Concert review: Marshall Crenshaw & The Bottle Rockets
Seattle’s home of alt country the Tractor tavern hosted pioneers of the genre The Bottle Rockets along with rock and roll revisionist Marshall Crenshaw. A warm summer night and a packed house greeted the band who took the stage in pure working man form as leader Brian Henneman declared “well here we are, we just plug in right in front of you and get to work,” and work it they did. The Brox, as fans call them, powered their way through a sixteen song set of muscular roots rock, displaying why the band has lasted fifteen years.
The songs drawn from their ten albums included what Henneman called “the virtual hits section,” featuring “Thousand Dollar Car, Indianapolis and the blazing “Radar Gun.” He then paused and asked the crowd to call out a “wild card tune,” and after many title were shouted out the band launched into the not often heard “Brand New Year,” which Henneman said was played “to remind yourself you can play your owns songs.”
The Rockets took a short break and returned to the stage as the best backup band in the world for rock icon Marshal Crenshaw who is celebrating 30 years since his debut. Still sporting vintage spectacles and a shimmering tenor Crenshaw lead the Rockets thru a fifteen song set sprinkled with hits like Cynical Girl, Mary Anne, and Whenever You’re on My Mind. They mixed in a couple clever cover songs including one from Buddy Holly of course, and a rousing version of Richard Thompson’s “Valerie.” All the while the Rockets played flawlessly behind Crenshaw with several knockout solos from John Horton on lead guitar and lap Steele, and some tasty electric sitar from Henneman. The encore of the Redbone disco hit “Come and get your love,” showed just how much fun these guys are having playing together. Crenshaw ended the show by singing the Bottle Rockets tune “Kit Kat clock,” which he said “I’ve been covering this song for years,” and was the inspiration for asking them to tour with him, and thanked them for being “the best band in the world.”
Rick J Bowen