Author Topic: [September 13, 2017] - One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, Louisiana  (Read 549 times)

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Offline gumbo

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[September 13, 2017] - One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, Louisiana
« on: September 15, 2017, 08:00:54 PM »
Melvins pummeled New Orleans like Hurricane Katrina, except we asked for it.




Incredible show! The loudest thing to come through New Orleans since... The Melvins! Opened by The Spotlights, who put on a very powerful performance. During their soundcheck, they nearly rattled the front windows loose. I had never heard them prior to this show, but they're a husband-wife duo from New York. I'm not familiar with song titles, so I don't know the setlist, but it was composed mostly of heavy droning, pounding migraine sonic paintings of nightmares, within a highly harmonic and melodic structure, and tended to run together (in a good way). I would highly recommend them. One drawback was their lack of a live drummer, as remedied by a Mac Book. This drawback didn't seem to take away from them too much, especially considering that I was unfamiliar with their music anyway. It's my understanding that they sometimes do have a live drummer. Anyway, incredible opening performance. They were really nice, too.



Here's a little history for anyone who's not familiar with the venue. Located two blocks from Bourbon Street, One Eyed Jacks is a throwback to old New Orleans, from its decor (vintage fuzzy wall paper and vintage nude paintings), to its architecture, beginning as a 3-story building in the 1800s and, after many renovations, being settled into its current form in the 70s. It was most famously the Toulouse Theatre in the '70s where it hosted everything from James Booker performances to gay porno. The stage is about two feet higher than the floor, so you not only get smashed with sound, but you'll often get bashed by performers' instruments. It's everything that you could ask for if you want to experience a deep-New Orleans intimate show. If you're looking for something bigger, the Superdome is a couple of blocks away.

After the Spotlights finished their performance, they spaced out the somewhat crowded stage arrangement to make room for the Melvins. This was important, as they didn't turn their amps off, even as the Melvins were taking stage. Buzz, Dale, and Steven all came out and began getting their instruments ready. Buzz was highly focused and you could tell that he was full of energy. It was almost scary. Steven, while getting his bass plugged in and making last-second adjustments to his wardrobe was entertaining the crowd with his warm presence and highly expressive face. You could see that he was like a rubber band. Then, Dale sits behind his kit. Doom, doom. Two kicks in the fucking gut, just to give us a taste of the beating that we're about to endure. The amps swell up to full volume, and our boys get in position. Before we can prepare our senses for what's about to happen, Steven drops us into the warzone with the opening bassline to "Sacrifice." Dale cracks his snares like gunshots in the dead of sleep, followed immediately by screeching, mind-zapping feedback from Buzz. Now we're in the thick of it, unable to breathe as "Sacrifice" rolls out at an uncomfortable pace, praying for those moments of calm to come while we recover from what just happened. "Oven" begins without a pause, causing a neck-twisting shift of pace, followed by schizophrenic flurries of syncopations. A quick pause to adjust, and now we're definitely in the mood for what we're having. The crowd really gets the feel of it as "Anaconda" slithers in. I can hardly stay in my seat just recalling it. This is when the music and the audience began to ebb and flow. Buzz is in our faces, Dale is pounding away, and Steven is grooving us into a sardine-packed jelly, breathing to the pulse of "Queen."

Whenever tune-ups are necessary, Dale keeps our asses moving. No rest for this crowd. We paid for it. We aren't getting off that easily. Like a kick in the ass, "The Kicking Machine" kicked in, punctuated by screams and drum fills, finally ending in a fast-shifting buzz that dropped us into the David Bowie's "Saviour Machine," which kicks out before we can wrap our heads around it, like a quick visit from someone coming down from Heaven. During a quick battering by Dale's drums, the crowd is screaming at Steven to show his dance moves, as New Orleans gets a quick little jazzy "Scooba," and it feels like home. Then, the song kicks in... and the audience kicks in. It's Shoved. If you don't have a strong footing, you're hitting the floor. Now for quick contrast, a rowdy crowd is hummed and sprinkled with the Melvins serenading us with "I Want To Hold Your Hand." As we're being swooned, they decide to put their fingers on the turntable to slow everything down, then shock us back into the full tempo. The crowd decides to give up trying to follow the up and down pace and let the Melvins have their way with them. Forget that you're at a heavy concert in New Orleans, the Melvins are going to hold your damned hand, and you let them. Well, here's what you get for not staying on guard: "Euthanasia." This old classic sedates, but somehow makes the crowd the most aggressive so far into the night.

