Exactly one year after taking a road trip down to Pennsylvania to catch The Meat Puppets in Ween Country for two nights, tonight we kick off another double dip of the Meat Puppets, this time with The Moistboyz in the great state of Colorado. Always a good time when you could get me off the east coast. Last time I crossed time zones was Soundgraden at The Gorge Amphitheater in Washington in 2011. Now it’s Denver’s turn to have me inside of them tonight. Good thing about the back to back shows is the Meat Puppets are opening up Denver and Moistboyz open up tomorrow night in Boulder as it is a “co-headlining” bill.
Before hitting the Gothic Theater for the 7PM doors it was about time we explored this “Weed is for sale in stores thing”. It’s the most surreal thing in the world. On South Broadway in Englewood where the Gothic is, there’s a 10 mile stretch that must have at least 30 recreational weed stores, all named with lame marijuana puns. So with Deathstar in tow we were off to the theater. Inside is real nice with these sort of levels on the floor section allowed different sight lines for those of us who struggle with height. And a balcony wrapping around the 2nd floor. Before I knew it showtime was upon us.
The Meat Puppets graced the stage at 8PM with the token instrumental jam “I’m a Mindless idiot” opener followed by a thunderous “Touchdown King”.
“Plateau” and “Coming Down” (you know, mountain themes ) preceded a nine minute version of “Up on the Sun” that truly meant business. I guess they’re not mailing it in just because they’re opening.
Other highlights from the hour and 15 minutes the kings of the desert include “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” while Elmo Kirkwood, not uncommon to his live show experiences, lights up pot on stage and proceeds to blow clouds of smoke in the air. “Waiting” was the only Rat Farm track played tonight as things closed with the two headed monster of “Sloop John B” and “Lake of Fire”
followed by “Cathy’s Clown”, which is now two straight gigs where I’ve seen them close with it. They played up until 9:15.
Set List: Mindless, Touchdown King, Plateau, Coming Down, Up on the Sun , Monkey and the Snake, Oh me, Hey Baby Que Paso, Wasted Days And Wasted Nights, Sam,Waiting,Seal Whales, Sloop john B, Lake of Fire, Cathy’s Clown
Tons of beer on stage for Moistboyz who are due up at 9:30. It’s a pretty Moistboyz heavy crowd for tonight’s split bill, tons of Ween shirts. Those fans travel. After smoking a cigarette I walked back to my spot down front to hear the Moistboyz tuning slightly before 10. If you’ve never seen these guys live, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: Guy Heller is insane.
Literally. The best kind of insane. Screaming the lyrics to tonight’s first track, I Am The Reaper, these guys spent the next hour or so lighting up the crowd with a career spanning set that set off slam dances, moshing and just plain fun from a handful of dudes who know what it is to have a sense of humor.
Oh shit, that’s Nick Oliveri from Queens of the Stone Age on bass. Sick. Rocking the Scott Ian beard standing between Guy and Deaner, I slid my way in front of the guard rail to take some awesome shots. These guys rock HARD. With every passing song seeming more pleasing than the last according to roars, by the time they were halfway through Captain America I looked around almost in disbelief. There’s this many die hard Moistboyz fans ?
Full disclosure: the dude writing this loved Ween and still thinks it was a dick move in how the band was broken up. That said, this isn’t Ween. And that’s not at all a bad thing. It’s a completely different animal. A wild, loud beast.
Deaner is just flat out torturing his guitar. He is a guy who can’t just not be in a band, one of those special kind of guitar players who can’t be wasted sitting on a shelf at home. I mentioned Guy. He’s shirtless, he’s playing air guitar next to Dean and Steve, he’s singing to the drummer at one point, actually sang one song sitting down. Steve Hass is killing it too, the guitar player not named Dean in tonight’s equation.
As much as I tried to brush up on these tracks, a lot of them didn’t stick til tonight when I got to witness them live. And now, days later jotting this down, lots of those songs are still in my head. I knew Paperboy from the Record Store Day single a year ago, Nick sang the lyrics to that one. In The Valley Of The Sun just has this bad ass riff continuously through it. They even jam hard.
What an evening for the ages. And good thing is I get to do this again tomorrow night. Moistboyz setlist below (I took a picture of it)
I Am The Reaper
High and Mighty
That’s What Rock and Roll Can Do
Down on the Farm
Crisis and Vices
Valley Of The Sun
Good Morning America
Keep The Fire Alive