Rocket Power: Molly Rocket and the Crooks Boogie at 200 Church


When I arrived home Saturday night after chowing down on some meatsicles and spring rolls at Lan Chi‘s soft opening, I realized that I was compelled to see a show. The night before, I had a religious experience at The Stepkids, Sidewalk Dave, and Featherwood Bee in the Chapel. Before that, late Thursday night, I was fortunate enough to see most of Delicate Steve’s set at Eclectic, where he blew minds and melted faces.

So, in order to keep my streak off seeing fabulous live music alive, I headed out to see Molly Rocket & The Crooks (Molly Balsam ’14, Lindsay Shapiro ’14, Ian Anderson ’14, Matt Gross ’15, Robby Caplan ’14, Henry Peterson ’14, Atticus Swartwood ’14) with openers Robert’s Don (Robert Don ’15, Matan Koplin-Green ’15, Dylan Awalt-Conley ’15). (Molly Rocket and The Crooks will be sharing a bill with The Taste and Grand Cousin at Psi U this Saturday at 10:30, Facebook event here.)

Robert’s Don, who also got the party started before Delicate Steve Thursday evening, warmed the crowd up with a surprising amount of groove juice emitted from just three members. Most notable was Koplin-Green’s head bobbing, which basically looked like this. I must say, I was a little distracted by a rather competitive game of billiards and missed most of Robert’s Don’s set, though I would advise against you doing that next time they perform. (For more of Robert Don’s music, click here.)

After a short break, Molly Rocket & The Crooks took the stage and I mounted an adjacent radiator to get a bird’s eye view of the band. Moving through a number of singer-songwriter-y originals, Molly Rocket demonstrated her clear abilities in leading a crowd, leading a call and response of “Molly!” “Rockit” “Rocket!” and a chant of “Spliff! Spliff! Spliff!” While Molly engaged the crowd, she was backed up by The Crooks, including Lindsay Shapiro on vocals and harmonica, who held down a considerably tight groove thanks to Swartwood’s adroit drumming and Caplan’s no-nonsense bass lines. Rocket and The Crooks played an enjoyable mix of originals and covers, and were able to work sing-alongs even into their original songs. I know I was singing and clapping along even when I didn’t know the songs. Fortunately, The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling,” Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl,” and Outkast’s “Roses” are all infectious enough that I knew most of the lyrics.

Shout out to guitar player Ian Anderson’s flute solo rapping of Big Boi’s verse on “Roses,” which is no easy feat given Sir Lucious Left Foot’s penchant for a driving, bouncy cadence in his bars.

Photo credit to Instagram.

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