“We broke the record we set last night in Phoenix,” said Buzz Osborne, lead singer/guitarist of the venerable sludge-metal band Melvins Lite. The trio has embarked on a grueling tour in support of their last release, Freak Puke. The tour is more of a mission; 51 dates in 50 states in 51 days. They’re attempting to break a Guinness World Record to be the fastest tour by a band in the U.S.
Switching up from the usual four-piece band with two drummers to a trio with Trevor Dunn on upright bass is why they’re called Melvins Lite (instead of just Melvins). There was nothing ‘Lite’ about it. Osborne, with his signature gray, ragged hair, black long-sleeve shirt and what looked like sequins, thrashed about onstage, leading the rockers furiously. Dunn got the flannel-wearing crowd of 30- and 40-somethings revved up with his thrilling bass solo, which included dark, spooky riffs to the pleasant sounds of “Over the Rainbow.” Drummer and birthday boy Dale Crover got an onstage surprise when “Professional Weirdo” Jenn O. Cide lit the room with her lengthy “fire fingers.” She then lit the candles on Crover’s cake and led everyone in singing “Happy Birthday.”
The Melvins Lite, on the 49th date of this record-breaking tour, played with great confidence and spirit. It was a solid performance, and the highlights were “Mr. Rip Off,” “Electric Flower” and Wings cover “Let Me Roll It.” At the end, Crover shouted, “Let’s get fucking shit-faced!” With that, the band exited the stage. ★★★☆☆