Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Rocket 88

Here is another set of great photos that I have been remiss in sharing. One of the great bands I saw at Tropical Heatwave a month or so ago was Rocket 88. I'd never been to see these guys, as they are based over in Orlando, and don't make it over to Sarasota as far as I know. I did, however, manage to see The Midnight Ramblers several times, a spin-off group of sorts, featuring several of the same guys, and those were always great shows. So I had high hopes. Looking at that first photo above, you might think this was going to be a plain old ordinary show by guys in shiny suits.

Even the keyboard player looks as if he might be more inclined towards Beethoven than Bo Diddley.

Well, first impressions can be deceiving. These guys jumped into a set of flaming rockabilly that didn't let up until all the amps were fried and my ears were ringing. I don't think I knew any of the songs they played, but I was jumping around and screaming along with the rest of the audience. These guys knew how to put on a show.

I was surprised at some of the pictures I got. I didn't think I would get any shots at all of the drummer, as he stayed back in the dark for the whole show. But I got lucky a few times.

And the keyboard player got into the act quite a bit as well. (The keyboardist from The Midnight Ramblers, who I thought was in Rocket 88, used to pour lighter fluid on the fake piano built around his keyboard and light it up. This guy didn't do that, but he was still pretty good.)

The guitarist made that thing talk.

And the bass player made it talk, too. Or maybe it's just a really big guitar. Hard to say...

The lead singer? Well, he's not one to let the audience down.

He even let the audience sing a few bars every once in a while. That guy you can't see too well on the right of the picture was trying to swing dance down in front of the stage. Several times I felt his partner's feet whiz past my head as he was throwing her up into the air. Who knew dancing could be so dangerous.

I think he was channeling some demon here, or maybe Sid Vicious. Not sure... That shirt gave my camera fits the whole night.

Sometimes things got a little topsy-turvy down at my end of the stage.

This is right towards the end of the show. The bass player climbed up on top of the bass, and was playing for all he was worth. I was down on my knees trying to shoot upwards for a better angle.

Next thing I knew, the lead singer is down in my face, singing (or screaming) into my lens.

All I could do was hold down the button and hope for the best. I wasn't disappointed. If I were you, I'd go out and buy a Canon camera. They are the best.

And be sure you get a Rocket 88 CD!

There's nothing better than a little in-your-face rock and roll. This is why you want to be down front at the show.


  1. sounds like my kind of music....rockabilly

  2. all that red light, some of these images harken back to LP covers from the 50's, don't they?


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