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Melvins And Unsane Sell Out The House In New Orleans, LA

The staff of One Eyed Jacks taped a crude “Sold Out” sign on the door at 6 o’clock. Those hoping to pay at the door were disheartened at the news, but happy for the band that they so quickly sold out the venue. Those with the foresight to purchase ahead crowded the sidewalk beginning at dusk. They blocked the historic sidewalk to the beaded and soused tourist-traffic trying to find their way to the supposed Shangri La of Bourbon Street or away from the intense never-ending party nightmare that it really is. But these eager customers were determined to see something more worthy.

Unsane took the stage first, complete with intro that at one point dropped in volume very abrupt and unexpectedly. The bass player then said "Wha’ happened?" on the mic, a reference to the Christopher Guest film "A Mighty Wind" which only a few people in the audience understood; I, being a huge fan of his films, laughed hysterically. However, Unsane fixed the technical issue and began their set. Lead vocalist and guitarist Chris Spencer made that angry face and yelled into the mic as he played amazing bluesy riff, vibrato surf notes, distorted rhythms, and power chords on songs like "Scrape."My personal favorite part came as he pulled out a harmonica; that instrument is not used enough. Filling in on drums was the Melvins’ own Coady and Dale. Coady performed the first three songs, Dale took the next, and they played together for the rest of Unsane’s set; they hit right in the pocket with the music, even doing some more flashy and power filled tom rolls than with Melvins. The addition of their style of drumming added some bombastic power to the bluesy metal.

Hitting the stage with a booming intro song, Mel Brooks’s classic western comedy "Blazing Saddles," the band erupted onto the stage to the roar of the crowd. The feedback drone filled the room as lead vocalist and guitarist Buzz Osborne, sporting a long black robe like a sadistic monk, and company began the craziness. The eclectic show was filled with music from the entire Melvins catalog. The quartet blazed through songs like "Dog Island” and “We Are Doomed.” The crowd swayed back and forth into a pit when they performed "Youth of America," extending it into a jam session. Playing his signature clear guitar, Buzz led the pulsating throng like the demented preacher he is. Drummers Dale Crover and Coady Willis wore matching uniform tops with shorts, and, of course, took gratuitous and intricate solos that hypnotized the faithful audience. As people began to drift into other realms from the jams, and probably other substances, Buzz and his bandmates brought them back to reality with the upbeat, fun military style call-and-response section from “The Water Glass;” the first song off of their 2010 album “The Bride Screamed Murder.” The show continued on for a seemingly endless time because everyone was caught up in the moment.

Everyone seemed just dazed when the show ended. There were but two bands that night, but somehow it seemed, by the experience they had been through and the energy they had spent, that it was an all day festival. The Melvins usually come once a year to our fair city, and it’s guaranteed to sell out next time too.

buickmckane's avatar

Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.

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