The Melvins play to grateful Tampa crowd after Hurricane Irma

By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa

Venue: The Orpheum, Ybor City, Tampa–September 16, 2017

Steven Shane McDonald-The Melvins

Rock At Night has covered The Melvins at various locations throughout the U.S. the last couple of years.  Notorious dedication of the band (and Rock At Night Correspondent Haintso Rakouth) occurred in August of 2016 when a tornado swept through Grand Rapids the evening of the concert. A few months ago when she covered the gig in Detroit, somebody reportedly pulled the fire alarm (or called the fire station), cutting the concert short.  Well, on Saturday night in Tampa, Florida, the band was a very welcome treat to the city which just braved Hurricane Irma.  Many of the bands canceled gigs prior to the hurricane and folks in Tampa Bay were still out of electricity as of the night of The Melvins gig. People posted on Facebook “Please do not cancel! We need this!”  The Melvins arrived to The Orpheum, Ybor City, Tampa to a very large and grateful crowd—and I’m certain they felt the positive vibes.

The Spotlights

The evening opened with The Spotlights, a bass and guitar duo from Brooklyn, New York, who played a 45-minute set of stoner, grungy, metal.  People were still trickling into the venue but the crowd appeared to be receptive to the band.

By the time The Melvins appeared, the place was swelling with eager fans.  I noticed a large number of young people, which surprised me, since the band has been around since the early-1980s.  I spoke to a few kids who said, “I was introduced to The Melvins by my dad fell in love with their music. This is the third time I’ve seen them play live.”  I asked another concert-goer how he would describe their music and he said, “Slush metal or maybe stoner metal.”

Bud Osbourne-The Melvins

The Orpheum’s stage was dimly lit with red lights—and not a white light in site. This is a photographer’s nightmare as it was extremely dark and difficult to shoot.  Finally, Buzz Osbourne came out with a long dark gown, a swirly lame design on the front, and a high, ring-layered collar. Of course, I was in awe of his wiry hair, which is now his trademark look.  Dale Crover was perched behind a massive drum kit with lots of cymbals and a Sylvester the Cat mascot.   Steven Shane McDonald came out with a furry top, wielding the bass around and voguing.

The band did not disappoint as they gave 110%!  Now, I see why so many loyal fans come to see The Melvins.  They are animated, moving around the whole time. Crover mesmerized me with his extreme drumming and singing to boot! McDonald scissor kicked in the air and pranced. Osbourne captivated the audience with his vocal delivery and guitar playing. Honestly, the band is super tight and work together like a fine oiled machine. Stoner, grunge music never sounded so good! People near the front of the stage had their arms in the air, heads banging, and bodies swaying. Ace, man! Totally a top-notch concert!







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Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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