Escape From L.A. Tour
The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons
It would be hard to argue with someone about American rock bands (the) Melvins legacy and influence with anyone connected to the Grunge and Punk music scene. Far too many legends have mentioned them as an influence, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Tool and Faith No More to name but a few. Originally formed back in 1983 they have released about 27 studio albums, many EP’s, live albums and compilations. Well, regarding studio albums, people have actually lost count as I’ve found that number fluctuating widely, however I counted 27. This shows just how hard the band is working, fully dedicated to their music. There remains only one founding member at this point, vocalist and guitarist Buzz Osborne also known as King Buzzo, although current drummer Dale Crover joined The Melvins shortly after their formation and has been with the band since. He also was part of early Nirvana recordings and helped with their debut LP “Bleach”.
At The beginning of September (the) Melvins embarked on the dubbed ‘Escape From L.A. Tour 2019’, alongside Redd Kross and Toshi Kasai, consisting of a whopping 54 dates running until November 8th when they will wrap it up in California. Basically in two months they will have only a few days off!!
On October 11th these legends came to wonderful South New Jersey venue ‘The Stone Pony’. This is the place where people basically worship Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt, where other New Jersey native bands Bon Jovi and Skid Row played at the beginning of their careers, as well as many big time national tour bands like Green Day and Papa Roach.
I will tell you honestly, this was my first time experiencing (the) Melvins. I did my due diligence to listen to their music before showing up to work on their set, but to listen and see them live was a whole different experience. They opened with three songs called ‘Sesame Street Meat’, ‘Kicking Machine’ and ‘Anaconda’. All three seemed like a good mix of grunge, punk and sludge metal; sometimes bringing out sort of an early Black Sabbath feel too. The tracks had many different tempo changes but guitar solos that all sounded quite similar. This was not an issue with more seasoned fans, who packed the venue to the max. They followed with ‘Queen’ and ‘It’s Shoved’. Their level of play and energy did not show any signs of letting down, despite the gruelling tour schedule. Buzz didn’t do much talking between songs; it was just a continuous music extravaganza. For many older attendees this was almost a trip down memory lane when this place was a regular for punk rock bands, and they enjoyed it fully.
I realised how much I had missed by not listening to (the) Melvins before. Their work is experimental, extraordinary and exceptional. Great music by a great band! Find them in your choice of music streaming platform and take a listen if you haven’t already!
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
All photos courtesy of Andy Jansons