the Scutches (hometown boys from Long Island), Masked Intruder and Nothington were a good, gritty pop punk intro to Teenage Bottlerocket’s set, and the whole night was enough to garner approval of the Jaded Punk Hulk on Twitter. Which, again, is pretty punk rock.