Live Music Alert
Who: Teenage Bottlerocket
Where: American Legion in Rock Springs 543 Broadway Street
When: March 11th, 2015 – 7:00 pm
Article by R.G.B. Robb
Teenage Bottlerocket will be playing on Wednesday March 11th, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. along with the newly-turned-into-a-four-piece Shocktroopers Wyoming at The American Legion in Rock Springs (543 Broadway Street).
At the first listen of their music, I initially dismissed Teenage Bottlerocket as “just another pop-punk band that I’ve heard a thousand times before.” And then, by the third time of hearing the song “Haunted House” off of their upcoming release Tales From Wyoming– an album which is scheduled to be released March 31st on Rise Records– I found that I was thinking about the melody more than I thought I would. By the fifth spin, I was convinced this wasn’t some cookie-cutter band that should be thrown on the back-burner without a second thought.
Their music, although containing elements of pop-punk (like the Ramones) and sounds that bring to mind other melodic punk contemporaries (Lagwagon comes to mind), they have definitely found their own, trademark sound and are about to share this with the world when they begin their tour in Rock Springs, Wyoming. This trek will cover all of North America, followed by a European jaunt that will see them play in cities like Zurich, Switzerland; Milan, Italy; and Paris, France, among others. When I spoke to Miguel Chen (bass), I asked him that with all of the places that they are playing around the world, why start in Rock Springs, or even in their hometown of Laramie, Wyoming?
“We drive through [Rock Springs] all the time. At one point we were like “Let’s play here and see what happens,” and it was just AWESOME.” He goes on, “It’s a small town, and they don’t necessarily get a lot of live acts playing there. But when something does happen, everybody comes out. Everybody is super-excited and really nice and appreciative.”
Other than the warm reception from the Rock Springs crowd, one of the things Miguel is also most excited about are some of the bands that they will be touring with in support of this record, “This upcoming Pennywise tour,” was on the top of Chen’s list. “We’ve toured with those guys before and they are just amazing.” He continues, “They’re super-cool, so it’s awesome to hang out with them. Really looking forward to that.”
However, there are two bands that Teenage Bottlerocket is performing with that they haven’t previously, that has them looking forward to the European leg of the tour as well; the first is the mighty Social Distortion, who they will be playing a few shows with, notably Switzerland and Belgium. “That’s kind of a huge, big, big thing for us,” he says with clear excitement in his voice.
There’s another band that Teenage Bottlerocket are looking forward to playing with in Europe as well, explains Chen, “It’s a really weird thing, [but] we’ve never played with Lagwagon. Because we’ve been buddies with Joey Cape and Dave Raun for years.” This will be reconciled at Groezrock in Belgium.
However, there is one thing that Europe doesn’t have that Wyoming does, that makes this band always homesick … Mexican food, and more specifically, “Taco John’s.” Chen educated me in the fact that Europe only has one Mexican restaurant, and it’s in Berlin. So when asked about things that make him yearn for home and what brings his heart back to the states when he returns to Wyoming, his answer is simple, “That’s the only thing that’s going to fix it, is Taco John’s.”
According to Miguel, when asked if the show they play in Rock Springs will be mostly older material, or newer songs he said- “A mix. We’re still going to pump out the old crowd favorites,” but assures us that they are going to “we’re definitely going to throw an appropriate number of new ones in.” So, with a set designed to please both older and newer fans alike, along with great local band Shocktroopers Wyoming and their brand of hardcore-infused punk