There’s something about driving a couple of hours to a show that is just better than going to a local show… more build up, more anticipation and you feel like you’ve accomplished something more, as well. My excitement was running high during the two and a half hour drive on the way down from Pomona to San Diego to see a band I’ve always wanted to see (and had always missed) — and that band was The Melvins! The MELVINS! So, yes, this wasn’t just a two hour drive of anticipation; it was decades of shows gone by.
Years of waiting all led to this cool San Diego Wednesday night in a small, dark, packed venue.
The opening bands, The Cunts and Hepa Titus could not play fast enough for me. The Cunts all wore pantyhose on their heads and sounded like an 80s skate punk band, (i.e. Black Flag, Angry Samoans, etc.). Hepa Titus, however, did not have a sound I’ve generally heard before and would be really uneasy to even try to explain it. My best attempt: spoken word, laced with early Minutemen-esque sounding music accompaniment. The lead singer wore some sort of asbestos suit or workman’s smock and adorned his very Dr. Emmett Brown-like face with a headlamp. So… there was that. Everyone likes different types of music and I’ll just say that the openers didn’t appeal to me very much, yet were all great musicians and made for an interesting night.
Now, please… on to The MELVINS! After Hepa Titus bounced offstage, the crowd grew and grew, making it impossible to move an inch. 30 plus minutes go by and, finally, out jumps Buzz Osborne, Steven McDonald and Dale Crover. The crowd, like myself, was all getting super anxious at this point. Years of waiting all led to this cool San Diego Wednesday night in a small, dark, packed venue.
The Melvins did not disappoint whatsoever. No introduction, nothing — they just ripped in without any hesitation. It was amazing. I don’t think Dale stopped playing the entire set! Steve McDonald was in an all-white satin suit, rocking an all-white Thunderbird bass and was pure rock and roll. Buzz, with his incredibly recognizable hair style, was wearing a nice ensemble, as well — some sort of beaded monk-ish type attire. These guys were insane! Every musician played at such a high level and just put on a show.
I drove home that night with the windows down, radio silence the whole two and a half hours, relishing what I had finally had a chance to witness after all these years. It was refreshing and energizing. Who knows if I’ll ever have the chance to see The Melvins again; I just hope everyone gets to see them at some point!
Photography by Billy Beans