Image for The Melvins – The Annandale Hotel, 22nd January 2009

The Melvins – The Annandale Hotel, 22nd January 2009

Written by Shane Arnold on February 12, 2009

Ok, let’s set up the scene here. One of Sydney’s best supporters of live music – The Annandale Hotel. One of the greatest alternative metal/grunge/sludge/rock bands – The Melvins. One of their finest, most influential and accessible albums – Houdini.  Let’s combine the three, and allow ourselves to be simply blown away.

Wandering up to the Annandale Hotel with the rumble of support act Nunchukka Superfly, and there’s a line to get in? And no rush at all to get these ticket holders inside? Very odd indeed. And this was followed by the expected dull spot of the night – the Annandale Hotels baffling capacity to oversell shows resulting in punters being squeezed in, leaving many uncomfortable. Owners the Rule brothers may want to consider scaling back crowd capacity a little. Although they do get points for putting out all those jugs of water on the bar. It was friggin’ hot in there!

Performing their classic Houdini from start to end set up the scene for a stellar performance, which went beyond expectations. Now I could go thru each song and band member in detail, on how good they were, blah, blah, blah – but what would be the point? To deconstruct the gig like that would take some of the magic away, cuz it was a very special show – above reviewing even! It transcended all forms of human communication; I would have to create a new language to describe the wonder of the Melvins in full flight, tearing through Houdini like crazed demons from the deepest depths of hell. I must however mention the end, where the band finished on a four-way drum solo (with the drummer from Nunchucka Superfly joining the band), with each drum being run through delay creating an impossible drum landscape so loud that it grew legs and beat the shit of of Michael Bolton.

What do you want me to say? Buzz Osborne is a king among axemen, Dale Crover’s drumming is so good it’s bloody freaky, and Trevor Dunns bass work was flawless? Gimme a break, please! Those of us who managed to get tickets for this night of nights share a special bond, and when the armageddon arrives, it is we who shall be saved by the aliens – “Ok, first up – those who saw the Melvins at the Annandale, you come with us, your planet is doomed!”

Seriously, this was the gig of the year so far, and it’s gonna be hard to top. Although Fantomas may have already done that at the Enmore… ah, crap! Jeez, now I look like a bit of dick don’t I?

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