Posted in metal | music | pictures on May 17, 2009

words by Black Bubblegum, photos by Ryan Muir

The Melvins

The Melvins, in retro formation, played Webster Hall on Friday (5/15) as part of their 25th Anniversary celebration. As advertised, the band played the complete and slightly reconfigured Houdini, as well as portions from their 2005 collection of early demos, Mangled Demos.

Mangled Demos material leans more toward their hardcore roots, and I was always more of a fan of their heavier Sabbath-y material. That said, it was interesting to see Dale Crover on bass (he was introduced as ex-bassist, and ex-Mudhoney member, Matt Lukin) for a few songs. The trio for this opening portion of the night also consisted of Buzz, and original drummer Mike Dillard. Then Dillard left the stage and The Melvins became just Dale and Buzzo, sans bass (Dale moved back to drums) - all of the low end punch was gone out of the instrumentation.

Luckily, the Melvins-as-hardcore-duo was short-lived, and Trevor Dunn arrived later in the set clad in a camo druidian robe to set Webster Hall a-rumblin'. With Melvins the trio now on stage, Houdini was disassembled and played out of order with the band closing the show with a drum solo (with Trevor Dunn and Mike Dillard providing additional percussion) and a short Trevor Dunn bass solo. No encores (natch). As an experiment, I tried to listen to as little of Houdini as humanly possible before Friday, attempting to try and get a fresh perspective on a record that I had admittedly played to death years ago. Houdini classics such as "Honey Bucket", "Hooch", "Going Blind" were fantastic, and for a moment, they helped erase the fond memories of latter day Melvins with Coady and Jared (of Big Business). Smiles.

Packing in a smidge over two hours worth of material, Melvins finished just in time for Webster Hall curfew, and luckily I had Grey Wolves, Thrones, and Bastard Noise at No Fun Fest (at Music Hall of Williamsburg) to keep my energy and spirits high. More on that later.

More Melvins pics, a couple of videos, and the full setlist, below...

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Melvins @ Webster Hall in NYC - May 15, 2009 - setlist (via)

FIRST: [Dillard/Buzz/Dale]
1983 material, including "Forgotten Principles" and "Set Me Straight," and, I'm pretty sure, "If You Get Bored" and "Snake Appeal."

THEN: [Buzz/Dale duo]
1) "Second Coming"/"The Ballad of Dwight Fry"
2) "It's Shoved"
3) [slow unknown blues - cover? Crover sang; chorus sounded like "let me roll it"--anyone know what this was?]
4) "Suicide in Progress"
5) "Oven"
6) "Black Bock"
7) "Let God Be Your Gardener"

LAST: [Buzz/Dale/Dunn]
8 ) "Hag Me"
9) "Pearl Bomb"
10) "Hooch"
11) "Honey Bucket"
12) "Night Goat"
13) "Lizzy"
14) "Joan of Arc"
15) "Set Me Straight"/"Deserted Cities of the Heart"
16) "Sky Pup"
17) "Teet"
18) "Goin' Blind"
19) "Copache"
20) "Spread Eagle Beagle" [Crover, Dillard, Dunn]
21) "With Teeth"
22) "The Bit"
23) [band intros/loungey outro]

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Comments (18)

FUCK I'M SO MAD I MISSED THIS!!

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 12:08 AM

[slow unknown blues - cover? Crover sang; chorus sounded like "let me roll it"--anyone know what this was?] = 'Let Me Roll It' by Wings.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 12:22 AM

The show was brilliant..Absolutely flawless

The perfect ending would have been
Rocket Reducer No. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa) by the MC5


Also
I have seen the MELVINS about 15 times now (maybe more) and I have never heard Buzz speak as much as he did at this show.

Posted by Jim | May 18, 2009 12:23 AM

they were so awesome. dale crover was just knocking me backwards.

hag me was face melting

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 12:34 AM

cool as fuk

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 12:56 AM

one of the greatest shows i've ever seen

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 1:04 AM

yea very upset i missed this. Let me roll it is off the LP "band on the run"

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 7:19 AM

One of the greatest shows you've ever seen? How many shows have you seen then? The show was okay at best. The 1983 set absolutely sucked. Maybe that was intentional as they kind of sucked back then? The Houdini set had some great moments but over all it was a weird show and the sound was abysmal. I left about 3/4s of the way into Houdini. The Melvins have played far superior shows in NYC. ATP should hopefully be a lot better.

Posted by wingwalker77 | May 18, 2009 8:29 AM

Natch.

Smiles.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 9:21 AM

The Melvins rocked!

I can't wait to see the Wingwalker77 band. Based on the comments, they are probably way better than the Melvins...

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 9:32 AM

8:29 You left 3/4 of the way through Houdini. 'nough said.

I agree the early stuff was pretty lame, but it is what it is. You'll never hear any of these song performed again, so relax.
I really liked the duo performance, especially all the greats like its shoved, oven, let god be your gardener.
When Trevor came out and they opened with Hag me, that was an unbelievable moment. Trevor is an amazing bassist and I haven't see bass like that in any incarnation of the melvins and i've seen lori and joe play. I thought the sound was very good. For as dumb as those 6.30pm door are, webster has good sound in my opinion. I also like the stage height if that matters to anyone. All in all, a really good melvins show.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 9:44 AM

My band sucks.

Posted by wingwalker77 | May 18, 2009 11:36 AM

I have to disagree with the author about the 2 piece part of the show, I thought it was pretty amazing. I believe this was my 16th Melivns show, every show, not counting Jelvins and stuff like that. I'd put this in the top three shows I've seen them do. Maybe you were in a bad part of building audio-wise? I was in the balcony and they couldn't have sounded better. This is the Melvins I know, the pre-BB 3 piece. Loose when they need to be and super heavy, something we haven't seen since BB joined the band. Not to knock on Jared and Coady, I love them too, but I wish Buzz and Dale would hire Trevor Dunn for a full time gig. Heavy came back for a night and it was awesome.

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 3:22 PM

yes, your band does suck

Posted by Anonymous | May 18, 2009 5:19 PM

I was at the show in Austin, TX. Great stuff. I was not to familiar with the early stuff but recognized some of it. The Duo was nice, but i was really there for the Houdini mash up. Over all a great set. I think this is the 5th time i have seen them. The only Melvins show id say that would top this one would be the set they did with Tomahawk and Dalek. I Made a video of "Pearl Bomb" "Hooch" "Honey Bucket" @ youtube.com/xick1.

Good times.

Posted by Needlepusher | May 24, 2009 3:56 AM

Sideshow Bob called, he wants his hairstyle back.

Posted by Krusty | May 24, 2009 8:11 AM

Except Buzzo's had hair like that since before the Simpsons; maybe it's a tribute to the Melvins, considering Groening and the Melvins both have Pac-NW roots

Posted by Anonymous | May 27, 2009 2:07 PM

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