Melvins The Starlite Room, Edmonton AB, July 24
Published Jul 25, 2018Having released a new album this year titled Pinkus Abortion Technician, the Melvins' 2018 Tour stop in Edmonton showcased the group's new material while bringing their classic and fan-favourite material along for the ride. Trudging through powerful riffs and emitting passionate tracks through their slower approaches to the genre that once dominated the music industry, the Melvins reminded the audience of The Starlite Room exactly why they're considered a commanding influence of sludgecore and grunge.
The band commenced the evening's main event with "Sesame Street Meat." After a quick greeting, the Melvins rolled through their set and wasted very little time, keeping the in-between song banter to a minimum and hyping things up with tracks like "The Kicking Machine" and playing their medley "Stop Moving to Florida," which consists of "Stop" by James Gang and "Moving to Florida" by Butthole Surfers.
Lead singer and guitarist Buzz Osborne bopped around the stage, the fern-like hair-do he has rocked for years seeming to have a mind of its own, going one way when Osborne went another. Throttling his guitar and tearing through solos, Osborne's onstage presence was dominant and captivating.
Doubling down on the bass guitars aided the Melvins' performance; crunchy, grungy and sludgy as ever, the bass guitars of Jeff Pinkus of Butthole Surfers and Steven McDonald of Redd Kross were commanding and powerful. Although the heavy bass drowned out the vocal aspect of most of the faster-paced tunes, it didn't impact the quality of the group's performance at all.
The atmosphere of The Starlite Room was that of complete euphoria. There were no sporadic light shows — just the erratic riffs and sultry drumbeats of Dale Crover, which set the tone for the evening. With the dimly set red lights behind the group, and the bass vibrations rattling the bones of the audience, the intimate setting was ideal for the diversity of music the Melvins produce.
The setlist flowed together as if it was one massive track and each song was a perfect precursor to the next. When the ending of the performance loomed near, "Let It All Be," "Honey Bucket" and "The Bit" came together as the group showcased their musical abilities. Closing the night with fan favourites like "Don't Forget to Breathe" and "Eye Flys," the Melvins made their exit, with Crover promising they'd be back soon.