Meat Puppets – 04/01/2013
Chameleon Club – Lancaster, PA
Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks
Opening Day. Fresh cut grass, blue skies and Baseball. It is indeed the foundation of America. Today is a different kind of Opening Day for this guy, as it’s the first of four consecutive nights to be spent with my desert punk legend buddies, The Meat Puppets. They’ve got a new record coming out, Rat Farm, this month and all reports are that the first few shows of this Rat Farm tour have been kicking ass. Tonight we’re in Lancaster-somehow stars aligned and my good friend Linda was able to pick me up for a little road trip into Pennsylvania to catch the band twice before the back to back at the Mercury Lounge in New York City the 3rd and the 4th. So with a bag packed and a pocket full of dreams, and not a dollar to my name we got in that rental car and hit the road.
The Chameleon Club sneaks up on you, as it appears to be your regular run of the mill street when suddenly appears a club across the street from a parking lot. Really old school feel. I’m from city where everything is extravagant, its cool to settle into a grass roots looking kinda joint in the middle of somewhat no where to take in some awesome music.
The World Takes hit the stage at 8:15, I could hear them from the back of the room. The guitars got really funky at times, their second or third song had a pretty awesome solo, and the next song sounded like some early Meat Puppets on speed. Twangy at times, straight forward at other points, the World Takes far from sucked. Did you know their drummer is DJ Bonebreak from ‘X‘? How cool is that? Throughout their set the songs sounded more and more like a mixture of the Pups and like, Pavement with more added twang. At one point scouting spots, I ended up downstairs and there was some dude doing stand up comedy in this dank sidebar part of the club. Lots of stuff happening in Lancaster, if I wasn’t here on business, I’d go tell a few jokes. The World Takes played til a few minutes before 9. They’ll be on the next four dates at least, so show up early and check them out.
At 9:17 with the whistling of “The Monkey and The Snake” we were off and running with this evenings proceedings. During Touchdown King, I headed my way upstairs, trying to explore every corner of this place. I got there I was along the rail overlooking the band almost from above/behind them, and by the time I settled in, we’re already getting our first taste from Rat Farm. Before the set, Shandon said that they’d try to squeeze in four tracks from the new album. That’s entirely possible because 3rd song in I see Curt say “Waiting” to Shan. Ah ha, but I recall the trusty article on AQ that gave me the list of tracks, and can recall that Waiting was one of those new ones. That was followed by “Sometimes Blue”, also off Rat Farm. From this angle you can really appreciate Shandon’s drumming expertise.
Band has a different energy tonight. Ripping through the “Oh, Me”, “Coming Down” and “Plateau” ferociously before hitting us with the double dip of Sahm action: “Wasted Days And Wasted Nights” and “Hey Baby Que Paso”.
That Wasted Days is some real groovy stuff man, always finding that being the song I hum during the writing of these things.
Elmo, shredding behind Cris throughout the evening, rounding out the craziness that is this band was thrust upon the mic with his turn to take his crack at the vocal duties, helping out Curt on a song that the name is escaping me. Wonder if they’ll ever get a 3rd mic up there. Out of that song, and the next two at least one of them had to be new considering those were the only three I couldn’t name all night.
After that section, it was time for Sloop John B straight into the always blistering Lake Of Fire. Then they ducked off stage.
Figure this gave me time to run back downstairs (as you can see from the pics/videos, I’m not in stand still mode tonight whatsoever). I come out of the staircase literally 14 seconds after they went off they were back on ready to kick it encore style. I’m A Mindless Idiot jammed us into Backwater. That was the last song of the evening.
Nothing left to do but hang out by the merch table waiting for the boys to come out and congratulate them on a their victory here this evening in Lancaster. And there was this chick with purple hair waiting to have a pic taken with the band and I could not take my eyes of this chick. So purple hair Lancaster girl, if you read this, you have an admirer from New York.
10th time seeing this band. Great times. Tomorrow night: New Hope!