In the interest of full transparency, Meatbodies weren’t the headliner of the show I went to. Psychadelic Porn Crumpets, from Perth, AUS, were the band on the ticket. And I do like the Porn Crumpets (even though I cringed every time one of me coworkers asked me what band I had seen over the weekend), so I was excited that these two were sharing a bill. But I was there with a single minded purpose of headbanging to be Meatbodies until I have myself whiplash.
Great Scott has really quickly become one of my favorite places to see music— and one of my favorite places to be in general. I think the mix is always good and not too loud, the crowd is always enthusiastic and friendly. I was stunned to see someone who I had met at the King Gizzard concert in Central Park (of all the people you meet in line) and catch up with him a little bit. I don’t remember if this was my first 18+ show at Great Scott, but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a sort of different atmosphere than there was for other shows I’ve gone to at the venue.
The Local Opener was a group called Lucid Lynx, a psychedelic band from Boston whose members looked the part. Lucid Lynx really broke my expectations of how good the Local Act of a show can be, and are definitely one of the finds of the year for me. I thought they matched well with the rest of the night’s set, and their songs had a fullness to them. They had one of my favorite qualities of seeming like they were having a great time playing what they were playing. In terms of headbanging, these guys were a great warmup for what was to come.
About 15 minutes after the end of the Lucid Lynx set, Meatbodies took the stage. Three dudes in t-shirts took to the stage, and just as Chad Ubovitch (the brain behind the Meatbodies, who also plays bass for Fuzz), started setting the tone for the first song of the set, one of the strings on his guitar broke. In all honesty, the crowd that was at Great Scott that night was not a crowd that really knew how to handle that, or that seemed interested in forgiving. There was a break in the energy while Ubovitch started to restring his guitar, and then just asked for someone bring him his other one. When all had been taken care of and they started playing, there was a little bit of a weird vibe in the room.
But I was not going to let that stop me from achieving my goal- whiplash or bust! You only see Meatbodies for the first time once! I started head-banging immediately! I barely saw them play at all, I was buried in a tornado of my own hair. They sounded exactly how I would have hoped they would sound live. I was conscious that I was being a bit obnoxious – I would periodically look around the venue and do a temperature gauge. But I was standing front and center, and I just got a haircut so I wasn’t worried about hitting anybody with my hair.
What I should have been worried about was my glasses. About three songs into the setlist, my glasses flew from my face and landed almost right on top of Ubovich’s pedal board. I had a decision here, to accept embarrassment and cool my jets, or to keep head-banging. I think it’s obvious that I went with the latter. After the song, Ubovitch handed me my glasses and I gently placed them on the stage in front of me and only proceeded to head-bang harder. In short, I was living the dream.
After a while, people behind me started bumping into me from behind. Fellow headbangers joined me towards the front of the venue and people had started moshing with quite a bit of energy by the time Meatbodies played “Creature Feature.” I thought about joining the pit, but headbanging was calling my name. I really messed my neck up during “Creature Feature,” too. After that song, Ubovich looked at me and went, “You’re my hero.” And I, like a dork, went, “I’m having so much fun!” And I was letting myself have a really good time.
There was a downside to all of this, and an important one – the vocal was too low in the mix. This was true of all three bands that played that night. And that was a shame for Meatbodies, the vocals are something that add a lot of flavor to the band’s atmosphere. They’re incredible players and their show was a blast, but it would have been better if the vocal had been a bit clearer.
By the time Meatbodies was done playing, I was tired to my bones, and I could barely move my head from side to side without wincing. My mission accomplished, I sort of took it down a notch during the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets set. Which was good, but I had spent too much of my energy before it began. The Porn Crumpets have a tone to their guitar sounds that I don’t usually like, but they have a certain something that draws me in. They played all the hits – “Cornflake,” “Buzz,” “Keen for Kick Ons?” from their most recent album. The highlight for me was their second song of the night, “Found God in a Tomato.”
But there was something not quite right about the Porn Crumpets set to me, and I think that the next time I see them I hope it’s at a bigger venue. It could be that I’m used to seeing a certain type of show at Great Scott, but there was something about their energy that felt like it would have been better suited for a bigger room, or a light show, something a bit more grandiose. I think it’s only a matter of time before they’re able to fill a bigger room, too. They sound great live, it just wasn’t quite my scene. But I’m glad I gave it a go.
I had a great time at this show, and my neck hurt for two days afterwards. Never let anything stand in the way of you and headbanging, folks. And go see Meatbodies when they come to your town.