New Orleans, Louisiana (October 31, 2022)- As the sun set on Halloween in New Orleans, and costumed revelers filed out of bars and onto the streets of The French Quarter, fans lined up down the block, ready to welcome The Toadies and Drakulas to the House of Blues for The Toadies’ Rubberneck 25th anniversary tour.
Austin-based punk band Drakulas formed in 2015, as a conceptual side project featuring Mike Wiebe and Rob Marchant of the Riverboat Gamblers and Zach Blair of Rise Against. The band’s songs are all stories told from the point of view of the denizens of a fictional New York-like metropolis, set in the 1970s.
Frontman Mike Wiebe is known for his energetic performances, frequently leading to accidental injury, such as a collapsed lung following a crowd surfing mishap in 2016. Tonight was no exception, as about half way through the set, Wiebe pointed out to the crowd that he had injured his hand and was bleeding. I got to personally connect with this unrestrained energy, when I became tangled in Wiebe’s mic cord as he ran side to side across the stage. Thankfully, no injuries or damage to photography equipment resulted from this incident.
Drakulas blew through a 12 song setlist, stopping to claim that they were the first band to release a 7”, even though the record player hasn’t been invented yet, and to reassure the audience that they aren’t one of those “power violent pop punk bands”. They ended the set with OWOWOWOWOWOWOW, then simply shouted “you’re welcome!” before walking off the stage.
Next time Drakulas come to your town, drop what you’re doing and get yourself a ticket. To paraphrase Wiebe, quit your job at Hot Topic, and tell assistant manager Kyle with the green hair that you have tickets to Drakulas.
The Toadies’ may be best known for their mid-90s alternative rock hit Possum Kingdom, but as the show tonight proved, good music is timeless and ageless. Fans ranging from aging Gen Xers to young Gen Z college students turned up to celebrate the belated 25th anniversary of 1994’s Rubberneck.
The Toadies, originally formed in 1989 in Fort Worth, TX, now consist of vocalist and guitarist Vaden Todd Lewis, drummer Mark Reznicek, guitarist Clark Vogeler, and bassist Doni Blair. They started their set with 3 songs from their non-Rubberneck catalog, including a new song called Closer to You, which, according to Lewis “sounds like a love song but I’m not sure it is”.
Then, a packed venue full of dedicated fans, some dressed at witches, Bob Ross, The Dude, and various types of bananas, got to sing and dance to an 11 song Rubberneck set. The crew, also dressed in costume, joined the band on stage to play drums on I Burn. After a brief intermission, The Toadies wrapped up a four-song encore with a cover of I Put a Spell on You, the perfect finale for a Halloween night in New Orleans.
Although tonight was the last night of the Rubberneck tour, The Toadies have several shows planned in their home state of Texas through the end of the year, as well as a new album in the works for next year. Visit their website for show information and ticket links.
House of Blues: