Meat Puppets at Bluebird Theater

Meat Puppets at Bluebird Theater

The psychedelic tinge and improvised jams tacked on to songs proved just how Curt Kirkwood is truly one of the undersung guitar heroes of the last three decades. His sheer mastery of executing great riff after great riff was mind-boggling. His brother Cris, looking older than Curt though still young, seemed to be at one with his bass while also practically giving a course on perfectly executed bass lines in a diversity of styles, showing no effort but looking like he was having fun. There was little stage banter, even when some knuckleheads decided that psychedelic country rock was fodder for moshing and being stupidly violent (a notion that was quickly shut down with sarcasm from the nearby audience). Halfway through the fourteen-song set, the band played a rocking version of "Plateau" and treated us to an impassioned rendition of "Lake of Fire." The encore started off with the band's biggest hit, "Backwater" and ended two songs later with a chaotic rock-and-oll blaze of glory. The Meat Puppets didn't have to prove their continued relevance, but they sure did this night.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I wanted to like the Meat Puppets show and ended up loving it.
Random Detail: Met some guys from the band Orchid Riot when we were both at the foot of the stage.
By the Way: Most Meat Puppets albums are easy to find, and if you want to hear one of the founding sounds of indie music, do yourself a favor and at least check out Meat Puppets II.

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