The Meat Puppets
The Constellation Room
Last night, underrated countrified psych punk legends The Meat Puppets brought wailing guitars and warbling vocals to the Constellation Room in Santa Ana. Despite the vocals being a little too loud in the beginning, the sound was impeccable. As always, brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood took the stage on their U.S. tour in support of their fourteenth album, Rat Farm.
Anyone who got close enough to take a peak at the set list saw that it was nothing more then a few words scribbled down to give Curt an idea of what he wanted to play. When Kirkwood decided what he wanted to play, he would exclaim, ” That looks great!” tell his band, including drummer Shandon Sahm, what song it was and they would start to play it with spot on precision. Lush guitar and bass tones were achieved with a wide array of pedals between the Kirkwood brothers (for you newbies, his brother Cris is the band's co-founder and bassist). Curt also pull out this metal piece from time to time that he would slide up and down the guitar that created this heavy, distorted sound.
They pulled from a decent cross section of their catalog, including songs like “Plateau”, “Oh Me” and “Coming Down,” from their earlier days and albums like The Meat Puppet's II and Too High to Die. They also did a mash up of one song that sad to say we had a hard time identifying. But it was still so good that the crowd was left silenced and within a few moments, begging for an encore. The set was very reminiscent of bands like Primus who favor one long jam session full of sons that rarely pause.
Though they're recognized for being sonically adventurous, their fashion sense doesn't quite mirror that attitude…Curt's outfit basically consisted of sweatpants and a t-shirt. But hey, when you're a bad ass musician, you can get away with certain things. I have never ever seen anyone have enough balls to look like they went from chilling on the couch drinking a beer to playing on stage.
To this day, the Meat Puppets are still one of rock's most underrated bands. Seeing them play live is a really great experience and it is nice to see and hear a band that has no structure to what they are going to play but rather just go with the flow and put on a hell of a show.
The Crowd: Mainly people in their 30s-40s. Everyone in the venue looked like they were from the '90s grunge era.
From The Crowd: “I've done ecstasy, that isn't for me. I don't need drugs. I do like mushrooms though.”
Personal Bias: I wish I could be that awesome in sweat pants.