LIVE: The Meat Puppets @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 11/20/09


The Meat Puppets performed with opening acts Complicated Shirt and Kirkwood Dellinger at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany last Friday.

In The Daily Gazette (Schenectady), John Dworkin wrote:
“They hit the stage and immediately launched into a number of formulaic, rock-radio-friendly tunes featuring brother Curt’s relatively indistinctive brand of psychedelic hard-rock guitar-hero wailings; think power trios like Cream or Robin Trower without the blues influence or nuance. ‘Plateau’ (covered by Nirvana) started to get the momentum going. Then later with ‘Up On The Sun’ Curt really tore into an extended, effects-laden freak-out, piling everything on, reverb, delays, tapping and wah combining to create a kind of bowed effect. This was the highlight of the first part of the show, eliciting the biggest reaction from the crowd up to that point.”

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In The Times Union, Michael Eck wrote:
“Friday was all about Kirkwood’s guitar solos and big noise rather than open space. The band rocked, no doubt, but that’s often all they did. ‘Up On The Sun,’ the seminal title track from the trio’s 1985 breakthrough album didn’t have its stoner lilt, even though Cris Kirkwood’s loopy, longhaired bassline did try to peek through. And ‘Lost,’ a road anthem from 1984’s ‘Meat Puppets II,’ didn’t have its stereoscopic harmonies and desert drive. What both did have were ramshackle endings that morphed into jams that nearly redeemed the phoned in performances of the songs themselves. At the close of ‘Sun’ Kurt was pounding his guitar with both his fists to wrangle just a little more sound out of it.”

Click here to read Michael Eck’s complete review from the Times Union.



Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk – click here to see more of his photos from this show.

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3 Responses to “LIVE: The Meat Puppets @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 11/20/09”

  1. Mike Hotter says:

    And for the trifecta, here’s an excerpt from what I wrote for this week’s Metroland:

    “The Puppets have always been known as one of the first postpunk bands to own up to a Grateful Dead jones. I’ve never heard the connection myself, but I do know that on the other side of the jam continuum, Phish must have picked up a few moves from these boys, the breakneck vocals and nimble picking of the crowd favorite “Sam” being the most obvious example on this night. “Up on the Sun” was stretched to the breaking point, Curt’s “chikka-chikka” pick shenanigans and the kaleidoscopic tussle of the bass and drums taking things way back home to some gamelan-type hustle that then morphed into Jimi Hendrix and Sonic Youth battling it out on Mount Kailash. “Light,” from 1989’s Monsters, with its ragged but right harmonies, was for me the best song of the night. From there on out, covers of Freddy Fender’s “Wasted Days, Wasted Nights” and a turn through the Jimmy Driftwood classic “Tennessee Stud” were fun as tributes to the twangy sound that lies at the heart of almost every Kirkwood number. Yes, they did end up by playing their “hit,” but it was the more obscure selections and expansive jams that made this one of the best all-out rock shows I’ve seen at Valentines in quite a while”

  2. Coincidentally, Mr. Hotter, I was just this very moment reading your review myself. His entire Meat Puppets review in Metroland can be found here:

  3. Mike Hotter says:

    Thanks, Greg – and thanks for the kind mention of Saturday’s show at the Lark Tavern.

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