Teenage Bottlerocket and Tightwire are on a 10 city tour that kicked off in Toledo, Ohio on Friday, September 8, 2023. The day before the show, the venue (Ottawa Tavern) had to close due to an outbreak of Covid-19 among the staff. With area venues already booked, the show was moved to the Hanf Haus (The Stinky Meatballs bass player’s house on Glendale Ave in South Toledo).
Around 60-70 fans attended the show. The bands set up merch tables in the driveway and performed in the garage. The audio was incredible and surprisingly, no law enforcement paid a visit throughout the show, which started at 8 p.m. and ended around 10:30 p.m.
While I’m a fan of Teenage Bottlerocket and The Lillingtons (see 1999 interview), and have seen them many times over the years, I was really looking forward to seeing the Minneapolis, Minnesota punk rock band Tightwire. They put on a fantastic show, performing hits from the new album “Head Full of Snakes” and a few from their 2018 release “Six Feet Deep.”
In 2021, Tightwire (Red Scare) brought on guitarist/singer, Noelle Stolp from one of my favorite bands, Rational Anthem (Iowa City, Iowa). Tane Graves (bass/vocals for Tightwire) explained “When our singer left, I didn’t want to do all of the vocals, so our first choice was Noelle. I hesitated asking her because I thought she wouldn’t want to, but when I finally did, she immediately agreed to join the band.”
Noelle brings years of musical experience to the band. In 2019, Rational Anthem released “It’s Only Permanent” (2020 album review) and is one of the best punk rock albums of the decade. I caught up with Noelle at the show who said that they are working on new music and promised to bring the band to Detroit in the near future.
The Stinky Meatballs (Toledo, Ohio) opened the show and played a great set. The three piece band has an early 2000s Fat Wreck Chords sound with a fast beat and catchy hooks.
Teenage Bottlerocket played a killer set ripping through hit after hit. I was happy to hear “Blood Bath at Burger King” (see video below) and their 2021 hit “Ghost Story.” The band stopped to take a group photo shortly before the show ended.
While this show very easily could have been written off as a cancellation, it was cool to see the DIY spirit of the punk rock community pull together and put on a historic and memorable event. Kudos to everyone that had a hand in making it happen and to the bands for sticking with it and playing despite the abnormal conditions.