“The Best Gig I Ever Saw” is a weekly column that will see us ask a musician to chat about their favorite concert thus far. This week it's Ray Carlisle, frontman with Wyoming punks Teenage Bottlerocket

The best gig I ever saw was Against Me! on the New Wave tour at the Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins, Colorado. Brandon [Carlisle, tragically deceased drummer and Ray's brother] and I had eaten some mushrooms on our way to Colorado from Wyoming, and upon arrival, we headed straight to the Surfside Bar. Things were getting pretty weird. This was in 2007, Teenage Bottlerocket was doing good, but we really hadn't put it together that people actually liked our dumb little band. Well, we walk into the Surfside, and we are sorta bombarded by people we don't really know that are excited we are there. This goes straight to Brandon's head, and he goes on this “holy fuck we made it” trip. I'm trying to calm him down from crazy trippy “we're famous as fuck” happiness, and I'm getting nowhere. Brandon pretty much books it out of the bar at max level stokage.

He walks into the Aggie and heads straight for the Against Me! backstage. He runs down the stairs and is all, “what up? It's me, Brandon from Teenage Bottlerocket”. Well, he didn't get the reaction he was hoping for. In fact, what he got, was blank stares and get-the-fuck-out of here vibes. Needless to say, he calmed down quite a bit and became his normal, humble self. The mushrooms were really coming on hard for me at this point when Against Me! pulled a disabled war veteran on stage that was pumping up the crowd, talking about anti-war stuff. They wheel this dude off the stage and Against Me! started playing “White People For Peace.” I've never seen anything like it. The crowd absolutely freaked the fuck out. The band sounded better than any band I have ever heard live. It felt as if I was a part of an actual war protest. My body started shaking, and I couldn't stop smiling.

I've never experienced such a profound, memorable, badass, awesome moment at a live show.

Teenage Bottlerocket plays with Nerf Herder and Tightwire at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 25 at the Troubadour.

LA Weekly