Posted in music | pictures on August 15, 2014

photos by Gretchen Robinette

The Rock*A*Teens @ LPR 8/10/2014
The Rock*A*Teens
The Rock*A*Teens

I often make the outrageous drunken claim that the Rock*A*Teens were the best rock and roll band of the 1990s. It's sort of ridiculous to say, but as I write this sentence stone sober and drinking a glass of juice, I still kind of believe it. I keep waiting to not believe it, as I very frequently don't believe all kinds of outrageous claims that I make, but I just cross-referenced with all the other 1990s rock and roll bands in my iTunes (we're talking bands here, not singer-songwriters - and rock, not hip-hop which I think was way more important than rock in the 90s anyway) and I'm pretty much ready to double down; this disastrously scrappy Atlanta band with their not-very-good-sounding recordings and their name half-swiped from a 50's rockabilly outfit were...okay, let's not say the "best," because I don't really believe there's any objective truth when it comes to evaluating music - let's say they were my favorite. They had more great records than Nirvana (although no defining masterpiece), were (a tiny bit) smarter and had more at stake than Pavement, were more consistent than Guided By Voices, and had better all-around songs than Galaxie 500. So, though I love all those other bands, I'm going with them.
- Will Sheff
Okkervil River's Will Sheff got to fulfill a fan's dream of opening for his '90s heroes The Rock*A*Teens who reformed for Merge Records' 25th Anniversary last month. The Le Poisson Rouge show on Monday (8/10) was the second of their two NYC show (the first was at Glasslands). Before this tour, the band hadn't played live in 13 years but frontman Chris Lopez is still a howlin' sweaty true-believer as these photos attest. Other superfans in the audience: AC Newman (New Pornographers), Matthew Caws (Nada Surf), and Chunklet founder Henry Owings.

As for Sheff, his band included Takka Takka drummer and National sometimes-co-drummer Conrad Doucette and Craig Montoro on bass and the set included Okkervil River songs plus a Rock*A*Teens cover.. Will's girlfriend, Beth Wawerna, is also a huge R*A*T fan and her band Bird of Youth (named after R*A*T's 2000 album, Sweet Bird of Youth) opened the Glasslands show. Pictures of Will's LPR set and more of Rock*A*Teens' (we missed opener Ricer) are below...

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Comments (15)

I'm a big fan of Will Sheff and Okkervil River. I've seen Okkervil a couple times and Sheff solo a couple times. I've gotta say I was really disappointed with Sheff's set. The song selection was great but I just hated his choice to use that 12 string guitar. It really didn't suit his voice.

Posted by Will Sheff fan | August 15, 2014 1:47 PM

this was an incredible show.

Posted by Anonymous | August 15, 2014 1:56 PM

Setlists for both bands?

Posted by Anonymous | August 15, 2014 3:33 PM

anyone go to the Glasslands show?

Posted by Anonymous | August 15, 2014 3:46 PM

RE: Glasslands -- It was a great show. R*A*T didn't play as many songs and were not allowed an encore (despite trying) because of lame DJ post-show shiite, which didn't start for at least another 30 minutes after the show. I guess the kids needed time to power-up their laptops. Glasslands, if you're reading this, fuck your mother.

Posted by Anonymous | August 15, 2014 4:06 PM

Awesome Squeeze t-shirt on the blond!

Posted by Anonymous | August 15, 2014 6:21 PM

The Glasslands show was really, really good. But even that was barely an indicator of how incredible they would be at LPR. It's one of those shows that if you weren't there then it's not really possible to convey to someone.

Posted by Anonymous | August 15, 2014 8:52 PM

Cut from an e-mail I wrote to a friend, recapping the LPR show we both attended. Sharing it with those that are clicking on and reading about the Rock*A*Teens today because I think you'll all understand:

> all my fellow LPR show attendees!!

- JC

Posted by Anonymous | August 15, 2014 10:27 PM

Cut from an e-mail I wrote to a friend, recapping the LPR show we both attended. Sharing it with those that are clicking on and reading about the Rock*A*Teens today because I think you'll all understand:

"It was like a secret club!

I’m so happy to hear you describe it in terms of “unbridled joy” because that’s exactly what I felt. Before seeing them live I was a fan, and was very much looking forward to the shows, but I had no, zero, nada, idea that the delivery of lines -- from a song I had been listening to for years -- like “I am the car and / I am the driver / I am the boat and / I am the pilot” would be SO anthemic and SO shot thru with celebration! The whole night was like that – old songs newly understood in a live setting amongst a small group of super-fans.

But the BEST songs were the ones that I had never, ever, heard before Saturday night at Glasslands – the ones that I reacted to immediately on Saturday and I remembered overnight and found on Spotify on Sunday morning and listened to all day and couldn’t wait to hear again on Sunday night at LPR: Cry Crybaby, Black Ice, Tuesday’s Just As Bad – all so direct and oversized and hooky and fun and timeless. That room was full of love and heartbreak and friendship and the spirit of rock and roll -- on a Sunday night!

I’m committing to it – it was, unexpectedly, the greatest show I’ve ever seen. I’m really happy I was with a true music fan like you," all my fellow LPR show attendees!!

- JC

Posted by Anonymous | August 15, 2014 10:28 PM

Awesome blonde on that squeeze!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | August 15, 2014 11:55 PM

Best Best Best Best weekend of seeing a live rock band two nights in a row in NYC - shine, burn, sweat, cheer, stomp, yell, celebrate - this is what rock n' roll was meant to do - to turn you inside out, upside down and breathe new life into your soul. The Rock*A*Teens make music that is timeless. They sing anthems for all of us to sing along to, to cry to, to cheer along with. They may have emerged in the 90's but they are a standout in my lifetime - which spans way beyond the 90's. Thank you Rock*A*Teens!

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2014 4:00 PM

Yeesh-- a lot of nostalgia clouding facts here-- this was a humdrum show. I was at the LPR show. It was fun but nothing notable. It was about 60% capacity and many people left before the end. There were about 12 people in the front who were dancing. Everyone else stood around, arms crossed and rightfully bored.

Posted by Anonymous | August 17, 2014 3:37 AM

yeah, these photos look pretty humdrum...as for the standing cross-armed, welcome to whiteyville, assface

Posted by Anonymous | August 19, 2014 8:09 PM

A great show! True that the club was not full, but RAT shows outside of Atlanta often weren't, even back in the day. They are not everyone's taste for sure... But no one was bored at this show!

Posted by Anonymous | August 20, 2014 11:50 AM

I have never posted a comment on a blog or any site for that matter - but Mr. Humdrum you've compelled me to call you on your shit. That club was a musical tabernacle that night and people were moved by the spirit of rock*n*roll. To bad you weren't. Way to go pouty boy.

Posted by Anonymous | August 20, 2014 8:21 PM

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