How the Melvins destroyed Amos’
By: Kevin Daniels
Several weeks ago, Amos’ made a Facebook post announcing that they, like way too many in the Charlotte area, would be closing their doors next year. As I approach the venue I’m saddened by the fact that a building and place that I have so many memories is going to disappear. I arrived ahead of the 8pm door opening to meet up with a member or two of the legendary band The Melvins. I spoke with the manager and headed up to the balcony of Amos’ to set up for a Facebook Live with them. A few minutes later, with nerves rattled and my mind wherever the fuck it was (it wasn’t with me at the start I can tell you that), I met Dale Crover, one of the founding members of The Melvins.
https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fshutter16magazine%2Fvideos%2F1251228341596678%2F&show_text=0&width=He and I stumbled through the awkwardness that is live social media formats. As much as I was prepared for a formal interview, it quickly turned into two dudes just talking about shit, which honestly are my favorite kind of interviews. We covered everything from the fact that they were playing in a venue that was closing in the coming year to his personal collection habits being passed down to his kids; one of my favorite things was when I asked him if he could pick a dream tour for the band what would it be: “Jimmie Hendrix, the Shags, The Beatles, Miles Davis.” To which I promptly said I would buy a ticket for because who wouldn’t, let’s be honest.
Continuing the conversation, I brought up how Buzz and himself came about being on the Cartoon Network television show Uncle Grandpa. He said it was because they have a recording studio and their engineer was working with a band called the Minks, who just so happen to work on the cartoon show. They talked things out and got on the show. They also only had storyboards to go by for their reactions in the script. I’m paraphrasing all of this of course, but you can watch the full video above or on the Shutter 16 Facebook.
We ended the interview after about 20 minutes because he had to go for sound check and my phone was about to burst into flames from the live streaming, which you can see in the glorious way I turned off the live event in the video.
I’d like to say that I had no clue what kind of show I was getting into with these guys. I’m not the biggest Melvins’ fan and I actually suffer from a bit of self-loathing because of it. I started listening to their discography about a week before this show and have been picking up pieces of my brain ever since. NOW, with that out of the way, I was excited to see what would transpire over course of the night.
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsThe line grew from a few people to a twisting snake down the sidewalk of South Tryon. Finally, 8 p.m. hits and we’re let in. Helms Alee took the stage at 9, and holy hell I wasn’t ready. I mean it, they had a dark doom sludge metal feel that swept over the crowd. You could feel the low fuzzy bass tones that soothed you into a false sense of security while the drums pummeled you into submission of just letting the music do to you what it willed. All of this was brought together in a disgusting chaos with a melody of screams and high pitched guitar riffs. This three piece played songs back to back like an assault on your ear holes, and you damn well better like it.
They took maybe a pause or two to take a sip of water or something but that was it. The drummer made some of the best faces while playing; they ranged from I’m staring a hole into your soul to ecstasy. Also she hit like Thor’s hammer to an anvil. I was wondering why they were the only opener for the Melvins, yet by the end of Helms Alee set I understood that they didn’t need anyone else, cause DAMN! //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
A stream of people exited the venue as Helms Alee swapped their gear for the Melvins’. Outside the air filled with a collective of smoke from what felt like an after-sex cigarette. 20 minutes later the static feedback of bass and guitars being forced to scream out to the rock n rolls God’s rang through the air. It was time. The Melvins took the stage in a thunderous, rhythmic, seemingly improvised, intro to their set. I, at the first hit of Dale’s drums, became a believer and was amazed at what I was witnessing.
The sound system in Amos’ kicked back so hard I could feel actual push from the band while they played. The intro creeped into finding their first song, and when it hit, holy shit. The crowd that was once calm yet growing anxious with every second were on the edge of their metaphorical seats as The Melvins began to play their songs. It was at the moment I felt the crowd shift from just being watchers to being crazed and rabid. People pushing to get up close, some dancing off into their own little world, others head banging, and some, like me, stood there in awe.
I can’t begin to tell you every song they played, because the end of it I was emotionally drained from how the music took hold of me. It was in when I sat down in my car that my body came back to life and started to tell me about all the aches and pains I endured from the crowd. But then again it wouldn’t be a good show if you did limp away a little bit, right?
Listen to The Melvin’s full set from this night below brought to you by NSLrecordings.
Remaining Tour dates:
Basses Loaded U.S. Tour
September 10, 2016 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
September 11, 2016 – Jackson, MS – During Hall
September 12, 2016 – Memphis, TN – Hi-Tone
September 13, 2016 – Little Rock, AR – Metroplex
September 14, 2016 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
September 15, 2016 – Oklahoma City, OK – The ACM @ UCO Performance Lab
September 16, 2016 – Norman, OK – Opolis
September 17, 2016 – Austin, TX – The Sidewinder
September 18, 2016 – San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger
September 20, 2016 – El Paso, TX – Lowbrow Palace
September 21, 2016 – Tuscon, AZ – Club Congress
September 24, 2016 – Long Beach, CA – Music Tastes Good Festival