Last Night: Mike Watt & the Missingmen at the Larimer Lounge

Mike Watt & the Missingmen and Dualistics
Monday, May 18, 2009
Larimer Lounge

Just as Missingmen guitarist Tom Watson and drummer Raul Morales finished setting up their gear, former Minutemen and Firehose frontman Mike Watt made his way through the crowd to the stage. With his gig bag slung on his shoulder, he lugged a black garbage bag filled with t-shirts on stage and plopped it down near the back of the stage.

Within a few minutes, Watt had his Gibson SG bass strapped on and plugged in. He yelled "Coltrane," just before the trio launched into an insanely energetic set with Watt and company firing out one song after another, rarely stopping between tunes. Morales kicked out the rapid-fire beats, Watson angular biting riffs and Watt manhandled the bass. 

The tunes flew by so fast if was hard to keep of track of what was happening, but along they way they did do a few Minutemen cuts like Watson singing "Toadies" and Watt singing "Anxious Mo-Fo." This current tour was a way for the three to practice for Watt's third punk rock opera, Hyphenated Man, and if the same kind of fervor they showed last night ends up on the album, it's going to be one hell of a disc.

While the 51-year-old Watt seemed out of breathe at times (he said the air was a lot thinner here than in Nebraska), even almost falling into his amp a few times, the brave captain kept that ship motoring throughout the hour-long set, and on the encore, Television's "Little Johnny Jewel."

Watt yelled "John Coltrane" three times after the encore, almost as if he was thanking one of jazz's greatest saxophone players. Watt even wore a Coltrane pin on his plaid Western shirt. While these guys might have been playing some mean-ass punk rock, they sure has hell played it with the vehemence of late-'60s era Trane.

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Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
I saw the Minutemen with Black Flag at the Rainbow Music Hall in 1985 and Firehose in Long Beach in '89, and the show last night was on par with both of those.
Random Detail: There was picture of Stooges guitarist Ron Ashton, who passed away in January, taped on Watt's bass.  
By the way: Dualistics opened the night will an explosive set. While it was only new drummer Nate Barnes' (yes, that Nate Barnes, from Rose Hill Drive) third gig with the band, the dude definitely helped kick things up a notch.  

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