PICS: Rocket From the Crypt at House of Blues

The Rocket From the Crypt-keepers return just in time for Halloween: A musical monster bash broke out at House of Blues recently!

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The beloved hometown rockers threw a blowout on Friday, Oct. 25, with six other bands -- and free tattoos!
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Announced back in July, the event marked the band's return to a much-celebrated, on-again-off-again tradition of throwing huge local Halloween bashes.
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Aside from Rocket From the Crypt, the night featured performances by Ceremony, LA Witch, Death Valley Girls, El Vez, Alvino & the Dwells, and Slaughter Boys.
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Per tradition, the macabre lads were simply dressed to die for: The group wore costumes mimicking the black pants and shirts, Nike shoes, and purple shrouds the infamous Heaven's Gate cult members were found in after carrying out their 39-person mass suicide in Rancho Santa Fe on March 26, 1997. (RFTC's John "Swami" Reis is shown here impersonating the cult's leader, Marshall Applewhite, and the home videos he often made for members).
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The video (which encouraged everyone to go with them "on a journey") and the costumes were just two aspects of the band's elaborately planned evening.
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Swami may have sensed that the outfits and cult-like video may have been a bit much -- after a few songs he apologized for the choosing the Heaven's Gate theme -- wondering out loud if it was appropriate or not -- and jokingly blamed it on other members of the band.
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1,000 Rocket From the Crypt masks were handed out for attendees to wear and free tattoos were also doled out by the Italian ink artist known as Crap Man (who also designed the show's rad flyer).
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According to a particularly moving post on Crap Man's Instagram account, his involvement in the show was sought after by Swami himself.
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The artist wrote (in part): "I've been a huge fan of Rocket From the Crypt since the early '90s, when they started, and I've been collecting their records and worshipping their music from years, since I first listen[ed] to them and got blown away by their sound of pure genius rock'n'roll powerforce...
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The post continued: "... My first tattoo ever is the RFTC logo, and now, 25 years later, I'm going to San Diego California, to do tattoos at their halloween show! Can you believe this? Me doing what I like most (tattoos), in the town I like most (San Diego CA), with the band I like the most. Invited by them."
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Aside from Swami, the band is comprised of saxophonist Paul O'Beirne, drummer Mario Rubalcaba, trumpeter Jason Crane, guitarist Andy Stamets and bassist Pete Reichert.
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Reichert pictured.
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Interesting fact: The guitar Swami is holding here was stolen in 2017 and after a citywide guitar-hunt, it was located and procured from the thief!
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In a 2018 interview with SoundDiego, Swami (aka Speedo) told us that one of his favorite places in town to grab a drink at is Fall Brewing -- which coincidentally enough has a beer named in honor of him, Speedo's Tiki Love God.
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Another favorite Swami spot? Cotijas. "I go to Cotijas because it's close to my house," he said. "I prefer to do the drive-thru for my bean and cheese burrito with rice and guac."
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As for his No. 1 record shop? "I love Folk Arts [Rare Records, in North Park]," he told us. "It's close to my house and they're always getting in new stuff -- crazy, new, used stuff. I like all the record stores I've been to in San Diego. I think they're all great. Vinyl Junkies is a new one, it just opened up right down the street from my house, I just walk down there. That's cool. I just like records, you know?"
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Schralpin'!
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Doesn't it seem like this guy, like a fine wine, is just getting better with age? Having revived RFTC, Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes within the last few years at one time or another, Swami just seems to be on a whole other level now.
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And if there's one thing we've learned from covering his respective bands' shows over the years -- it's not to get *too* close to the man while he performs. He's wild!
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And boom -- there's the set list.
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The night's main support: Ceremony!
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The man, the myth, the legend: El Vez!
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