“Delving Into The Melvins”
On Friday January 27th I had the pleasure of seeing the Melvins perform an 11 song set at the Fonda Theatre in LA. While one could technically say that they “opened” for headliners Sleep, it’s more accurate to say that they played a full set in equal measure alongside Sleep, comparable in length and breadth to many of their other recent solo shows. In fact, I encountered many fans in the audience who were there at the show solely to see them perform (despite the immense draw that Sleep invokes). This was a further testament to the enduring appeal and relevance of Buzz and company.
Few bands in the history of rock music are as influential and iconic as the Melvins. Widely regarded as one of the first pioneers of both grunge and sludge metal, the Melvins have been active since 1983 and have been trailblazing ever since with consistently impressive creative output and rigorous touring. Their prolific discography of album and single releases could make even the most fastidious and obsessive record collector feel inadequate and incomplete. Given their rightful place in the pantheon of rock gods, seeing the band perform is something special to behold, with Buzz looking like a psychedelic wizard (imagine Gargamel with a head of stark white Sideshow Bob hair tormenting legions of cowering Smurfs for the nearest approximation of his likeness). Dale Clover also strikes an impressive figure, with his youthful mop of light brown hair and seemingly bionic neck and wrist muscles refined through thousands of hours of hardcore precision undulation and movement that would make Lee Majors jealous. Lastly, bassist Steven McDonald (of Redd Kross and OFF! fame), who has been performing with the band since 2015, jumped all around the stage with graceful aplomb, looking like the long-lost maniacal brother of Journey’s Steve Perry, a big grin denoting his genuine enjoyment of being on stage with his fellow band mates.
The Melvins plowed through their set with an unmatched ferocity, eliciting a strong response from the crowd. Musical highlights of the evening included their lively rendition of “It’s Shoved,” and “Kicking Machine,” as well as an unlikely but inspired Beatles Cover (“I Want To Hold Your Hand“)
Their full set list was as follows:
- Hag Me
- Onions Make The Milk Taste Bad
- The Bloated Pope
- I Want To Hold Your Hand
- Mr. Rip Off
- It’s Shoved
- National Hamster
- Halo of Flies
- The Kicking Machine
This is an exciting time for Melvins fans, with Buzz and Dale recently forming a new side project entitled Crystal Fairy (along with Omar Rodriguez of At The Drive In and Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes). Crystal Fairy will be releasing their debut eponymous album on February 24th and will be touring in Southern California, as well. I’m very much looking forward to catching one of their upcoming shows and maybe even getting the chance to interview them, so stay tuned.
Also, for fans that haven’t seen it, we had the pleasure of interviewing Buzz a couple years ago at SLO Brew in San Luis Obispo:
For more information about the Melvins, check out themelvins.net.
Inner Edge Music