Thirty-five years later, the Melvins are still rockin’ as hard & loud as they ever have

MelvinsPhotos by Mike Rosati // Written by Andrew Pohl //

Melvins with ModPods, Yen Yen //
Great American Music Hall – San Francisco
July 16th, 2018 //

For as many times as the Melvins have performed in the Bay Area over their extensive career, I just hadn’t gotten around to seeing them. Several friends of mine have praised them as one of, if not THE best band to catch live, and though I admittedly didn’t know their material beyond a few songs that I had heard on occasion, I was happy to have the chance to catch them. With the sold-out gig taking place at one of my favorite venues in SF, that made it all the better.

Arriving at the Great American Music Hall about 15 minutes before showtime, I ran into a few good friends that I hadn’t seen in a while, which made the whole experience that much better. Kicking things off were Yen Yen, a Swedish electronic duo whose ethereal, 25-minute set was a refreshingly different sound when comparing it to what was supposed to be a Monday night of sonic bombardment by the mighty Melvins. As one of the band’s members twisted and turned knobs to manipulate some swelling synth-pad samples, the other waved his hands over what looked like a theremin type synth. Twenty-five minutes was the perfect length for their set, as much more than that might have become long in the tooth, but I did enjoy what I heard and it was pretty impressive to see what they could do with sound.

Next up were the Los Angeles-based ModPods. The three-piece dance/electro outfit proved to be another nice addition to the show’s bill and offered those in attendance a chance to shake their ass a bit. Singer Myriad Slits held court onstage as she delivered some strong vocals that exuded both soul and style. Instrumentalists Mindee Jorgenson and Daniel Guzman switched between bass, guitar and drums, layering sounds over backing tracks to each song. Although they were minimalist in their approach, the songs kept the crowd wanting more and I would venture to say that the ModPods won over the crowd with ease. I foresee them making some big waves in the future.

Melvins

But the time had finally come for the legendary Melvins to hit the stage. Over the years, the group has undergone quite a few lineup changes, with lead vocalist/guitarist Buzz Osborne (aka “King Buzzo”) being the one constant member and drummer Dale Crover being a close second. For this roster, former Butthole Surfers bassist Jeff Pinkus and Redd Kross/Off! bass player Steven Shane McDonald signed on to be part of the equation, creating a rich, punchy and crunchy element to the already fuzz-heavy sound. This was one show, after all, that you definitely wanted to have earplugs for.

I’m far from an expert on this kind of thing (because I’m not), but I didn’t expect to see the Melvins perform with the amount of energy that they showcased. For a band that has been touring and putting out new material for the past 35 years, they performed as if everything depended on it. You weren’t going to catch “King Buzzo” standing in one place for too long, with his signature fro whipping in the wind from the fans that were on the stage, McDonald and Pinkus holding it down on their own instruments, and Crover beating the living hell out of his drums. Fans were ready to receive the band and responded to the various sonic blasts coming from the amplifiers. During the thrashy songs, they formed a brutal pit, and during the sludgier songs, they lit up joints and bobbed their heads to the music.

I, myself, was pleased see that the Melvins were thoroughly enjoying themselves and weren’t just going through the motions. Their 18-song set in SF included cuts from across their entire catalog, a handful of covers — including David Bowie’s “Saviour Machine”, Butthole Surfers’ “Moving to Florida” and The Rolling Stones’ “Sway” — and toward the end, “Don’t Forget to Breathe” from their most recent full-length album Pinkus Abortion Technician.

Setlist:
Sesame Street Meat
At a Crawl
The Kicking Machine
Saviour Machine (David Bowie cover)
What They Say (Redd Kross cover)
Anaconda
Stop (James Gang cover)
Moving to Florida (Butthole Surfers cover)
Edgar the Elephant
Sway (The Rolling Stones cover)
Let It All Be
Honey Bucket
The Bit
Don’t Forget to Breathe
Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad
The Talking Horse
Evil New War God
Eye Flys

Fauxchella Shows of the Month // GO4FREE to Hudson Mohawke, Savages or DMA’s

Hudson Mohawke & SavagesWritten by Nik Crossman //

Can’t make it to Coachella this year? No worries! We’ve got you covered with tickets to some of the best Fauxchella shows in the Bay Area.

Win a pair of free tickets to one of our Fauxchella Shows of the Month by entering your name and email below.


DMA’s: April 15th (FRI) @ The Independent // BUY TICKETS

Releasing their debut LP in February, these Aussies continue to rise on the popularity of their single “Delete”. Before heading down to the desert for their Saturday set at Coachella, DMA’s will headline The Independent the day before to showcase their unique, layered harmonies and acoustic-to-electric transitions.

