In the Crowd: Melvins + Big Business
Melvins + Big Business
The Big Easy, Spokane, WA
I wasn't sure if I'd feel like writing tonight. But since I'm sitting out here on the street armed with only a notepad and a crumpled ticket, I guess I probably should. I should also mention that I've been slurping on cans of Icehouse deuce-fours. The sun is shining, but it has cooled off considerably tonight. It seems that Fall is smothering Summer in a rust colored blanket. I tug at my black hooded sweatshirt and watch a fat girl across the streetlight a cigarette. Man, that girl is large. I hate Spokane. Not because of the fat women, though that might be part of it. I just have this vague feeling of disdain when I hang out in town. A lot of people that live here are transplants, but the ones who were born and raised in Spokane are complete idiots. I'm not kidding. Fucking hicks with a big city attitude. Seattle's inbred cousin.
I'm curious to see how many kids show up for this one. The last time I was at the Big Easy it was to see Built to Spill and that was almost a year ago. Spokane gets, like, 3 good shows a year and this is one of them. How many Sevendust tee shirt wearin' longhairs will I have to wade through to catch a glimpse of the sweet Melvs? Have you heard that they went and swallowed up the fellas from BIG BUSINESS? They also have a new album coming out in October. You should buy it when it comes out. It's really good. I've been listening to it a lot lately, although right now I'm listening to TV on the Radio's new one. If you don't have it yet, you should buy that one too. They are sooooo hot right now. I heard they were on Letterman the other night.
So I think I've seen the Melvins too many times to count. Seriously. I've been going to their shows for the better part of the last decade. In that time, I've never walked out of a Melvins show feeling cheated. Even when they were doing their noise set a few years back. This was when Buzz would sway back in forth in front of his amp like a man possessed and drone on and on with the feedback and delay pedals for twenty minutes or more. They would always finish off the set with fan faves like Honey Bucket, Queen and The Bit. I'm wondering if they'll just give these Spokane fucks the middle finger and dive into Colossus of Destiny. Either way, I would be happy.
OK, I'm going to go pee behind that green dumpster and then head inside.
I'm in, and definitely surprised by the lack of people here. I grab another beer back at the bar and pull up a stool biding my time before things get kicked off. The ambient sounds wafting from the stage certainly are creepy. It sounds like a robot rubbing one out on a copper plate of electric eels. Twenty minutes of this passes and then the BIG BIZ bros. take the stage to a half empty room. They are greeted with somewhat enthusiastic applause and launch into their opening song. Jared, the bass player formerly of KARP, lays down a thick slab of fuzz while Coady counters with his unique brand of elastic drumming. I seriously forgot how good of a drummer he is. I remember seeing Murder City Devils a long time ago, and his playing was much more subdued in those days. I mean he was still really good, but the music didn't really call for him to go nuts like he does in BIG BUSINESS.
Jared looks like a mini Buzzo with his brown mumu and large hair. Several songs into the BIG BUSINESS set, a bloated Dale Crover makes his way to the stage with a golden Les Paul. Dale hammers on a few chords and displays some fancy finger work, his wispy hair bobbing to and fro offering mildly interesting results. After a few more BIZ songs, my focus is waning because the sound kinda sucks, so I head closer to the stage. It turns out I'm just in time, as Dale has snuck behind his kit and Buzzo is finally emerging from the shadows. Before anyone has time to realize it, the Melvins show is beginning.
The now four piece collective launches into the opener from (a) Senile Animal, The Talking Horse. From this point on, it's all about the drums. I ain't kidding. Seeing two of the best drummers in rock square off against one another is something wonderful. The songs that follow span the entire Melvins catalog reaching as far back as Oven from the Gluey Porch Treatments record. Other highlights include Set Me Straight, Hooch, Let It All Be and a healthy dose of new material from their upcoming album. Leaving little space between songs, we hardly have a chance to shout our praises before the band careens into the next song. But then again, it's not about us. It's about the music, man.
After barreling through roughly twenty songs, the Melvins end on Lovely Butterfly, a choice pick from the Honky album. Slathered in fuzzed-out bass and boorish vocals, the song ends with a large drum solo that leaves a shit eating grin stretched all the way across my face. I have to say; at this point I could listen to Dale and Coady bang away at their kits all night long. You will also want to see Dale and Coady bang away at their kits all night long. So go buy a ticket if they haven't already passed through your town. The Melvins have been around for a long time, but they won't be around forever.
- Tyler Botts | 2006-09-27
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