I had just left the Aragon Ballroom in a cab when I realized that I had just been in the venue where I first saw the Melvins. It was the Fall of 1993 and they were opening up for Primus. I remember walking in to the most devastatingly loud kick drum I had ever heard.
I was thrilled to be able to work with them when we became partners in 2007. They were still touring on (A) Senile Animal, which had been released the prior year. The album was probably my favorite that year. Two studio albums later and the band had come back to the Double Door, their favorite Chicago stop.
I had actually popped by earlier in the day to run some mics by and firm up our endorsement renewal. The guys were just loading in and getting settled. We caught up a bit, chatted about some mics, then I got invited to play Wiffle® ball with them. If I didn’t have to run back home and then out to the Ween show, I would have been batting team Melvins. Love the guys at Double Door, but they vastly outnumbered the band and crew. I was wondering what park they were going to go play in when I realized I was standing on something soft that very much resembled home plate. Field nuthin’. They were good to go. Unfortunately so was I.
By the time I returned the band had made it most of the way through their first set. Fortunately there was another. Upon entering there was a twenty-degree shift towards the high side of the thermometer. This is the way to see their show though: Hot and LOUD. Many people will say Melvins are the heaviest band ever. People will debate that until the sun expands and the oceans boil away, but I’m generally inclined to agree. Their shows do little to refute that idea.
After the show was over and the band had a chance to cool down I went backstage to visit a bit. It’s a little humbling to meet them. I mean, without the Melvins there would be no Nirvana. Or at least, not in the way we know it happened. Still I’ve never felt out-of-place talking to them in the slightest. They’re great guys. They’re easy to talk to. They just happen to be the heaviest band on the planet.
I tried to make it through to be part of the Wiffle ball rematch, but the day had caught up to me by that point. Double Door just whooped Team Melvins earlier — an event witnessed by the first fifty fans in line. I don’t know who won game two, or even if it happened.