Contest ends Friday, April 15th at 3 p.m.


Savages: April 19th (TUE) @ The Fillmore // BUY TICKETS

Pulling their name from the 1954 novel Lord of the Flies, this London-based punk quartet is the “closest thing to art that post-punk has offered in a while,” writes The Guardian. Their latest and second full-length album Adore Life dropped in January and peaked at No. 26 on the UK charts. In between their two sets at Coachella, Savages will make a pit stop in SF to play The Fillmore.

Contest ends Tuesday, April 19th at 3 p.m.


Hudson Mohawke: April 21st (THUR) @ Mezzanine // BUY TICKETS

Better known by his stage name Hudson Mohawke, Ross Birchard is a Scottish DJ/producer from Glasgow who started his claim to fame by becoming the youngest ever DMC UK finalist. Building on his early popularity through his work as a turntablist, he continues to win over fans with his genre-smashing, wonky approach; in 2013, he signed on to Kanye West’s GOOD Music label. If you can’t make it to Coachella, make sure to catch him in SF for a Thursday night party at Mezzanine.

Contest ends Thursday, April 21st at 3 p.m.


Follow Showbams on Twitter for more contest giveaways throughout the week. Be the first to respond to our contest tweets to GO4FREE to these shows:

Chuck Prophet: April 15th (FRI) @ Great American Music Hall
(((folkYEAH!))) Presents Marc & the Casuals with special guest Sean Hayes & Extra Classic: April 15th (FRI) @ The Chapel
Haelos: April 19th (TUE) @ Brick & Mortar Music Hall
Bombino: April 22nd (FRI) @ The New Parish
Keller Williams: April 22nd (FRI) @ Great American Music Hall
Bombino: April 23rd (SAT) @ The Independent
Day Wave: April 25th (MON) @ The Independent
Say Anything: April 27th (WED) @ Slim’s
Garden & Villa: April 27th (WED) @ Brick & Mortar Music Hall
Fruition: April 28th (THUR) @ The Chapel
The Sam Chase: April 29th (FRI) @ Great American Music Hall
The Slackers: April 30th (SAT) @ Slim’s
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down: April 30th (SAT) @ The Fillmore


Win-2-Tickets

Enter your name (First and Last) along with your email below. If you win a contest, you’ll be notified on the day the contest ends (details above).

Like Showbams on Facebook, follow Showbams on Twitter and follow Showbams on Instagram. Subscribe to our social channels for a better chance to win!

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SF Show of the Week // GO4FREE to Rudimental at Mezzanine 10/8 (THUR)

RudimentalWritten by Nik Crossman //

Rudimental with Samo Sound Boy //
Mezzanine – San Francisco
October 8th, 2015 //

Releasing their second album We the Generation last Friday, British drum-and-bass band Rudimental kicked off their North American tour this month and will make their way to Mezzanine in SF this week. After the group’s first album Home debuted at No. 1 on the UK Album Charts and was nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2013, much is to be expected from this platinum-selling quartet.

From humble beginnings surrounding their debut single “Deep in the Valley” to collaborating with English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran on “Bloodstream” this past March, Rudimental continue to prove their validity through the many accolades they’ve garnered over the last four years. Beyond their studio sound, Rudimental’s energetic live show leads the audience through a journey of jubilant drum-and-bass tones. The nature of their sound lends them the opportunity to exploit an exaggerated stage presence and fully engage their fans throughout.

Rudimental will fill Mezzanine with the exultant energy many have come to know and love this Thursday with support from Samo Sound Boy (aka Sam Griesemer). You can buy tickets for $25, or you could win a pair of tickets by submitting your full name and email below.

Contest ends this Thursday at 3 p.m.


Follow Showbams on Twitter for more contest giveaways throughout the week. Be the first to respond to our contest tweets to GO4FREE to these shows:

Hiatus Kaiyote: October 6th (TUE) at The Fillmore
Alcest: October 6th (TUE) at Slim’s
The Mynabirds: October 8th (THUR) at Swedish American Hall
Mirel Wagner: October 8th (THUR) at The Chapel
The Human Condition: October 8th (THUR) at Great American Music Hall
Kopecky: October 9th (FRI) at Brick & Mortar Music Hall
Lyrics Born: October 9th (FRI) at The New Parish
Jr. Jr.: October 9th (FRI) at Great American Music Hall


Win-2-Tickets

Enter your name (First and Last) along with your email below. If you win a contest, you’ll be notified on the day the contest ends (details above).

Like Showbams on Facebook, follow Showbams on Twitter and follow Showbams on Instagram. Subscribe to our social channels for a better chance to win!

CONTEST CLOSED.

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