Wednesday 8 June 2016

On Stage: The Melvins @ Paradiso

It's been over thirty years ago that The Melvins formed and for most of that time guitarist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover formed the core of that band. They have been a strong influence on the development of grunge music and they play a mix of punk, metal and hardrock themselves. I can vaguely remember that I've seen them play about twenty years ago or so. It's about time that I get reacquainted to this unique band.

The Melvins at Paradiso Amsterdam, June 6 2016

Osborne is changing slowly into a cartoon character with his wild hair and dressed in some sort of psychedelic dress. However it is characteristic for the band that never made any concessions and are always going their own way. This becomes clear tonight where they play a big variety of songs, going from punk to sludge and doom metal, classic and glam rock and back. Bass player Steven Shane McDonald completes the line-up, where he also appears on the latest record Basses Loaded that features every past member focusing specifically on the bassists. He's a good addition to the other two and it's great to see him play in his usual fashion, totally submerged into the music and very active on stage.

It's remarkable how eager and inspired this band still sounds and looks after all these years. Osborne is walking around like a caged tiger playing his heavy riffs and explosive solo's while Crover is hitting his drums with great force but at the same time with great precision and suppleness. He is playing some great grooves that form a solid base for the other two. There isn't much interaction with the crowd but this band can let the music do the talking.

The setlist is very varied and unruly, largely ignoring the two albums that came out this year, where Three Men and a Baby (with Mike Kunka as Mike & The Melvins) took fifteen years to finish. Plenty of covers make it into the set including a vicious 'Halo of Flies', the epic Alice Cooper song. The three seem to have thought their setlist through, since it seems they are not randomly mixing styles but are actually balancing it out. And they keep the best for last when the last couple of songs are heavy rockers with plenty of fireworks for all three. This band doesn't do the obligatory encores but ends the night with their version of 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game'. The Melvins prove they are still a one of a kind band that still has plenty to offer after all these years.

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01. Eye Flys
02. Deuce (KISS cover)
03. Queen
04. The Kicking Machine
05. National Hamster
06. Magic Pig Detective
07. With Yo' Heart, Not Yo' Hands (Malfunkshun cover)
08. Leech (Green River cover)
09. Frosted Flake (Redd Kross cover)
10. Euthanasia
11. Mr. Rip Off
12. Halo of Flies (Alice Cooper cover)
13. Sesame Street Meat
14. The Water Glass
15. Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad
16. The Bloated Pope (Melvins & Lustmord cover)
17. A Growing Disgust
18. The Decay of Lying
19. Revolve
20. Night Goat
21. Take Me Out to the Ball Game

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