Sept. 6 2013 12:00 AM

At Del Mar show, local rockers give the fans what they want

dn
helmsbrewingco.com
Greg Jacobs

Midway through Rocket from the Crypt's recent show at the Del Mar Racetrack, frontman John Reis, aka "Speedo," told an anecdote about watching a Don Ho concert. There was a mention of some strange mixing device with a telephone attached, but the message of the story was buried way at the end, about how much the Hawaiian performer hates having to play "Tiny Bubbles," even though that's the reason people come to hear him perform.

In an ideal situation, this would have transitioned into Rocket covering "Tiny Bubbles" (now that would be something). Instead, it gave Reis an opportunity to tell the audience about a song they'd grown tired of performing, even though it's one that everybody wants to hear. And in appreciation of their fans, they were going to play it anyway, because that's what entertainment is all about. A few ideas ran through my head of what it could be. "On a Rope"? No, they'd already played that one earlier. "Killy Kill"? Maybe. "Break it Up"? Eh, that wasn't even that big of a hit.

The song, it turns out, is "Ditch Digger," arguably one of the best songs they've ever written. In fairness to the band, it's 20 years old, and they've probably played it a thousand times. It's hard to begrudge them that. But when the band ripped through the song last weekend, they didn't half-ass it. In fact, it was the tightest they sounded all evening, even more so than the quartet of Scream, Dracula, Scream! highlights that opened the set.

It's not so uncommon for a band to grow weary of their own songs. Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders isn't a fan of their big single, "Brass in Pocket." And Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmeister reportedly doesn't care much for "Ace of Spades." It's just one of the hazards of giving the people what they want, night after night, for years.

In October, Rocket will play another hometown show at House of Blues, on Halloween. And there's plenty of great tunes they can dust off if they so choose: "Ball Lightning," "Fat Lip," "Short Lip Fuser," "This Bad Check is Gonna Stick," "S.O.S." et al. All the same, we appreciate indulging us in a hit, even if for just the one time.

Calendar

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28