Grunge pioneers and longtime Seattle rockers, Mudhoney stopped in Nashville on their way to the West Coast and brought Hooveriii along with them.
If you are needing to see music legends in person, your chance happens November 12th in San Diego and November 14th in Los Angeles when Mudhoney sets up shop in SoCal.
Away from the tourist traps of Broadway, East Nashville clubs are known to host the more “talent focused” shows and are often attended by local musicians of note. We did catch some familiar faces in the crowd, including Lilly Hiatt, who some OC Music News readers may recall seeing at Ohana Fest. There was also a Morrissey doppelgänger in attendance – or hey, maybe it was Morrissey; you never know what can happen in Music City.
Feeling very 1993, the venue was full of flannel and very few cell phones were present; like the meme, “Not a cell phone in sight. Just people living in the moment.” Yes, phones came out at various moments, but it was a very respectful crowd.
Opening the show was Los Angeles-based Hooveriii (pronounced Hoover 3). They just released their album “Pointe,” and treated the crowd to several tracks off it. Bert Hoover, Gabe Flores, Kaz Mirblouk, James Novick, and Owen Barrett looked like a typical rock band at first, but the guitar, bass, and drums were accompanied by a sax and synth.
Starting off with “Guillotine,” drummer Owen Barrett’s long hair was flying as he pounded the kit. When the set began, there were a few heads bopping along, but by song two, “The Runner,” the early crowd was moving more, some even jumping along with the music.
“Control” kicked off with a steady drum beat and was synth heavy, going into “Can’t You Hear Me Calling?” which reminded me of the ‘90s They Might Be Giants sound with some psychedelica tossed in.
Front-man Bert Hoover said, “We just released a record and this is from that,” as an intro to “The Tall Grass,” which the crowd seemed to enjoy heartily. “This Rock” was a bit of a mellow song, but featured a thumping bass, and then “Erasure” perked things back up with a strong, driving drum beat. By now the crowd had their hands in the air, pumping along with emphasis to the songs.
The venue was nicely filled and Hooveriii wrapped their set with “Reptile,” “Out of My Time,” “Melody,” “The Ship That I Sail,” and “Destroya.” It was a lovely introduction to the band for me and I look forward to seeing them again.
As music from “Swan Lake” played, the room turned its focus to the stage for the arrival of Mudhoney. The guys casually strolled out, picked up their instruments, and launched into a 27-song set that had few pauses or stops.
Formed in Seattle in 1988, Mudhoney features founding members Mark Arm (vocals, guitar), Dan Peters (drums), and Steve Turner (guitar), and includes longtime member Guy Maddison (bass). The band helped pioneer the grunge movement and their debut single, “Touch Me I’m Sick,” remains a recognizable hit thanks to its distorted guitar intro.
Kicking off with “When Tomorrow Hits,” Arm’s familiar voice was present, and Peters showed off a nice drum solo at song end, looking stylish in his fedora.
Mudhoney released their 1988 debut EP, “Superfuzz Bigmuff,” on the legendary Sub Pop Records and their 2023 offering, “Plastic Eternity,” is also on Sub Pop. After “In ‘n’ Out of Grace,” they did a song off that new album, “Little Dogs.” If you like dogs, you gotta watch the music video for it.
With a “Well, good evening!” from Arm, they kept rolling through their decades of hits: “You Got It,” “Souvenir of My Trip,” “Move Under,” “Good Enough,” and “Let It Slide” were in the first chunk of songs. The crowd had glasses raised and the club seemed about full.
The band members appeared to enjoy themselves and interacted with each other – which always makes me happy. “Judgement, Rage, Retribution and Thyme,” “Sweet Young Thing (Ain’t Sweet No More),” “Tom Herman’s Hermits,” “Nerve Attack,” “Get Into Yours,” “Almost Everything,” “Flush the Fascists,” and “F.D.K. (Fearless Doctor Killers)” made up the center section of songs, along with the massive crowd pleaser, “Touch Me I’m Sick.” That brought the room to a rather loud sing-along with quite a bit of jumping, but it was all in good spirit.
The final batch of tunes in the huge setlist included “Oh Yeah,” “Next Time,” “Paranoid Core,” “Human Stock Capital,” “21st Century Pharisees,” and “One Bad Actor,” before a four-song encore that included highlights “If I Think” and “Suck You Dry.”
It was a straight-up rock show, with no needless filler, and it is headed your way, SoCal. Catch Mudhoney and Hooveriii on November 12th in San Diego at Casbah, or November 14th in Los Angeles at Teragram Ballroom.