Kid Congo Powers and the Pink Monkey Birds - I last saw the Kid and his band in 2008 when he opened for one of his three (true) Hall of Fame bands he played in, the Bad Seeds. His other gigantic bands were the Cramps and the Gun Club, with the latter featuring more in the sound tonight. I immediately felt that this band was a much more garage rocking outfit than the previous set, which was solid but more laid back. Sure enough, as this set went on, it featured Powers' fun songs with his great warm personality, but with a raucous band underneath it all. They finished off with a killer version of 'Sex Beat', which was the third time I have seen a band play this in the last two years (of course this was the first featuring someone who was in the Gun Club). After that, the band ripped through a brilliant instrumental garage rocker to conclude their amazing 45 minute set. With songs about Susan Tyrell and 'Killer Diller', there is a great sense of humor at work, even as the guitars are blazing. This is timeless garage rock music and I wish this band (filled tonight with great DC artists Mark Cisneros and James Canty) would play just a wee bit more around here. The burgeoning crowd got their money's worth from this set alone.
Mudhoney - This is the fifth different venue in the third different city where I have seen Mudhoney live and in person, which coincidentally are the same numbers I can connect to Blue Oyster Cult. Maybe not so coincidentally as both bands have been my absolute favorites at different stages of my life. And whether you are a seasoned Mudhoney fan or an uninitiated observer, you should have walked away tonight feeling sufficiently blown away to be a fan for life. These guys still deliver a monster sound that culls from all of the great rock and roll and punk rock scenes and shapes it into a beast that many have tried to copy, but few can get just right. Tonight's sound was especially fierce with more power and volume than any of the previous shows. Some of the nuance of the guitar interplay was buried, but all the components were clear enough when they needed to be as each member is such an integral part to the band. I also like how they manage to play a lot of the familiar classics, but vary enough of the set between tours that there are always some surprises. Embarrassingly enough, I needed to see the setlist before I recognized the Angry Samoans cover song that seemed so familiar to me. The good news is that it is not too late--you can still see the band that made the 1990s tolerable and still has plenty to offer in the way of new albums and smoking live sets. The roar of the large crowd tonight will certainly affirm that.
Quote of the Night: from a fan earlier... "I'll be right there, I gotta get my dollar's worth."