by Adam Wiltgen
RVM’s manager at the time, Norbert Nix, found me through an RVM yahoo group (these were the early internet days) and asked me to write the show review below for posting online in various places. I was 16 at the time.
REARVIEW MIRROR SHOW REVIEW
Friday, February 1st, 2002
The Warehouse – La Crosse, WI
The first band that played was Irreligion. They were terrible. 80’s hair metal mixed with 70’s punk. It was bad; the lead singer was wearing a see-through fishnet shirt and tight leather pants! Although, I do have to complement their spot-on cover of “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones.
Next a local band from La Crosse called Phixface played. They were much better. The crowd seemed more enthusiastic and the music was much more intense. They sounded kind of like Korn, Adema, or Mudvayne. They even covered Mudvayne’s hit “Dig.”
Finally at 11:00pm, on came Rearview Mirror. They jumped right into the title song off their new album “All Lights Off,” which was great. The crowd kept getting bigger in this little third story apartment-like building. The third song RVM played was their new single “In the Beginning.” The energy singer Adam Ptacek throws into each song is amazing.
Then, when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Adam introduced “Guilty” and they jumped right into that familiar intro. Everyone there seemed like they knew the song, as well they should. It’s still my favorite Rearview Mirror song and probably always will be. They played a newer, reworked version of “Guilty” that was a little bit heavier than the version that appears on “Blown Out.”
After a little break and a couple more songs they played a new song, a ballad called “City Walls.” Adam even sat down on the floor indian-style and moaned out the lyrics to this great song for a bit. A bunch of us took out lighters and held them up for this tune. It was about that time that I noticed Adam and Matt were playing barefoot and drummer T.J. had already thrown off his t-shirt. Right around the middle of the set, the band jumped into another familiar song, “Animal.” This song was also tighter and reworked than the original version. RVM continued playing fresh new songs, not losing their intensity at all. They ended their set with the explosive “28/7.”
After RVM thanked thanked all and walked offstage, the crowd started up. Everyone was screaming for more. No one was going to leave until they got more. So then, after only a couple of minutes, they came back out for an encore. I wasn’t let down when they jumped into an old favorite, track 2 on their indie CD, “Blown Out”, called “Stain.” Everyone went wild, it was fantastic. A friend snagged a set list and its typed out below.
All Lights Off
Stronger Than Before
In the Beginning
Like They Were