The Melvins and Spotlights at The Observatory, Santa Ana

The Melvins
Spotlights
Date:
July 6, 2017
Location:
The Observatory Orange County

melvins_oc

Story
Thank you Metal Assault for the opportunity to see this band! I became the lucky winner of their contest to obtain free tickets for this legendary band’s concert. I could be mistaken but I think I did see the founder of the website that evening. Not sure if he happened to be the long haired man in front of me, but I couldn’t ask as he talked to multiple photographers that evening. The Melvins are currently on their A Walk With Love and Death tour promoting their latest album. The rock band hails from Montesano, Washington forming back in 1983. The band currently consists of Buzz Osborne (lead vocals, guitar), Dale Crover (drums), and Steven Shane McDonald (bass). Joining them on their current tour is the rock band Spotlights. I missed my opportunity to see The Melvins two years prior when they played at this same venue. I ended up not attending due to lack of funds. I couldn’t miss another chance to see them so I made it a mission to see this band. I’ve known about the Melvins since high school due to them having a huge influence on one of my favorite bands; Nirvana.

Spotlights are a Brooklyn dreamsludge band who released their first album in 2012. Other than The Melvins, they’ve opened up for The Deftones and If These Trees Could Talk in the past. Chris Enriquez (drums), Mario Quintero (guitar, vocals), and Sarah Quintero (bass, vocals) make up the bands current lineup. The band took the stage literally front and center. Chris’s drumset stood in the center while to the side of him stood the guitarist. Both of guitarists wore black clothing (Mario a button up shirt and Sarah a tank top) while Chris had on a grey tank top. The bands music consisted of melancholic rhythms combined with a hard-rock noise. The shoegaze layers of their music gave the illusion of an almost dreamlike state shuddered in rock music. The purple hues that blanketed the band added to the dream state. The band were great though, I could see why The Melvins had them on this tour with them. They’re quite talented musicians that have a unique noise. Throughout the night I stayed in this dream state ’til the end of their last note.

The moment The Melvins walked on stage I knew this would be an unconventional concert. For starters, throughout the night the stage was illuminated with red lights. The lights never changed (no flashing lights or light effects). It proved to be a daunting task to take photos, red lights are the worst to take decent photos in. I must admit though that the red lights were a perfect fit to the band as it symbolized their energy, passion, and rage. Their level of energy stayed constantly high through the 90 minutes performance. In fact, another unconventional aspect of theirs that evening is how they seamed all their songs together. Their whole performances sounded like one continuous song. There were minimal breaks between songs with at least one of the members playing a note, never letting silence set foot on stage. All the members passion shined through the evening as they give it their all. Lastly the rage come in the form of the lyrically contents of most of the lyrics. Not to mention the moshpit consisting of thrashing and shoving fellow audience members around. Kicking things off the band did a cover of The Flipper’s Sacrifice. The headbanging song Oven continued next while Anaconda displayed the fact that Osborne still has strong vocals after all of these years. Hardcore punk versions of David Bowie’s Saviour Machine and The Beatles’ I Want To Hold Your Hand surprised me. Surprised me in that I loved these hardcore covers especially that Beatles song. The Melvins know how to own these songs putting their unique flair twist to them. A favorite of mine during the night was Onion Makes the Milk Taste Bad (I love their unique song titles). Surprisingly to me, they played a song that has my name in the title; Edgar the Elephant. It’s a track from their newest album, and a pretty catchy song of theirs.

One aspect that took me by amazement is the lack of interaction the band had with the audience. I’ve seen interviews of Osborne where he’ll tell stories to the crowd, and to be honest had hoped he would tell some tales that night. Sadly for me that did not occur, but nevertheless I enjoyed myself.  Osborne’s deep vocals were amazing that night. The punk rock aesthetic of their songs actually had be headbanging through the night. I didn’t think about it or noticed that I head banged until the end of the night. At the conclusion of Roman Dog Bird, Crover played a small drum solo to end the night. As he neared the end, instead of playing the last two notes he threw his drum sticks behind him effectively ending the night. No encore followed afterwards, not that I was expecting one to be honest. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole performance from beginning to end. This is by far one of the best punk rock concerts that I’ve ever attended in my life. I cannot wait for the next opportunity where I can view this incredible band again.

The Melvins Setlist
1. Sacrifice (Flipper cover)
2. Oven
3. Anaconda
4. Queen
5. The Kicking Machine
6. Saviour Machine (David Bowie cover)
7. It’s Shoved
8. I Want To Hold Your Hand (The Beatles cover)
9. Euthanasia
10. Edgar the Elephant
11. Sober-delic (Acid Only)
12. The Bit
13. Onion Makes the Milk Taste Bad
14. AMAZON
15. Hung Bunny
16. Roman Dog Bird

Trivial Notes

  • 16th concert at The Observatory, Santa Ana.
  • 1st time seeing The Melvins.
  • 1st time seeing Spotlights.
  • Spotlights’ official Twitter page liked my tweet about the concert.
  • Spotlights’ official Instagram liked the photo I tagged them in.
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