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Rocket From The Crypt played a small, secretive show at Bar Pink earlier this year, but their concert at the Del Mar track was the first RFTC reunion show in San Diego truly open to the public.

And what an appropriate venue! Is their any more fitting metaphor for a Rocket From the Crypt show than horses circling a track at break-neck speeds? If only the band had played during the races, perhaps then my late afternoon pick, Tickled Again, would have found the necessary mojo to win his race. Out ten bucks, I limped to the parking lot hosting the concert in dour spirits. But a smile instantly graced my face once the familiar chords from "The Middle" blasted out of the speakers as Rocket launched into their set. The smile widened to a considerable degree when they followed this song with "Born In '69," the same one-two punch that opened their 1995 album, Scream Dracula Scream.

The night would find the band performing a fine collection of their greatest moments as "Young Livers," "On a Rope," and "Ditch Digger" each found their way onto the set list. The latter was a funny inclusion as bandleader John Reis made sure the audience knew how little he enjoyed performing "Ditch Digger" by preceding it with what has to be the lengthiest instance of stage-banter revolving around a Don Ho concert ever. Looking back on it, he was probably just making the story as long as possible to delay his torture once the song began. Some of us in the crowd may have found the opposite to be the case.

  • Concert: Rocket From the Crypt
  • Date: August 30
  • Venue: Del Mar Racetrack
  • Seats: Parking Lot
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