The Crypt Keeper 5 - Live in Trenton (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Crypt Keeper 5

Live in Trenton (2018)

live show

I headed down to the Millhill Basement in Trenton, NJ on what was supposed to be an overly-warm and humid night. Thankfully that heat and humidity waved off a bit, as the Basement is what it says, and is a bit shy on the air circulation. Four bands would be hitting the stage tonight and, by the two bands I have heard before, it already looked to be a great show.

Philly’s Crossed Keys opened up the night with a rousing set. A band in the vein of indie-style garage rock, their set was fun, entertaining, and set the tone for a good evening. During the set a portly, bespectacled gentleman in a polo shirt and loafers (without socks) made his presence know through a bewildering combination of drunken yelling (which was first let off after a band reference to Morrissey) and classy dance moves. Needless to say, he became a recurring theme through most of the night.

Next came New York’s The Jukebox Romantics. This trio was meeting up with labelmates Aistream Futures (up next) before heading up to NYC for another joint gig. Perennially silly, the Romantics interspersed their whiplash-fast pop/melodic-punk stylings with a bevy of stage banter which, at one point, led bassist Bob to dress down our belligerent friend in the audience for constant interruptions. It was funny in a way but, from what I saw of the crowd’s reactions, the antics of our inebriated friend were getting a bit uncomfortable.

In between sets I did a quick interview with Jukebox Romantics, during which we saw our beloved antagonist wobbling away from the venue. Whether kicked out or leaving of his own accord, the mood downstairs would be the better for it.

Airstream Futures came up next, and proceeded to tear the house down. Featuring two veterans on the Chicago scene, AF already has the presence and verve of an act who have been together for much longer. This indie-punk act blares away, carrired along on the vocals of Devon Carson. I prefer small venues, of which this is one, but you wouldn’t know it by the way they held the stage.

Last up came long-running local legends The Crypt Keeper 5. This punk rock’n’roll act was simply excellent. Featuring a plethora of instruments and players, their set was energetic, powerful, and fun. They also included covers of The Misfits and Rocket From The Crypt’s “On A Rope” which was awesome (despite my distaste for the song simply because it was on the Best Buy music sampler in ‘96, and I had to listen to it 4-5 times an our when I worked in the audio department... even good music can wear thin after that much replay).

What the Millhill Basement lacks in size, it makes up for in personality. A great scene with great bands coming through, I’m never disappointment by the gigs there and, once again, it was a great time. I highly recommend the venue for any gig, and any of these bands if they come to your area.