A Night Goat with the Melvins: A Cape of Sludgy, Oozy Goodness
On a regular-ass Monday night, I headed up to The Waiting Room in Benson to see the Melvins. I missed the first act of the night, Toshi Kasai because things happen, but my photographer, Witherfang’s own Anthony Flakus was on the case and snapped some photos. I was a bit bummed to miss Toshi as I know he was a guitarist and keyboardist for Big Business for a handful of years but, alas, I digress.
I did, however, make it in time to see Redd Kross. It’s no surprise that Toshi or Redd Kross are touring with the Melvins. Toshi has done keyboards, mixing, and engineering on a couple of Melvins albums, and you have bassist Steven McDonald, and kit slayer, Dale Crover, pulling double shifts in Redd Kross and Melvins.
Redd Kross is stylistically different from the Melvins, though, as they are more of a rock/punk/pop band. While not typically my thing, they have a dynamic stage presence and put on quite the show. It was easy to get into the catchy songs.
I was most excited, of course, when the Melvins hit the stage. The Melvins are currently composed of King Buzzo (well, duh) on lead guitar & lead vocals, Dale Crover (obviously) on drums & vocals, and Steven McDonald on bass & vocals. While bassists and other guitarists come and go – or are absent altogether – the Sludgy Duo of Buzzo and Crover has consistently remained the same. Time has barely touched them as they kicked as much ass as they always have.
Buzzo came out in a robe covered in eyes. I’m not sure what the significance of that is, but I’m pretty sure he can wear whatever he wants and still look fucking cool. After I admired the robe of distinction, the band launched into their first song of the night, Sesame Street Meat. With a name like that, you know it has to be good. Next, they played Kicking Machine, one of my favorite Melvins songs. It's got that nice driving riff that sucks you in.
After that, their setlist went something like this: Anaconda, Queen, It’s Shoved, Oven, With Yo’ Heart, Not Yo’ Hands (although I kinda wished they’d played Anal Satan off that album instead, because Satan), Billy Fish, Charlie (Redd Kross cover), Civilized Worm, Hooch, Honey Bucket (these last two are off of my favorite album Houdini), A Growing Disgust, You’re Blessened, The Bit, and With Teeth. If you know the Melvins fairly well, you'll know that this is actually a really great spread of stuff from their expansive discography. Since the Melvins have been around for so long, it was like being treated to a musical history of their shit. If that wasn't kick-ass enough, they were in top form that night. Buzzo’s vox and guitar were on point, Steven’s bass pummeled through bodies, and Dale beat the fucking shit out of his kit. It was truly awesome.
The worst part of the night was dealing with the remnants of a cold and having to vacate my place at the front of the stage for a glass of water after a coughing fit. Fucking sickness. I never was able to completely reclaim my spot, but I got fairly close.
When their set was over, or so we all thought, they brought out the rest of Redd Kross and did a joint encore, something Dale insisted they’d never done before. I’m sure hoping he’s right because, while I didn’t recognize the song, it was a badass way to end the show. Doom on.
-All photos courtesy of Anthony Flakus.