Ray Carlisle, newly rebranded Ray Rocket for his first solo album, celebrated the release of Do You Wanna Go to Tijuana? with two shows in Wyoming.
On April 1 the Ruffed Up Duck was packed almost to capacity with a high energy, talkative crowd made up mostly of friends, locals and the odd assortment of college students. Before I dive into this I have something say about people coming to a show and insisting on standing in the front row only to have a loud running conversation. Don’t fucking do it.
JD of Redbush started the night with his set covering classic Neil Diamond, The Who, Elton John and old Redbush songs. Jaissika Nada has a gorgeous voice that was totally lost amidst the aforementioned front row crowd. Bob and Scott of Bondurant played acoustic versions off their alt-country album Coyote and ended with a tribute to Brandon Carlisle titled “1,2,3,4” that makes me cry, every time. Ray took the stage, accompanied by JD, and ran through the heavy hitters of the album stopping between songs to interact with the crowd and keep the room’s attention. One thing we learned, Laramie girls don’t like Metallica, or they’re too cool to admit it.
Saturday night in Cheyenne at the Ernie November was a completely different show altogether. Kids scampered between the CD displays, following Ray’s son Milo armed with an electric pack of gum to every unsuspecting adult they could find. In the very back of the store, amongst clothing displays and…incense….the musicians play in front of a soundboard balanced precariously on a wreck of a green sofa.
The sound all night was excellent. Seneca Flowers of Sunnydale High opened up with quieter versions of Sunnydale’s post punk songs followed by Aaron Snyder’s comedy act, which was a refreshing way to mix up the sets. JD repeated his set, followed by Bob and Scott of Bondurant. I still cried, which is way more embarrassing in a well lit record store, thankfully everyone’s attention was on Milo, getting ready for his comedy act. To watch that kid do the shy-guy thing all night then instantly turn on the comedian is pretty amazing, even when he chokes a bit during a new joke. There were some cute young girls in the audience and I have to wonder if Milo realized that maybe impressing them could not involve talk of hairy pubescent balls. That kid is going to have quite the life on stage. Ray called everyone to gather up before he went on, and when the kids sat in rows on the floor in front of his mic it felt like some sort of surreal story time at the local library. Ray’s set was again well played and sing-along fun. Cheyenne girls love Metallica. Again I’m going to talk about how good the sound was, during “First Time” I could hear the tremor in Ray’s voice as he sang the lines “for the first time I can’t be you.” Tear jerker.
* all photos by Jamy Cabre
Ray is going on the road with Do You Wanna Go to Tijuana? for a couple days this April and May. You can pick up his album from Rise Records HERE
4/29 – Fort Collins, CO – Surfside 7
4/30 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
5/12 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club *^
5/13 – Chicago, IL @ Cobra Lounge *^
5/14 – St. Louis, MO @ Blueberry Hill*^
5/15 – Indianapolis, IN @ Melody Inn*^
5/17 – Detroit, MI @ Majestic Cafe*^
5/18 – London, ON @ Call The Office*^
5/19 – Toronto, ON @ Bovine Sex Club*^
5/20 – Hamilton, ON @ Club Absinthe *^
5/21 – Montreal, QC @ Pouzza Fest *^
5/22 – Barrie, ON @ Roxy Side Room*^
5/24 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose *
5/25 – Cincinatti, OH @ Northside Yacht Club*
5/26 – Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s *
5/27 – Ft. Wayne, IN @ Brass Rail *
5/28 – Howell, MI @ Bled Fest *
5/29 – Lombard, IL @ Brauerhouse *
*With The Lippies and The Copyrights
^With The Penske File