a pop-punk break from an otherwise reclusive lifestyle

I’m honestly surprised that I did not get the chance to write about this sooner…like last week. I finally broke free from the routine for a quick blip to see Masked Intruder, The Queers and Teenage Bottlerocket.

Seeing Joe Queer is a once- or twice-a-year occasion for us, since we met officially back in 2009. He recorded my brothers’ and best friend’s band, The Anderson Stingrays in 2010 after hearing a demo. Since then, Mr. Queer and company has made stops in either Rochester or Buffalo while on tour, and we get a brief opportunity to catch up on the goings-on in all of our lives. I’ve also made it a habit, that is expected now to bring goods from the shop to give to the guys….a sweet and pleasant stray from the fast food nosh while on tour.

The Anderson Stingrays opened the show, by Joe’s request. I hate using the word SURREAL because I find it overused by celebrities and such, but seeing my brothers absolutely in awe of being able to share a stage with their favorite bands was the ultimate tops. From a chance meeting a few years back, to now an opening gig, time has really evolved.


Before the show, we were chatting with Brandon, the drummer for Teenage Bottlerocket. He was familiar with the venue, having played at the Bug Jar eight years prior (I was there!) when TBR was just an opening band for Chixdiggit! Brandon let Matt (drummer and older brother) use his kit. Like a kid in a candy store, he’s now obsessed with Brandon’s acrylic custom kit. As people were milling around, they stood at the stage, talking about drum kits. Brandon’s SJC offers a great sound. Sharp and solid pop sounds. Made for a great-sounding set. Between TBR’s generous offer of a drum kit and cabinets, this set was the best ever. Nerves aside. My dad, a drummer himself, usually stands in the back at gigs as an observer. He focuses on the sound, listens for mistakes. He’s like a coach for the band, offering suggestions for a future gig. He totally did not have any this time! Flawless set. Awesome tear down as well (no equipment to worry about).

So next up was Masked Intruder. I have heard so many things about these guys from friends from the Midwest. Understandable, since they hail from Madison, WI. This colorful masked band is the ultimate poppy-punk. I see the generation gap between these guys and The Queers. Whereas Queers are Ramones/Beach Boys, Masked Intruder is Descendents and Chixdiggit. In fact, I turned to my friend as we watched these guys and said, “These guys are like a mix of Descendents, Beatnik Termites and…”

“Chixdiggit,” he finished.


Intruder Blue sounds just like KJ Jansen.


Next of course, were the Queers. Joe has been wanting to play more of the poppier stuff from Munki Brain or Punk Rock Confidential, but the crowd still loves to sing about Ursula’s tits and drinking Bud. The biggest surprise, was actually hearing “Don’t Back Down” thrown into the set.


To end the night, Teenage Bottlerocket blasted through a kickass set. Reminiscing about their last visit in the ROC eight years ago and their evolution from opener to headliner…

It was awesome to hear them pull out a couple Lillingtons tunes.

I have been to a countless amount of shows, and I do have to say that this was one of the best pop-punk shows I’ve ever been to (right up there with Riverdales/Manges/Huntingtons). I did learn one major lesson that I will have to carry out into the next show…..

Bring more cupcakes. At least one for every band member in each of the bands. Lesson learned.




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