The Melvins let us get one breath, reminding us that they are happy to be here. "Edgar The Elephant" stomps his way through. This one feels like a piggy back ride through the night and right before it ends you get a glimpse of the sunrise. Open your eyes, take a few breaths, and slide into the gurgling acid pit of "Sober-Delic." Buzz and Dale provided structure while Steven warped us in and out of reality with psychedelic bass that was almost as hypnotic as his incredible showmanship. Steven was the mesmerizing creature dancing all around, while Buzz was the heavy hand on your shoulder during a bad trip. Dale's cymbals keep your head floating high in the air, while his drums kick you down to the ground. It was a truly an amazing experience.

At this point, we get a sobering reminder of reality as bandmates compliment each other and rally the crowd on to applaud their bandmates. This configuration of the Melvins feels like home.

Back to classics. At this point, half of the audience wants to drift into a "Sober-Delic"-induced slumber, and the other half wants to kick these peoples' asses. Well, we get both. "The Bit" twists its way into our spines as it builds, creeps in, then snaps into full force. The crowd goes wild and turns into a total mess, falling asleep and moshing at the same time. You better take a quick breath and check your pulse while you have the chance. "Onions Make The Milk Taste Bad" gives you just a moment to do so here and there, before it whips your ass and the crowd starts jumping again. Steven is jumping all around, Dale is frantically slamming his drums, and Buzz is gashing our throats. If that wasn't traumatic enough, the Melvins abandon us into "Amazon" to fend for ourselves. Through dangerous sonic terrain, we try to survive the twists and turns, as most of the audience turns on itself in a chaotic, pounding head-bashing, rattlesnake-dodging jar full of fleas. This feels like the most intense moment yet, not knowing if you're going to survive or not [No joke, it got difficult to breathe here, and you ran the risk of catching an elbow, or a foot]. Totally worn out, the crowd screams and cheers in its weakened state. That was intense! Everyone at this point had burned off a week's worth of calories. Our hair was matted. We were drenched with sweat. It was like a warzone. It's the middle of the week, and everyone is ready to pass out now and call out of work in the morning. Time to hit the bed.

Oh, wait. The Spotlights left their amps on. That's pretty cool that they're walking onto the stage. Must be here to tell us goodnight. Yeah, right.

Two guitarists, two bassists, and enough drummer to handle all of it. The wall of feedback and drone paralyzes the weakened audience. The volume swells until there's no more available air in the room. It's pressurized like a bomb. It almost seems like we're going to get disintegrated at this point, as the Spotlights and the Melvins chant and beat their way through the "Lysol"-drenched life sentence of "Hung Bunny" and "Roman Dog Bird." Entombed then reanimated, the audience has no say over what's about to happen. Somehow after being drained of all of our lifeforce, we're possessed with the heaviest, most brutal apocalyptic hymnal ever performed. Suffocated, blinded, bled out, burned, drowned, and kicked in the fucking teeth, then miraculously healed only to be subjected to other variations of the horror at the Melvins' and Spotlights' discretion. It was like a baptism, but the Melvins were performing it, and you're not sure if they're going to let you back up. It culminates and dissipates into silence followed by a deafening buzz in your head that tells you that you survived.

Our boys (and girl) join hands and take a boy as they're showered with applause and gratitude for an experience that you can get nowhere else. What a night!

