Free at Noon Flashback: The Bottle Rockets wakes up the midday crowd at World Cafe Live

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The Bottle Rockets | photo by Taylor Johnson

Long-running St. Louis band The Bottle Rockets brought a dose of their high-energy country rock to World Cafe Live today for a Free at Noon performance ahead of their show tonight at Milkboy. Touring behind their newly released album Bit Logic, The Bottle Rockets came prepared with a fresh-sounding selection of new songs that blend fiery rock and folksy drawl to wake up the midday crowd.

The Bottle Rockets have been releasing music for over 25 years — Bit Logic is their 13th album, and they’ve had a steady stream of releases since 1992. But halfway through today’s eight-song set, frontman Brian Henneman told a story that might be surprising for a band that’s been writing music for a quarter of a century. Introducing the new song “Maybe Tomorrow,” he explained that he’d been struggling for an entire day to write a song — any song. Then, after he admitted defeat and shared his discouragement publicly via Instagram post, the song finally took form: “It was right there in the hashtags all along.”

Even if songwriting itself doesn’t always come easily, it’s clear that The Bottle Rockets are still loving what they do. The four-piece alternated between their louder rockers and slower, lighter country tunes, allowing the audience to savor every moment of every song, and interspersed the set with anecdotes that gave everyone a glimpse at their songwriting/recording process (it involves Henneman imagining himself as Linda Ronstadt). The crowd was quickly energized by the band’s catchy songs and easygoing charm, and cheered them back on for an encore. The Bottle Rockets may not be new to any of this, but with a freshly-pressed album and a spirited performance like today’s, we can rest assured that they aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

Bit Logic is out now, and The Bottle Rockets play Milkboy tonight, October 19, with Sarah Borges and Eric Ambel. Find more information on the XPN Concert Calendar.

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