Generally, I’m pretty particular about what I like across the board. Sure, I enjoy a wide range of music styles, but for the most part, you could say, I am an indie, electronic, hip-hop kind of girl. I never thought I would go see The Melvins play live, but then I realized…I am a Music Designer with an open mind and looking for new adventures. I loved the Pixies, I liked Fugazi, I liked Nirvana, I like post-punk, why wouldn’t I enjoy something on the harder side like the Melvins? Well, technically it was Melvins Lite. That’s 2 original members plus one badass stand-up bass player. Anyways, my boyfriend inspired me to go so I gave it shot, bought tickets, packed my ear plugs (I heard they were loud) and headed on down to The Handlebar in Greenville, SC – about 2 hours into the deep south and a night away from Charlotte, NC (where I am most Friday nights).
The Melvins released a new EP, 1983, earlier this year to coincide with their 50 states + DC in 51 days tour. The EP features the band’s original line up (when they began in 1983) of Buzz Osborne (guitars/vocals), Dale Crover (bass), and Mike Dillard (drums). The tour features a 3-piece version of the band with Osborne and Crover and an addition of Trevor Dunn on stand-up bass.
The opening band for the tour was the heavy progressive rock band Tweak Bird, a duo consisting of brothers Caleb and Ashton Bird. I caught the last couple of songs from their set including a cover of “Children of the Revolution” which I enjoyed. Who doesn’t love a good T. Rex cover?! Plus, Dale Crover came out to play drums with them and that was my first indication that I was about to witness some pretty amazing musicians. As Melvins Lite came out and began the show, I was curious how it was going to go for me. It’s not my bag at all. Everybody there was stoked and I felt like most everyone there had been fans for years, decades even. The Melvins have been around for 30 years but for me they were virtually brand new. A couple of songs in I thought. “I might not like this show.” Then something happened, and I’m not sure what song it was, but I started to feel the depth, the power, and was blown away by how unique and utterly flawless these musicians were. There is an unwavering union between Osborne and Crover as they performed, and like I said earlier, Trevor Dunn on the stand-up bass was amazing.
Are any of the songs from the setlist particularly memorable to me? Not really. There were a couple of covers they performed, one of them being “Let Me Roll It” by Wings, but other than that I couldn’t tell you what was played or which song I favored. It was simply the band and their performance that I was impressed with. I won’t be blasting a Melvins album during my weekend joy rides, but I would most certainly attend a Melvins show again.
An interesting factoid I discovered after the show was that the concept of 50 states in 50 days was supposed to be a record breaker that seems to be a little bit of a controversy. Apparently, George Thorogood and The Destroyers completed the record breaker in 1981, but Buzz says it never happened. From what I’ve read, George Thorogood’s claim to the record breaker is not recorded as a record breaker and so The Melvins are working to claim it.
Here’s a funny Spin Magazine article I found on the Melvins impression of the south.
– Submitted by Anida Gurlit, Music Design