The Melvins have been around the block. Formed in 1983 under iconic guitarist Buzz Osborne, the band’s performed live countless times, too many for King Buzzo to remember. Therefore, strolling out onto stage to fireworks or a slow build-up track toying with the audience’s anticipation was an afterthought. Instead, Buzz trudged out onto stage from his dressing room wearing his signature full-length gown with a vibrant orange electric guitar hung from his neck.
Amos’ Southend welcomed the Melvins with roaring applause while Buzz fiddled with his speakers. There was no rush, the lead guitarist casually perfected his setup before hammering the strings to begin “Eye Flys,” an oppressively slow harmony from 1989. Buzz floated around the stage while the air jets controlled the flow of his white afro. Drummer Dale Crover grinded his guitar sticks together and pounded his drums, as if he was trying to puncture holes in the drumhead.
Photos by Caitlin Malson
The Melvins’ music, often described as one massive, oozing pile of black slime intoxicated the audience. Fans crammed forward and swung their long hair back and forth, whipping their peers across the face. The smushed pit’s energy grew with the band’s performance. A sinister cover of KISS’s “Deuce” and Alice Cooper’s “Halo of Flies” diversified the set and added a unique touch to the already distinct performance.
A static, faint red glow illuminated the Melvins as they dove deeper into their 14-song set with “Sesame Street Meat,” “Hideous Woman” from their 24th studio album Basses Loaded and “Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad.” The grunge overflowed and intensified when Helms Alee, the opening act, joined the headliners on stage for the night’s final two songs.
“Night Goat,” the second track of their 1993 album Houdini kicked off the heavy collaboration. The near five minute track gave the two acts a few minutes to create unrivaled synergy before sending the crowd on their way with “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.” The one-of-a-kind rendition of American baseball’s national anthem brought both bands front and center for a track that felt like it came flying in from left field. However, the oozing pile of dark slime receded to show the true fun that is the Melvins.