So a couple of weeks back I was taxed with going to see Mudhoney at the Echo. I haven’t seen this band since around ‘93 or ‘94 and the lasting image in my head was the band wearing dresses and ripping through “Mudride,” but a lasting image it was. This was a band that in high school was the lesser-known progeny of the Seattle scene. I have always appreciated how they never seemed to take themselves nearly as seriously as their peers in the scene. They always looked like they were up for a good time and Mark Arm was going to drag you there if he had to and you were going to enjoy it. So I was more than excited to learn that they were back on tour again and even more excited that they were doing only small clubs on this tour. A win-win situation for the fans.
Well, there I was sitting on my friend’s couch listening to Super Fuzz/ Big Muff and casually watching some really pretentious band on the first weekend Coachella (I let you the reader pick which band I was viewing as it will probably be right) and it occurs to double check when the shows starts and that is when the reoccurring curse of Part-Time Punks stuck me again. Due to this DJ night the damn Sunday shows at the Echo start early in order to make way for the post-punk waifs dressed in black to lurch and sway all over the dance floor to a drone of classic post-punk and new wave, so of course I love the night. I just always seem to forget about it.
Needless to say, we made record time from downtown to Echo Park and shoved our way to the front in order to catch a spectacle going full tilt as we walked in. This was a much different crowd at the Echo than I was accustomed to seeing. It felt for a second that I was somehow back to 1994.
Mudhoney were as good as they have always been. They blistered though a set of classic hits and seemed to have a sprinkle of a little of each album going. I missed “Touch Me I’m Sick” and “Mudride” which are easily two of my favorites, and they didn’t play “The Rose” which would have been nice. Mark spent a great deal of the set just singing which was fine by me as it showcase’s Steve’s ripping guitar lines. I could watch that guy play solos like Greg Ginn all night long. Dan Peters and Guy Maddison kept a solid backbeat that allowed the scorching guitars work the freedom to blow the crowds eardrums. This is a band that knows how to play real garage and punk in a mix that we just don’t see any more. They crashed the stage after briefly catching some air to encore with two more classic songs in “In 'n Out of Grace” and “The Money Will Roll Right In.” While the curse of part-time punks may have made me later than I liked I was still more than satisfied with the end result. Mudhoney still have go in spades. My only regret is that I didn’t get to enjoy the mingling of the androgynous well-dressed kids and the drunken hell raisers from a bygone decade. I am sure it was priceless.
More photos of Mudhoney live at the Echo: