LIVE REVIEW: Melvins & All Souls – 4/29/18 @ Trees, Dallas, TX

The Melvins were in Dallas last September supporting their 2017 album A Walk with Love and Death. Last night, they were back in support of their latest, Pinkus Abortion Technician. The album and live show features two bass players: Butthole Surfers/Honky bassist Jeff Pinkus and Redd Kross bassist Steven McDonald. If you’ve been following the band, you probably seen them play with two guitarists or even two drummers, but the two bassist assault was a first for the Dallas crowd.

Only the third date on tour, the band was especially great. Having seen them multiple times, each of which was stellar, there was something about last night that was particularly great. Maybe the tour has yet to wear on them, maybe they’re excited to be out with the two bassists, or maybe it was just me – but, they kicked serious ass. Playing tracks across their discography, including a few covers, the band was dialed-in and typically flawless. Vocalist/guitarist Buzz Osborne was center stage with Pinkus to his right and McDonald on his left with drummer Dale Crover in his usual spot behind the kit. The two bass attack comes across better live than it does on record. Watching Pinkus and McDonald play their respective parts made every song more interesting. Complimenting each other while advancing the song arrangements, the duo combined to not just add an extra layer of low-end, but bring a fresh energy to the set all around. On record it’s somewhat difficult to suss out their individual parts, but when they’re right in front of you it’s easier to appreciate.

Melvins @ Trees, Dallas, TX. Photo by DeLisa McMurray.

As the band worked their way through songs like “At A Crawl” from their second studio album Ozma or “Don’t Forget to Breathe” from Pinkus Abortion Technician, they had the crowd eating from their hands. “Stop Moving to Florida,” the bands medley of the James’ Gangs “Stop” and the Butthole Surfers “Moving to Florida,” wavered between a straight rocker and the wonderfully weird in a manner only the Melvins could pull off. “Honey Bucket,” from their 90s classic Houdini opened up the most courteous of pits – where things got a little crazy, but not out of hand. After each song the crowd showed their love and the band returned the love with rocker after rocker. Never one to get chatty with the crowd, Osborne and his crew simply powered through their set focused and determined to give the crowd their moneys worth.  Mission accomplished.

Los Angeles quartet All Souls kicked off the evening with an impressive set that won over the Melvins crowd from the get-go. Born from the Palm Desert scene that spawned Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, and Eagles of Death Metal, the band delivered straight-ahead rockers with a genuine swagger that only comes from toiling the small clubs and slowly building your reputation over hundreds of live performances. Their melodies and harmonies meshed effortlessly with slick guitar licks and a minimal, yet assertive drum and bass. Definitely show up early to catch their set. They’re fucking cool.

– J. Kevin Lynch (words); DeLisa McMurray (photos)

– click to enlarge photos –  

Melvins Tour Dates

04/30 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
05/01 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
05/03 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
05/04 – Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
05/06 – Charlotte, NC @ Visulite Theater
05/07 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
05/09 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
05/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
05/11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
05/12 – Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom
05/13 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
05/14 – Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
05/18 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
05/19 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater
05/20 – Louisville, KY @ Headliner’s Music Hall
05/22 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd and Linsley
05/23 – Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone
05/24 – St. Louis, MO @ Ready Room
05/25 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
05/31 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
07/12 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
07/13 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
07/14 – Fresno, CA @ Strummer’s
07/16 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
07/17 – Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver
07/19 – Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
07/20 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
07/21 – Vancouver, BC @ Venue Nightclub
07/24 – Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall
07/25 – Calgary, AB @ Marquee Room
07/27 – Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid Cabaret
07/28 – Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
07/29 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
07/30 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
07/31 – Chicago, IL @ Park West
08/02 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Pyramid Scheme
08/03 – Detroit, MI @ El Club
08/04 – Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
08/05 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue Theatre
08/06 – Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Company
08/07 – Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s
08/08 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
08/10 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre
08/11 – Ft. Collins, CO @ Aggie Theatre
08/13 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
08/14 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Bunkhouse Saloon
08/16 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo


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