Melvins - Crescent Ballroom - 7-12-13

Crescent Ballroom
July 12, 2013

It might be a good idea to take a drive by the Crescent Ballroom this morning and see if that place is still standing. I am pretty sure that the Melvins' blistering delivery of their noisy, sludge-y, smart, thick, and furious blend of motherfucking ROCK left that lovely downtown Phoenix venue in a pile of ashes after one lengthy and glorious set Friday night.

Weeding through the rock 'n' roll rubble, you might come across some bloody ears, a couple of mangled limbs, and maybe, just maybe, HOPEFULLY, the fucking annoying couple next to me who were constantly striving for crowd attention, reminding me of that old wisecrack, "Yeah, I remember MY first concert."

Read our complete interview with Buzz Osborne

Suffering fools like those two jokers became a moot endeavor once the Melvins climbed upon the stage, kicking it off in no shy manner with "Hag Me," from 1993's Houdini. Guitarist and main man of the vocal duties, Buzz Osborne -- a.k.a. King Buzzo -- bassist fill-in Jeff Pinkus, and drumming duo Dale Crover and Coady Willis unleashed the fury.

The walls -- along with Buzzo's signature mass of giant crimped hair -- shook, the floor moved, and an envelope of noisy devastation enveloped the crowd, sealing the room shut with an impenetrable glob of sonic drool.

Celebrating 30 years of existence, the Melvins took it from there into a journey through their catalog, including, "Hooch," "Night Goat," and "Lizzy" also from Houdini, as well as "A Growing Disgust" from Freak Puke and the driving, commanding "Queen" from Stoner Witch. The latter locked the crowd into its groove, slowing up the pit action for a few minutes; Buzzo's guitar subtly keeping the good tension on the verge of perpetual explosion.

It's been a few years since I've seen the Melvins live, definitely before they started this business with having monster-on-drums Dale Crover share duties with another beater of the skins. Not that it wasn't already a perfect setup back in those days, but this pushed it over the edge, ensuring it as a brilliant fucking breathtaking festival for the eyes, the ears, and the gut.

Along with Coady Willis, who also drums for some other bands like Big Business (with Melvins bassist Jeff Pinkus), the two linked up like Satan's own marching band. You know, without the actual marching.

Location Info

Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

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I too had to stand next to the annoying couple, but why am I reading about them (and the worthless fact that someone insulted the friend of the author) in a concert review of the Melvins? Hmmm... odd. Regarding the concert itself, all I know is that this was my first Melvins show and the last thing on my mind was the annoying couple on my right or the cast of Vikings from a Capitol One commercial killing each in the mosh pit behind us. I'm simply glad to have seen the Melvins up close even if it may have cost me my hearing. I stood stage front with Buzz on my left and the drummers/bass to my right. My left ear is still ringing from the super-tone of  Buzz's acrylic ax through one of the best sounding (and loudest) amp/cabs I have ever heard. My right ear is still ringing from the blast wave created when 2 of the hardest hitting drummers around synced-up and smashed their kits so hard that wood chips from their sticks literally kept flying by. The whole show was a joy to watch as these musicians showed us what 30 years of playing in the pocket can produce. The set was excellent and flowed so well without breaks that you had to wonder when these guys would ever come up for air... they didn't. We left exhausted and happy - if deaf - and even ended up loving the opening act, Honkey. Just a great show all around last night.    P.S. - Note to New Times... get a real photographer please. 

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