Last Saturday I shook hands with Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover. This might not mean much to you, Avid Reader, if you aren’t as familiar with their places in grunge history but for my buddy and me this was a huge deal. We decided to walk around town a bit and hit the venue early when we noticed a fellow with some trademark hair texting on a phone. Within a few seconds we met Buzz, he thanked us for coming to the show, but he had to go unload his gear for sound check. Later that evening before the band hit the stage, Dale was getting up from a table after eating dinner and we wished him a good show, we shook hands and he was off. My world shrank a little as I realized that Kurt Cobain idolized these two guys, carted their gear, watched them play in attics and even tried out to be the drummer in their band a very long time ago. That alone was worth the $17 we paid for admission.
The venue is the upstairs of a rather nice pub in Dover. The capacity is around 130 but there couldn’t have been that many people, still the folks that were present were in awe of the spectacle that would take place. As bassist Trevor Dunn took the stage with his massive upright bass he began to pound out a rhythm – and I mean pound. Within a few measures Dale took his spot behind the drums and did what he does best: destroy his drum kit with speed and density. The last piece was Buzz taking his guitar and supplying an intense amount of feedback, drone and sludge to get us through the night.
Sticking with material off their latest release Freak Puke they did incorporate some choice picks from a few of their previous albums. Since I’m not too familiar with their catalog, shame on me, many of the songs bled right into each other to make you think there were no breaks. If there was one thing I can say about the band: they were loud. Not in an annoying way that some metal bands can be, this was loud in a crushing sense. Many of the riffs and playing would not have sounded out of place on a Tool album, which makes sense considering many of those players have worked together on projects within the last two decades.
The show ended as abruptly as it began with each of them walking off the stage at an interval, leaving the hum of the bass to follow us out to fresh air. It was after midnight, we were shell shocked and faced the long ride home; still it was a unique night that I won’t soon forget. Check their set — and this was show 25 of 50.
The duo of Tweak Bird provided a set of psychedelic feedback, hard drumming and dissonance to churn up the crowd and they succeeded.
(The Melvins play Pawtucket tonight [Oct 2], followed by New Haven [Oct 3] and Brooklyn [Oct 4]. For more tour dates, see their site.)