It feels rather daunting to write about a group as famous as the Melvins because there really isn’t a whole lot you can say about the band that hasn’t been said before. So, I’ll just go ahead and get my two cents in about my past experience seeing them live at The Observatory in Santa Ana, California on August 28, 2015.
Buzz Osborne is an interesting looking fellow, and like all great musicians I think the more famous they get the less flying fucks they give about their appearance. It reminds me of those senior citizens who are so comfortable with themselves that they dress and wear exactly what they want, not giving a second thought about what anyone thinks. Now it might be shallow to comment on what Osborne was wearing, but I mean, he wears a robe. A fucking ROBE, like a wizard or some shit! I saw him, and I couldn’t help but think, “Ok…Gandalf,” I mean he was rocking the white hair on top of it. What I found out later, which is even more fascinating, is that he ALWAYS wears a robe when he performs live, or well, at least in the past 5 years. That takes some dedication, man! After all, he was running around everywhere on stage singing and playing with sweat just pouring off of him, it seemed almost masochistic.
Look at him, dude, he looks ready to exorcise some demons! This guy must really like his robes.
Regardless of Osborne’s appearance this guy is oozing with talent and it was fascinating to watch. He is so utterly confident and just so into what he is playing that you can’t help but be some what transfixed on, if not at least admire, his performance.
Perhaps as equally fascinating was the that they had two drummers performing as one. Boom. I know. Mind Blown. Coady Willis and Dale Crover play together with such synchronicity and tact that at one point I was staring at their faces just so I could try and pick up any mannerisms or cues that they might use to communicate to each other while they perform. They are extremely subtle.
Pretty cool right? I thought so!
Now, getting back to talking about the actual show, I think everyone there was pretty pleased about the setlist. Melvins did a nice job of mixing together both their newer and older songs from an array of albums, including Bullhead, (A) Senile Animal, and Stoner Witch, to name a few. There really is no arguing as to whether or not their show was good because it was, hands-down. However, when it comes to the most memorable part of the show, I think most of my fellow audience members would agree that it came at the end of the show when The Melvins covered Bikini Kill’s iconic song “Rebel Girl.” Not only was the song choice unexpected, but so was the tiny and incredibly spunky Teresa Suárez (known as “Terri Gender Bender” from the rock-band Le Butcherettes) who literally popped up out of NOWHERE to sing the powerful vocals (she did Kathleen Hannah justice if I do say so myself). Sadly I did not get any photos, however, I did manage to record most of the performance which you can find here.
What I did find rather puzzling and regrettable was that the Melvins didn’t put on an encore performance. Maybe the crowd didn’t cheer loud enough (they really didn’t), or perhaps they never intended to, regardless it was still slightly disappointing. Perhaps audiences these days are just a little too spoiled in our expectations for encore performances.
What’s interesting about the Melvins is that they are metal group that is experimental enough to find itself categorized in a slew of different metal sub types. But, in simplistic terms, if you are looking for some heavy, dark, and slower paced metal then the Melvins might just be your fix. To some, the Melvins might seem too similar and redundant to really keep causal listeners interested, however, after seeing them live, I cannot agree with that statement. Now I have to admit, if I hadn’t gotten to see this show I don’t think I’d be as big as a fan as I am now, but knowing this, I adamantly encourage others to listen to these guys and if you get the chance, go and see them like I did. 😉
Aaaaaaaaaand, now for pictures!
Seriously though, what is with the robe thing? It baffles me. If anyone has an inkling or any sort of information as to why he does this, comment below!!