Chicago venue, Double Door, played host to the Meat Puppets during their fall tour feat. Black Box Revelation. You can check out our review after the break!
It is not every day that you see a band seamlessly bounce from metal riffs to blue grass to country stompers. It is also not every day that you get to see a band that has been together on and off for the better part of 31 years. The Meat Puppets formed in 1980 and their debut album was released in 1982. They have broken up twice, endured hardships and been at the top of the world, but they are still plugging along.
The Meat Puppets have influenced many bands, including Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement. Their relationship with Nirvana is what brought them to most people’s attention. Guitarist/singer Curt Kirkwood and bassist Cris Kirkwood performed with Nirvana on MTV Unplugged, where covers of three Meat Puppets songs were played. Hot on the heels of this performance, their album Too High To Die came out to critical acclaim. The lead single Backwater was a hit on alternative radio. Of course that was closely followed by their first breakup, but things have improved in the Meat Puppets camp.
The crowd was very diverse, with people who were in to the band from the get go, people who got in to the band through the endorsement of Nirvana, and also people who were there to see The Black Box Revelation. There were couples dressed up like it was date night, people in tie dye shirts and guys holding bags of records.
Fortunately for the crowd in attendance all of the hits and more were played during the career spanning set. After getting warmed up with an instrumental jam, the band headed right in to Touchdown King. The next song, Lake of Fire, drew the loudest applause of the night. Popularized by their performance with Nirvana, this version was almost unrecognizable as compared to the more famous cover version. This version was both sped up and longer than the cover version, and really got the crowd in to the set.
Coming Down was a sped up country/blue grass stomp that gave the band a chance to show off their musical ability. With incredibly tight drumming and soaring riffs, the crowd was dancing and clapping along. Other highlights of the set were Dust In My Eyes, Open Wide and Hey Baby Que Paso? Open Wide got the crowd riled up again with a Metallica like riff.
With the incredible chops of the musicians, and the brotherly bond of Cris and Curt, it is refreshing to see musicians just go out and play what they feel instead of trying to sell albums. Now that the band is back together playing and recording, hopefully that is an example that can be passed on to a newer generation of bands.
Openers The Black Box Revelation have been getting a lot of press lately, and rightly so. The duo from Belgium created a bunch of new fans with their rollicking set. Playing scuzzy blues romps cranked up to 11 will do that for a band.
The band made the most of their time on stage cranking through 9 energetic songs in a brief 40 minute set, and barely talking to the crowd. With heavy riffing and bluesy stomps, their sound is very reminiscent of the White Stripes or Black Keys, with one notable distinction: the volume. For a two person band they were incredibly loud with a very full sound. The band are touring behind their recently released third album, My Perception.
Highlights of the set included Rattle My Heart, My Perception, and Love, Love Is On My Mind. The band was joined by Cris Kirkwood on bass for Sealed With Thorns, and there was a loud cheer when he emerged from the back stage area.
Once The Black Box Revelation was done playing with the Meat Puppets, the next leg of their tour will be supporting Beady Eye, Liam Gallagher’s post Oasis band. This will give them a great opportunity to play in front of a huge number of fans, so catch them now while you can still see them in a smaller venue.
Information about the review…
Tour: Meat Puppets Fall Tour
Bands: Meat Puppets and The Black Box Revelation
Date: November 11, 2011
Venue: Double Door in Chicago, IL