Meat Puppets, Mike Watt + The Jom & Terry Show w/ Special Guest Grant Hart
Brooklyn Bowl – 05/10/2017
Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks
In 1985 label mates at SST Records embarked on the road in what was dubbed “The Tour” and it featured the likes of Husker Du, the Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Saccharine Trust, and SWA. Fast forward to 2017 and we have some of the ol’ gang hitting the road together again as The Meat Puppets have embarked on ‘The Tour Tour Two’ co-headlining dates with Mike Watt (Minutemen) + The Jom & Terry Show. Not only that, but a handful of dates here on the East Coast feature Grant Hart (From Husker Du) as a special guest opener. We’re at the Brooklyn Bowl for this one, which in case you’ve missed it, is a active bowling alley/concert venue hybrid and it’s the best thing to hit Williamsburg since IPA or CitiBike docking stations.
If you’re a fan of unique personalities, I’d like to introduce you to my new close and personal friend Grant Hart. Hanging around the venue incognito before he opened his set at 8PM with a booming Colorado. Real cool dude and as later discovered, nice enough to autograph stuff for fans who asked during the night. His set was about a half hour of glorioussness. You’re the Reflection of The Moon on The Water” is off 2009’s Hot Wax before the token Husker Du track Never Talking To You Again got resounding cheers. Or maybe it was someone rolling a strike at one of the lanes. Those folks seemed jacked to knock over pins with a ball. Two people behind me were talking to each other during the set. Overheard: “This guy, maybe he’s famous? A lot of people watching.” Yeah, he’s famous. As he said after the set “yeah man we worked hard back in the day on all this stuff so people can have our songs as their fucking ringtone.” Fantastic set.
Also, right before ducking off. Grant said something: “Home of the brave, not home of the chicken shit! We gotta do something man. Let’s shut the mother fucker down!” Damn right Grant, damn right. #Resist
Mike Watt has been bringing his Pedro twang to the scene since the 80s. He’s been in so many bands, so many different projects and is integral to every one of them. A set of assorted covers would blast out our eardrums over the next hour.
Tonight Mike Watt is with the Jom & Terry Show, comprised of Tom Watson on guitar and Jerry Trebotic. Need to be good to keep up with the pluckin’ and peddlin’ of Watt and these dudes are up for the task. Portions of the night had me in awe of Tom Watson’s guitar expertise.
Songs were running into each other without pause at times, like the notion of playing 48 songs in 43 minutes wasn’t so far out of the realm. Some songs contained long break downs at the end where Watt would run wild with the bass. Incredible vibes flowing through the Brooklyn Bowl on this night. Right after he said goodnight Mike Watt screamed out “John Coltrane!!!” then put his yellow backpack back on and headed off stage. Perfect.
The Meat Puppets had a little extra kick in their step tonight as they hit the stage at 10:15. Maybe it’s playing with old friends, maybe it’s the vibe of Williamsburg fueling the fire on stage. Legends to put it lightly, this is personally my 19th time seeing the sun scored desert rockers.
That said, it was exciting to hear a couple songs that haven’t been busted out most of those times. When Flaming Heart hit, it was so hard to contain squeals of excitement. They sang the harmonies on the chorus differently than the version found on Too High To Die, more low key. It was delightful.
Sam, Coming Down, Oh Me and Plateau had preceded. The Meat Puppets Facebook page had a live video going for the evening’s opener of Sam. How cool is that? And what do the comments read on that video? Well, they critique the abilities of the person taking said live video. The direct reason we can’t have nice things. Sidenote: I envy Cris Kirkwood’s beard.
The last time I saw The Meat Puppets play Severed Goddess Hand live, to my knowledge (fact-checking encouraged) was back in 2008 when they opened for Build To Spill with Dinosaur Jr sandwiched between them. The grainy pictures from my blackberry make me sick to this day. Sick in a different way was yet another gem from one of my favorite records of theirs.
Not exactly the same as the version that Metallica plays, Whiskey In The Jar is always a fun time live.
Mockin’ Bird Hill was the two minute break from the ear-shredding that we all needed. Sweet little diddy and gave everyone a chance to catch their breath. This calm in the air would only last one minute and forty four seconds.
ATTACKED BY MONSTERS!!!!!!!!!! How awesome!? It’s a freaking headbanger full of fuzzy guitar genius. Only time I’ve seen them do it is 2009. This was sick. Upset this isn’t one of the songs they chose to extended jam on, but the night isn’t over.
Up on The Sun had to have clocked in at over 10 minutes. It can’t be said enough about the Meat Puppets. It’s a trip you take. These mid-song space jams, it’s like being elevated into some sort of craft and you return to earth when they come back into the song eventually. They always come back. Curt didn’t pull out the slide til late in the evening. The Brooklyn Bowl got smoked by the old guard of SST tonight. And it was phenomenal.
Severed Goddess Hand
Monkey And The Snake
Mockin’ Bird Hill
Whiskey In The jar
I’m ragged but I’m right
Lake of fire
Attacked by Monsters
Up on The Sun