If you’re into music and you’ve been to San Diego, you should be aware of a bar called LIVE WIRE. This bar has been the hub of San Diego music since it opened in 1992 … Local musicians are not only patrons here, but they are the bartenders and their CDs fill the juke box (best selection in the world). I met my wife at Live Wire (or The Casbah, neither of us is 100% sure) and one of the bar’s owners performed our wedding ceremony! We recently celebrated our 15th anniversary and the Live Wire celebrated their 25th anniversary last weekend with a rockshow worthy of the milestone

The band that once vowed to never play a place with a stage, Rocket From The Crypt, took center stage for the celebration and blew fucking the roof off of the North Park Observatory. This was one of the best RFTC shows I’ve ever seen, and trust me, I’ve seen a ton of them. Their set was heavy on the “oldies” which was well suited for the 25th anniversary crowd. A setlist that felt like it was crafted for us, Speedo’s Army, the people who’ve been seeing the band since day one. I hadn’t heard them do Hippy Dippy Do or Ditch Digger in ages, plus they did French Guy, Mabelline, On A Rope, Sturdy Wrists and on and on! Speedo’s banter and the entire band were really on their game tonight. They sounded big, and loud, and heavy and amazing. My buddy Johnny summed it up best by saying: “It was a blistering set!”

Originally unannounced, Mariachi El Bronx was in the support slot tonight and were perfect. I’ve heard people say over that years that the uniforms Rocket From The Crypt wear on stage resemble mariachi gear … But, El Bronx don’t resemble a mariachi band, they ARE a freeking mariachi band. Complete with a horn section, fiddle, acoustic guitars, stand-up drum kit, guitarron and soothing vocals. When I first heard about Mariachi El Bronx I couldn’t wrap my head around it. The Bronx are a high energy punk n roll band with a singer that spends as much time in the pit as he does on stage. How is that band going to transform into a proper mariachi band and actually pull it off? The answer is: Fuck if I know, but they are legit, 100% and they were the perfect choice to sandwich between The Meices and Rocket From The Crypt … Their tempo and vibe put the sold-out crowd in a great mood and prepared them for Rocket From The Crypt to appear and tear their ear holes out.

A Live Wire favorite, The Meices, were coaxed back together to open the night for the 25th anniversary event. Other than a couple one-off shows last Spring, I’m pretty sure this was the first time The Meices played since 1997. Joe Meice borrowed Kurt Bloch and Mike Musburger (bass and drums respectively) from The Fastbacks to solidify the 3 piece band and start the night off right. I always liked the Meices back in the 90’s. They struck me (then and now) as a kind of power-pop-grunge band. Though I can’t actually name a single song they played, I recognized all of them and it brought me back to the glory days of the 1990’s, when Live Wire opened their doors to the music community of San Diego and beyond. 

Happy Anniversary Live Wire! Thank you for everything over the years! As we’re all getting older, I overheard one suggestion for the 30th anniversary celebration that makes a lot of sense … NAME TAGS FOR EVERYONE! (who said that?).

2 thoughts on “#LW25

  1. Great photographs (and narrative) of a perfect gig in a balmy San Diego in 2017. I hadn’t heard of The Meices before this show but enjoyed their power pop tunes, MEB were fantastic as always, a band who clearly enjoy being a band and each others company and yes, Rocket did play a blistering set, Maybelline being a highlight. Thanks for helping me reminisce!

    • Thank you. I enjoyed re-reading it and reminiscing too. “Dollar” has always been my favorite RFTC song live … that’s the song I missed that night.

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