Last night’s Mudhoney show was among the best I’ve ever seen. Before it started, MoonPie and I counted at least 7 of their shows we’ve seen together, including one at Warsaw when some giant man who was shoving everyone around decided to stage dive. Rather than catch him, the crowd parted and the man landed on the sticky floor. I’ve never seen someone stage dive and crash, but this guy was special. The music stopped for a minute, he got up and the show continued.
Our night started with free food and cheap drinks. We had a few things to do in Manhattan and left much earlier than we needed to. So we found ourselves with time our hands on a warm breezy evening. First we went to Tuck Shop near 1st and 1st, this casual Aussie food place makes the best veggie sausage rolls in the galaxy. You gotta believe me. Don’t forget to douse with the sweet spicy sauce. Sadly they’re made with wheat, but I wasn’t hungry so we went there anyway for MoonPie. It’s a tiny space with ovens always going, but if you sit close to the door you won’t melt.
Because of my allergies, I always carry snacks, eat before going out or only eat at places I know won’t make me sick. So I’m never wanting for food when we’re out, but the food place peeps don’t know that. There’s often a moment when we can tell the cashier or waiter is confused that only one of us is eating. They’ll ask, “Just one?” I don’t need to be that person airing my allergy grievances to busy workers, so we let them think what they will while I stare sadly at MoonPie’s food to mess with him. Sometimes, like last night, a worker will actually bring over a slice or second portion of whatever MoonPie ordered on the house. It’s kind of funny and MoonPie is always happy to eat for two.
After eating, still there was time so we stopped by Local 138 on Ludlow Street to partake in what may be the most generous happy hour in NYC – $3 well, wine, draft. The bartender’s playlist included The Misfits and lots of Helmet. Comfortable space, gross bathrooms, awesome music.
At last we slowly made our way to the Bowery Ballroom and were still there before doors opened.
Onto the show
Local loud punk band Pampers opened. They sounded pretty great. I couldn’t figure out why they all kept turning their backs to the audience though. Sometimes newer bands do that when they’re more comfortable playing to each other. They didn’t sound like a new band so I guess we’ll never know. MoonPie and I have a bad habit of buying the CDs of Mudhoney’s opening bands and never listening to them. So we stayed away from the merch, but in the right mood I’d see them again.
Muhoney took their sweet time taking the stage. This guy standing next to us said he’d never saw them live before. Then started talking about the Beatles and my eyes glazed over. Nothing against the Beatles, but there are other bands. Anyway, this guy’s jaw dropped when Mark Arm started singing and that about sums up what it’s like to see them play.
My pictures aren’t so great. For some reason the guys kept moving around and dancing and stuff, but you can tell they’re rocking out. Also lots of big heads in the way and women and hairy men whipping their hair around. Evil Hailey wished she’d brought scissors to provide free unwanted haircuts.
If extending the middle finger had a sound it’d be a Mudhoney song. Their shows are always a good time and last night’s no exception. They played a pretty even mix of newer and old songs, some I didn’t recognize. Hey, their catalog goes back more than 25 years,.
They’re all masters at what they do, but Mark Arm’s voice is wild. It does something to you whether he’s singing about how much he loves Chardonnay “I see through your charade/ I hate you Chardonnay” or having a bad day in ‘Hate the Police’, a song they’ve played so well for so long it’s easy to forget they’re covering The Dicks.
This is what the other side sounds like. Other side of what I don’t know, but that’s the feeling I get when they play. They play like they have lives outside of music. Good lives. And when they’re on stage they’re happy and it all comes together. Mark Arm smiled a bunch (it suits him), dances like he’s made of rubber and his sparkly guitar matched the drums. They sound better than ever, an indie rock band doing exactly what they want to do. Loose, heavy, bouncy, hard, free.
It looks like they’re playing Philly and Portland then its back to the west coast. If you have a chance to see them I hope you go. Stand close and don’t wear flip flops.
Also I wore ear plugs and am not sorry.
FIY, I won these tickets in a contest. Thank you, Mudhoney! These opinions are my own though and I would’ve bought tiks had I not won. Unfortunately the Bell House show is sold out so it may be a while before we get to see them again.