Sunday, July 13, 2008
Green River secret reunion show review!
I love this first photo of Mark Arm last Thursday hanging from the rafters of the Sunset Tavern after he had pushed through the audience and climbed the bar and was singing over the crowd. And my favorite bartender Holly looks totally not worried at all in the background on both photos as Mark screams and knocks over drinks.
So I got word about a week before that a show simply billed as "The Press Corps plus 2 Guests" was going to feature Green River, The Fluid and Love Battery on Thursday, July 10th at the Sunset Tavern. The Love Battery part was wrong, but the rest was correct. So stoked! It was mostly a Sub Pop insiders show, but they did put up a small number of tickets for sale on Ticketweb for $10 each, so I immediately bought two and told a couple hardcore Mudhoney/Green River fans who grabbed tickets as well. The show was kinda hush hush, but The Fluid were talking about it in interviews and word was out, so the for sale tickets were gone by the next day.
The last time I saw Green River I think was in highschool opening up for PIL on their Generic tour... 1985 maybe? Mark Arm played in a pink negligee and at the end of their set said something like, "If you want to see someone that really sold out, stick around for the next band." Ouch. Johnny Rotten came out pissed and PIL only played about 45 minutes. They put out that song "Seattle" on the next album, I always though Mark Arm's comments were the inspiration for it. So it had been about 23 years and I was uber-excited for the show. I've seen Mudhoney like 20 times, the Monkeywrench quite a few, Steve Turner solo, etc., and honestly I probably like early Mudhoney the most as far as what I listen too, but damn, Green River!
My friends had a pre-Green River party in Ballard where we gathered for drinks and to gear up for the show. Awesome! Word was Green River would play first and you'd be a sucker for showing up late. A phone call from the Sunset said Green River would hit the stage at 10:20pm, so we all got there by 10pm. Indeed, the word was true, the place was packed by around 10:30pm when they took the stage. They kicked off with "Come on Down" and sounded surprisingly great. I guess I was expecting them to be more sloppy and unrehearsed, having the extra guitars on stage (they had the dudes that played in both eras of the band all playing together) really gave them a full sound.
The crowd was weird. On one hand there were people I totally recognized from Sub Pop shows in the '80s and '90s. A dozen or so of my friends were there. There were total 1990 time capsules with long hair and flannel action, also tons of "Ride the Fucking 6-Pack" tshirts. There were also younger folks, probably hoping to spot the Pearl Jam guys and relive an era they missed, which I'm sure was true with the weekend event at Marymoore Park as well. The funny part is that is was grey-haired old timers started dancing and got the floor moving a few songs into the set.
The show was awesome. Green River were fucking on. They definitely played all their shit heavy and loud, people were talking about their ears ringing after their set. So the set list I think was: "Come on Down", "33 RPM", "PCC", "Ozzie", "Baby Help Me Forget", "Unwind", "Leech", "Queen Bitch", "Together We'll Never", "Swallow My Pride", "New God", "10000 Things", "This Town" and "Ain't Nothing to Do." Yeah, "Queen Bitch" is a Bowie cover, I don't know if they used to do that live all the time or if it was something new, but their version was great! After their set I ran into Steve Turner in the bathroom and told him it was great and he did his normal humble thing and patted me on the back, smiled and said, "Thanks, that's great to hear."
The Press Corps followed, they were a bit of a supergroup with guys from old grunge bands. I thought they were pretty boring actually, I'll have to read up on who is in the band, I think the Fluid's drummer was singing. The Fluid were fantastic! I need to dig up their old stuff, I never picked it up on CD but have it on vinyl. I remember seeing them play a few times, including an excellent 4 Band for 4 Bucks show at the HUB back in the day, it seemed almost like they never stopped playing, they were that on it. The singer is a fucking great front man too. Pix of their set soon!
For more Green River photos, music and news, check out Dana and Alex's Green River MySpace Page. Also many more Green River photos coming within the next 24 hours.