Meat Puppets 05/11/09
Amoeba Music – Hollywood, CA
Words/Photos/Videos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com
With the milestone age of 30 weeks away for me, I was in high school when Nirvana introduced the world to Meat Puppets. During their now classic appearance on MTV Unplugged, the Arizona band performed three songs (only two song appeared on the original broadcast which our webmaster has on VHS) at the request of Cobain who couldn’t figure out how to play them on his own. This of course was my introduction to the brothers Meat (as Cobain dubbed them) and the wonderful yet wacky/twangy punk rock jams they have crafted for years. As time has progressed, I picked up a record here and there, and have always been a casual fan of the band. If Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson crossed off life goals in their 2007 hit “The Bucket List” – tonight in Hollywood, I was able to cross Meat Puppets off of my bucket list of bands I have to see live before I die.
With their new record Sewn Together hitting shelves tomorrow (05/12/09) Cris and Curt Kirkwood (along with drummer Ted Marcus) snuck into Amoeba Music to play some new song and visit some classics. With the store aisles packed with fans the trio opened the laid back 45 minute set with the new records title track. Thanks to being in the wrong place at the right time and talking basketball with a really great security guard, I was plopped right in front of the stage at the last minute. Being so close I could hear the band chat between with each other between songs. Much like Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning, the band threw out the play book early on and relied on audible and played whatever felt right. Another new song – “Rotten Shame” was one of the called audibles.
As fans danced in from the rock to the oldies section, it was about 5 songs into the bands set when I finally recognized a song. The last song (not counting the ever popular hidden track) from their 1994 breakthrough Too High To Die “Comin’ Down” was even more stripped down than the original. This really got the crowd bogeying as the brothers harmonized over the Tex Mex riffs. I think my personal highlight was one off the bands final numbers called “Up On The Sun”. The jam clocked in over 7 minutes and had a really sweet imrpov lead by Curt. The jam, with is rising riffs, deep distortion was just long enough to never get boring and featured a thick rhythm section laid down by Cris and Ted.
The band closed the intimate set with the one song left off the original airing of MTV Unplugged. The delicate “Oh Me” was the perfect closing, appealing to the casual fan like myself as well as the hardcore old school fan who were finally able to bring their young child to a Meat Puppets show. From (what I have been told) the record Cobain loved the most (Meat Puppets II), the band who had smiled through their entire set somehow to those grins grow a bit wider. With this being the opening night of their 28 date US tour, I am grateful to have finally seen the brothers meat 15+ years after I was introduced to them. In just 45 minutes, the band took the casual fan in me and made me a bit more obsessed. All the while crossing another band off my bucket list.