If I didn't get the message across, incredible show. The best that I've been to in years, probably ever. Most of the people that I spoke to and overheard didn't really know much about the Melvins, which is odd, because it's New Orleans. They really did not know what they were in for, but they came out of that one changed. I wish that I could have filmed it, or at least gotten the audio. Fortunately, most people stayed off of their phones from what I could tell, being that I was between the rest of the audience and the front of the stage, nearly getting hit in the head by Buzz' guitar all night.

Prior to the show, the Melvins, the Spotlights and all of their crew could be seen around New Orleans getting food, chatting, and I think that Dale did an interview (I'd like to find that). After the show, they were obviously ready to rest up to be 100% for Pensacola the next day. It's insane to think that these men, who have blessed us with over 30 years of unmatched excellence, can do this night after night. This one show wore me out. To think about them doing the rest of these shows really opens your eyes to what kind of people the Melvins are. I'm so glad to be alive to witness this, and I'm sure that I'll witness many, many more.

If you live near where they're playing on this tour, GO! DO NOT MISS IT! DO NOT PASS MELVINS!

While loading up the van and heading out, a drunk dude smashed into Buzz, only to walk a few more steps and land face first on a filthy New Orleans sidewalk. Despite putting on a performance of a lifetime, they were happy to give us autographs and thank us for having them, before they headed off to new land... or the hotel for some well-earned z's. I slept like a rock when I got home, but my ears are still ringing!


Offline buddy holiday

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Re: [September 13, 2017] - One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, Louisiana
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2017, 04:19:34 AM »
great review! thank you for taking the time to type this.

Offline linoleum blownapart

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Re: [September 13, 2017] - One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, Louisiana
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2017, 07:54:30 AM »
One Eyed Jacks I think is my favorite place to see a show. When we go to the city of loss, we always goes there and at least drink in the front bar. What was it called before that. Back in the late 90's, 00's?  Shimmy Shack or something Shimmy?
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Offline Captain CoryCory

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Re: [September 13, 2017] - One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, Louisiana
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2017, 11:45:23 AM »
Amazing review! Thanks for posting this!

Offline sadcorps

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Re: [September 13, 2017] - One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, Louisiana
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2017, 01:39:22 PM »
One Eyed Jacks I think is my favorite place to see a show. When we go to the city of loss, we always goes there and at least drink in the front bar. What was it called before that. Back in the late 90's, 00's?  Shimmy Shack or something Shimmy?

The one time I have been to NOLA was to see Melvins at One Eyed Jacks. What a venue and what a city. One of the best nights of my life (on the AMREP Cage Match Tour with Unsane).
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Offline Topaz

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Re: [September 13, 2017] - One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, Louisiana
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2017, 04:01:51 PM »
Thank you for the review! It all happened pretty much like I remembered.

Questions about the setlist you posted:

What do the dividing lines and the letters on the right side represent?

Offline meezer

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Re: [September 13, 2017] - One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, Louisiana
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2017, 09:32:16 PM »
Thank you for the review! It all happened pretty much like I remembered.

Questions about the setlist you posted:

What do the dividing lines and the letters on the right side represent?
Those are the guitar tunings they use throughout the set. They block them together so they only have to change once and then play the maximum number of songs they can with each. It gives the strings section a breather and Dale usually plays some impromptu drum stuff while they tune.  :D
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Offline GrimReaper

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Re: [September 13, 2017] - One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, Louisiana
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2017, 07:08:34 AM »

Great review!

Offline Topaz

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Re: [September 13, 2017] - One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, Louisiana
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2017, 03:45:03 PM »
Thank you for the review! It all happened pretty much like I remembered.

Questions about the setlist you posted:

What do the dividing lines and the letters on the right side represent?
Those are the guitar tunings they use throughout the set. They block them together so they only have to change once and then play the maximum number of songs they can with each. It gives the strings section a breather and Dale usually plays some impromptu drum stuff while they tune.  :D

Thank you, sir, for the explanation! I appreciate it.