Went to check out Meat Puppets at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington DC. This was the first headline show of theirs I have managed to catch since their return with both Kirkwood brothers a couple of years ago.
The opener was Dex Romwebber Duo, a dude from the longstanding NC band Flat Duo Jets. He made some quick fans toward the end of his set by dropping the N-bomb. I guess he's some kind of anachronist?
The Meat Puppets crowd was not large and the show started off very lackluster. Not sure what happened to their old school fanbase- age, detachment from reality perhaps? This crowd was just a bunch of nondescript District residents out for a night of random live music as far as I could tell. There were maybe 120 people there tops, with just a smattering of obvious fans, I didn't recognize a soul.
The band did a shit-ton of their sweetest material like I'm A Mindless Idiot, Plateau, Touchdown King, Sam, Lost, and one of my personal favorites, Open Wide, along with some covers including Wasted Days and Wasted Nights. Very nice setlist. But there was something lacking during the first part of the set.
I was kind of tripping out as I first saw this band playing with Black Flag in 1984, then many times in the 80's, then more in the 90's although by that time they had advanced/regressed as a commercial band in the alternative rock movement, I once saw them play a show opening for Blind Melon for example, a total injustice but that's showbiz. Then the next record after Too High To Die tanked and they were tossed into the dustbin of 90's major label casualties, complete with hard drug addiction and eventual imprisonment for Cris. So now here they are playing this once-inspired truly heady music to a bland crowd at a faceless club in this huge city with a garbage music scene. They've also been out on tour once more opening for unworthy acts like Slightly Stoopid. It's got to be harder than ever for them in their fifties to keep up their trademark enthusiasm to keep greeting such unrewarding audiences.
I was feeling a little mellow and reflective on the whole deal, but they band was playing well and goddamn as the show went on if they didn't start raging! By the second half of the set the music was getting louder and heavier every song, a long tripped-out rendition of Oh, Me, one of the freakier songs on II topped off with some badass lights got shit really rolling, followed by an extended jam of Up On The Sun, and a loud as shit version of Lake of Fire, I ended up very amazed and happy with the 90 minute performance. I'd really love to see them at a hot show with a stoked crowd, that would be something else.
This band is still great, and if one was ever a fan, I recommend checking them out if given the chance, you can't leave dissappointed.