Like CBGB is to New York and Stubb’s is to Austin, Alex’s Bar has quickly become Long Beach’s iconic venue to see some of the best music in the local scene, as well as some bigger acts from time to time. Over the past fifteen years, the venue has become a home for great music and the people who love it. To celebrate over two nights, owner Alex Hernandez brought aboard some acts that have been staple performers, headlined by San Diego’s Rocket From The Crypt (although RFTC had never actually played at Alex’s Bar, the band and Hernandez are great friends).
Snakearm (formerly Restavrant) are no strangers to Alex’s Bar, having played many shows there in recent years. The duo is a true genre-defier, laying somewhere between junkyard/outlaw blues and electro punk. From first the duo commands your attention, with Troy Murrah (guitar/vocals) in a sharp suit and slicked back hair, while percussionist Tyler Whiteside sets up behind a mish mash of buckets, metal scraps, and discs of metal that at one time resembled cymbals. From first song to last, Snakearm doesn’t slow down, delivering one incredibly thrashy song after another.
When the members of The Creepy Creeps decided on the band name, they clearly meant it. Taking the stage in suits and goblin masks, the group at first took the audience by surprise – was this a cheezy gimmick? But after unleashing a set of songs that sounds like The Munsters’ theme song meets electric organ-driven surf rock, the audience was dancing along and forgot about those creepy masks.
Although Rocket From The Crypt has never actually graced the stage at Alex’s Bar until this past Friday, there couldn’t be a better match of band and venue. The six-piece’s traditional uniform pairs perfectly with the red velvet backdrop of the stage. Frontman John Reis recounted several stories of his friendship with Alex and how they came up through the Southern California music scene together. Even with a past-midnight start, Rocket From The Crypt delivered an immense run of songs, hardly stopping to catch breath from one to the next.