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Monday, August 13, 2012

Open Highway Music Festival at Off Broadway, 8/11/12: Review, Photos and Setlists

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 5:08 AM

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John Horton of the Bottle Rockets - ROY KASTEN
  • Roy Kasten
  • John Horton of the Bottle Rockets

Here's the thing about the Bottle Rockets: If you haven't seen the band in its twenty years on this planet you probably also haven't ascended the Arch, barbecued in Forest Park, banged a jukebox in South City or caught Chuck Berry in a little club on Delmar Boulevard. The band is that kind of essential, not just to St. Louis, but to the loud and thrilling and faith-restoring patrimony of rock & roll - here, there and everywhere. When Horton and Henneman's guitars lock in and mirror each other on the hooks to "Indianapolis," "Welfare Music" and "Shame On Me," and then smash that reflection on a furious and still-relevant "Wave That Flag"; when Voegele takes a surprising harmonica solo on "Lucky Break"; and when Ortmann focuses the band on every song, especially the main set-closing rave-up "The Long Way" and the final encore of Doug Sahm's "Mendocino, this band doesn't just prove how much can be done in a 90-minute set (24 numbers, with barely a pause to exhale).

It proves that rock & roll survivors always have so much to live up to - and the Bottle Rockets, somehow, always do just that.

Mark Ortmann of the Bottle Rockets - ROY KASTEN
  • Roy Kasten
  • Mark Ortmann of the Bottle Rockets

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: Discerning readers will note no mention of openers Rough Shop in this review. A late dinner at the over-rated Sidney Street Café meant I'd miss the local band's set, but I don't write about my close friends anyway.

Observed: Tom Parr, the Bottle Rockets' original second guitarist -- dismissed from the band in 2002 after an infamous fight in the SXSW streets of Austin -- showed up and shared some laughs with his former bandmates out on the club's back lot. He looked happy, and it was nice to see the reconciliation in person.

Overheard: Henneman on stage after a smashing "1000 Dollar Car": "This is like playing with the E Street Band but without those fifteen extra people!" He had a point.

Ben Nichols Setlist:

When You Decided to Leave
Last Night in Town
Into Your Eyes
Women & Work
Old Sad Songs
Bruised Ribs (Glossary cover)
Slow Dancing
My Best Girl
Hold Me Close
It May Be Too Late
I'll Just Fall
Hello Sadness
Nights Like These

Bottle Rockets Setlist:

Big Lotsa Love
Every Kind of Everything
Get on the Bus
Way It Used to Be
Happy Anniversary
Lucky Break
Bad Company
Shame on Me
Hard Times
24 Hours a Day
Queen of the World
Blue Sky
Wave That Flag
I'll Be Coming Around
1000 Dollar Car
Nancy Sinatra
Love Like a Truck
Welfare Music
The Long Way

Pot of Gold
Radar Gun

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