Melvins @ Marty’s on Newport – 01/13/2019
There is no question few bands have had such an influence on multiple genres of music as the Melvins have over the last 35 years. From grunge to sludge to alternative metal, the Melvins have led the way on all fronts and here in 2018 they are still the undisputed kings of all things heavy. After releasing Pinkus Abortion Technician (direct reference to the Butthole Surfers album Locust Abortion Technician) in April 2018, the Melvins are still in busy touring mode to support said album with a 10 date West-Coast mini tour to start off 2019. The intimate venue Marty’s on Newport (in Tustin) was the host to the lucky 200 people who made it into this SOLD-OUT Sunday night show.
For this tour the band is playing as a four piece with Buzz Osbourne on guitar and vocals and Dale Crover on drums and a one-two punch on the bass with TWO bass players, Steven Shane McDonald (Off! and Red Kross) and Jeff Pinkus (former Butthole Surfers). The band played a 17-song set that seemed to be just that much heavier and brutal than usual, no doubt related to the dual low end playing of Pinkus and McDonald. With over 25 albums of material to select from you very rarely get a Melvins show that is similar regarding song content. The night started with 2008’s “The Kicking Machine” then “Anaconda” from 1991. The Melvins love covers songs and there were a few sprinkled in throughout the night but the most memorable one was a crushing version of Butthole Surfers “Moving to Florida” with Buzz just nailing the vocals.
Both Osbourne and Pinkus play aluminum bodied instruments that makes their sound that much more unique and all four members of this band are just incredible musicians. As usual there wasn’t much in between song banter and the time on stage was focused on the music. Marty’s on Newport is a VERY small venue and without a doubt seeing a band like the Melvins in such a small, gritty, sweaty venue is a night to remember as the stage is maybe a foot tall and the band plays right in your face.
The night ended with a special treat as former Melvins bass player Kevin Rutmanis joined the band onstage for the last song “Night Goat” making that THREE bass players – a thumping, crushing end to an amazing show.
What was Kevin Rutmanis doing at this show you ask? Rutmanis’ band Hepa.Titus is currently opening for the Melvins on this short West Coast tour. Hepa.Titus has a very Melvins-esque sound to them and are definitely worth showing up early for as they pound out a unique 30 minute set to start the night.
The Kicking Machine | Anaconda | With Yo’ Heart, Not Yo’ Hands (Malfunkshun cover) | Leech (Green River cover) | Stop (James Gang cover) | Moving to Florida (Butthole Surfers cover) | Edgar the Elephant | Sway (The Rolling Stones cover) | Let It All Be | Revolve | Honey Bucket | The Bit | Don’t Forget to Breathe | Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad | The Talking Horse | Evil New War God | Night Goat (with Kevin Rutmanis)