Out and About: The Meat Puppets
    • WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2011

    • Posted by: Stefanie Wray

    The Meat Puppets played Le Poisson Rouge on Friday night and blew this youngin' out of the water. These guys have been playing together longer than I've been alive, and they look weathered as hell, but they've still got it.

    Beginning on a decidedly country note, the band eased through "I'm a Mindless Idiot" off of Meat Puppets II before diving down into more psychedelic jams, evoking the spirit of the Grateful Dead. They cheekily played all of the hits Nirvana covered (yes, covered, Google lies when Nirvana pops up first in connection with "Plateau"), scorching the audience with acid tones and growling vocals. Curt Kirkwood was mesmerizing as he tapped methodically on his pedals and mercilessly sped up towards climax at the end of several songs, while a little cartoon face sneered from his guitar. Brother, Cris Kirkwood was my favorite to watch as he hopped around on bass in deranged glory, adding whistling and vocal harmonies. Shandon Sahm was relentless on drums, turning into a sweat sprinkler by the middle of the show. He wandered around freely among the crowd afterward, cooling down with a cigarette.

    The highlight of the show, for me, was a mellow cover of The Beach Boys' "Sloop John B" which plunged directly into a seismic "Lake of Fire." I've heard this song a million times, but never like I did that night. They achieved a sound only a band that has been together as long as them could make: tight, but playful, with seamless shifts between jams that all culminated in one final round of the chorus.

    It was all over by 10PM, not because they needed an early bedtime, but because another show was scheduled for later. It was a shame it had to end so soon, because I would have liked to hear more of the simple and straightforward opening band, Dex Romweber Duo. My jaw dropped when I saw Sara Romweber bathed in red light, looking petite and feminine in a floral shirt, but going nuts and playing the best drums I've heard in a while.

    Setlist:
    I'm a Mindless Idiot
    Touchdown King
    Plateau
    The Monkey And The Snake
    Comin' Down
    Sam
    Lantern
    Wasted Days and Wasted Nights (Freddy Fender cover)
    Oh Me
    Up on the Sun
    Seal Whales
    Lost
    Hey Baby Que Paso
    Light
    Open Wide
    Orange
    The Whistling Song
    Shave It
    Where Does a Little Tear Come From (George Jones cover)
    Backwater
    Sloop John B (The Beach Boys cover)
    Lake of Fire
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