Meat Puppets / Soul Asylum – 06/22/2015
Bowery Ballroom – New York City
Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks
The last time I walked into the Bowery Ballroom to see the Meat Puppets they went on after 11PM, Shandon was standing atop a part of his drum kit after kicking it over near 1AM as the band was shredding a rare bust out of Attacked By Monsters to close out the night. Tonight, excitement is at new levels as The Meat Puppets are co-headlining this tour with Soul Asylum; basically giving you the chance to see two great bands still rocking out for the price of one. I mean, what else can happen here tonight to make it more awesome? Is Gibby Haynes gonna join the Meat Puppets on stage for a Freddy Fender song? That you’ll have to read on for.
Show is set to kick off shortly after 8-8:15ish. Questions one may ask are: “Well who goes on first?” and “Which band gets to play longer?”. Since the tour is co-headlining, each band is getting roughly 75 mins on stage. Tonight the Meat Puppets played first.
Never ones to stray from starting things with an instrumental jam, tonight’s lead off was Seal Whales. More people in this place than I originally thought. As I was at the merch table bullshitting before showtime didn’t remember THIS many people. Place looked as full as you’re gonna get on a Monday. And it was rocking in there. During Comin’ Down that gave me idea. Head downstairs. Oh, Me was great to get recorded from down there in the first few rows. Then, during Sam I get a tap on the shoulder with a security guard telling me not to take video. Instead of giving him the “it’s 2015” speech I give to all old people I shot back “Yes sir No Video Sir” and headed back upstairs to continue to film.
That’s when things got, well, things got awesome as Gibby Haynes (of course of the Butthole Surfers) was asked to come up and join the band in covering Freddy Fender’s “Wasted Days And Wasted Nights”. It was fun. I’ve got the video below. Wow.
We’re staying down in Texas here for a few as Hey Baby Que Paso preceded Before the Next Teardrop Falls and before you know it Seven Spanish Angels is being rocked out heavy. Bowery Ballroom doesn’t skimp on sound, this place was bumping! Very glad to see that happening.
There was an Up On The Sun a bit earlier in the set and it lasted over 10 mins. It included Cris and Elmo bumping into the speaker and it almost falling over followed by Cris’s best Urkel impression (“Did I do that??). That was some epic shit right there. Curt and Elmo bouncing those spicy riffs back and forth of one another while Cris lays down some, as he called them, direct quote: “Tasty fucking bass licks!”. Quite accurate. And Shandon. Shandon has to watch all this unfold in front of his very eyes and keep up with the Kirkwood Guitar Noise Expo. Anyone who can drum in this band is someone of serious talent. Killin’ it back there.
Finished up strong with Backwater followed by the Sloop John B into Lake of Fire set the building on fire show closer. These dudes kill it every time they come around, no surprises here to witness this. Just wish they’d play these slightly larger type venues more often than places like Mercury Lounge where every picture is pitch black. Oh yeah, and Soul Asylum is up next!
Somewhere after 9:30 Soul Asylum hit the stage and Dave Pirner had on an Aquaman shirt. File that under “Hashtag: Rad”. These dudes are way more than just Runaway Train, and this being my third time seeing this band I can say that they’ve proved that with every set. Somebody To Shove brought the crowd back to life from it’s short intermission real quick. Shut Down preceeded two personal favorites of mine, Just Like Anyone and Misery. Such a tight band these dudes are.
The dude writing this isn’t surprised that Dave Pirner owns a grammy. Dave has a great rock voice and a above par songwriter too. I mean every song seems like it could be in the soundtrack of movie. And sometimes they are as the case with Misery.
Sometimes they’re not. Whatcha Need was up next before Black Gold, another one I had to tape. Band rocked quite a few more tracks awesome tunes. Without A Trace, The Game, Can’t Help It were songs I just took in. I had a seat so I leaned back, had a great view of this awesome scene. Thinking back of my shitty weekend and thinking about how I wasn’t thinking about it at all. That’s what this whole thing is about. Tonight was the first night I felt normal again in a while.
A few more were in were in the tank before things wind down. Supersonic, which isn’t an Oasis cover (That might be a little too 1994 at that point) but actually, I believe it’s a new track off the forthcoming record. It’s a rocker. Eyes of A Child was the last man standing before this place was about to burst wide open for, quite frankly, one of the best Rock & Roll songs ever to exist.
Runaway Train. And I’m back to recording. I need to get one with good sound, the previous times I saw the vocals on my video didn’t sound so hot. Well thank you Bowery Ballroom because everything sounds great to me at 5AM here after the show watching the video. When Pirner plucks those final bars on that song it sounded like magic. This night was just too insane. Spinnin’ , Gravity, Made To Be Broken were heavy jams before the biggest of them all, April Fool closed that son’bitch down.
Check this tour out. It’s coming out west where Concert Confessions Headquarters is based out of. I know we got lots of readers from the best coast. Head to TheMeatPuppets.Com/Tour and keep up to date. So many smiles leaving Bowery Ballroom. Such satisfaction.