Meat Puppets Concert Review

  • Post Author
    by Web manager
  • Post Date
    Mon Oct 07 2013
Fall 2013 is shaping up to be one of the greatest seasons for the Madison music scene I've ever experienced. The Meat Puppets were show #2 in a long line of eclectic offerings I've got lined up this semester. I bought tickets for The Meat Puppets on name recognition only. They're a Phoenix-based punk-y group who have been rocking out for over 30 years.  My dad told me they were friends with the Minutemen (both groups released records through the iconic SST label) and I was sold.
This was my first time going to the Frequency without knowing anyone in the band, and it was definitely the most crowded I've seen the black pit of a venue, even for a Monday night. The openers, Enemy Planes, hail from Minneapolis and sounded like a college-kid version of Pink Floyd. I mean that totally complementary! They played one song that you might as well call the Bohemian Rhapsody of prog pop punk. Their sound was very atmospheric, lots of echos and Mac products, like a glitchier James Blake. According to some incomprehensible notes I wrote to myself via my cell phone, I thought that every single song was awesome.
As the band left the stage, the lead singer told us that if we've never seen the Meat Puppets live before, we were in for a treat. He was so right. They're a punk band with a mighty swirl of country flavor that even I kind of dug. They sounded like a combination of both a Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven- Dave Lowery's California rock band and its twisted experimental sibling. Meat Puppets opened with two strong instrumentals in a row. Instrumental are the non-fiction of music- totally underrated and far superior. I was very impressed! They are the masters at changing tempo. A folky track would morph half way through into a drivingly fast straight up punk drumming beat that I couldn't help but dance to. Madison was a great city to see this concert. You could tell that the audience got this band. Especially since the crowd was mostly 50-something Madisonians with ponytails. I felt almost like home.
Overall, a fantastic Monday night concert at the Frequency. Enemy Planes' set made me want to listen to their studio produced work. The Meat Puppets' set made me want to listen to their entire discography. I think the guy standing next to me summarized the show really well: “That was righteous.”
~Rayna Christman