Veruca Salt at Varsity Theater, 7/9/14

Categories: Last Night

Photo by Tahiel Jimenez
Veruca Salt
Varsity Theater, Minneapolis
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Veruca Salt were one of those '90s bands that seemed, on paper at least, like they could have only existed between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 1999 -- no more and no less. While their sound in quintessentially '90s, Wednesday's 95-minute set at the Varsity proved there is still plenty of gas left in the tank and that they are yet another holdover (actually they broke up and got back together a couple of years ago) that can still put on a face-melting, utterly grand show.

Photo by Tahiel Jimenez
The band took the stage with little fanfare -- a small wave from Louise Post, a quick "hi" from Nina Gordon and barely a nod from either Steve Lack or Jim Shapiro -- and ripped into "Get Back," the opener from their 1994 debut American Thighs, with a fury that would wax and wane (but mostly wax) for the rest of the evening. Despite a small technical glitch (it seemed to be a bad cord on Post's guitar) "All Hail Me," unfolded with its snotty finger in the air still intact and as that gave way to "It's Holy." The thing that started to become the proverbial 400-lb. gorilla was this: Veruca Salt had two fantastic, well-deserved hits in the '90s, and while those hits both got played and played well, they are among the weakest songs Veruca Salt has to offer, mulling that over for a minute should give you a good idea of where this night was headed.

"Straight" from 1997's Eight Arms to Hold You is a top five '90s addiction anthem if it's anything at all and sounded better than the album version, while the onslaught of crystalline sludge continued in short order with "Forsythia," "Spiderman '79" and "Don't Make Me Prove It."

The band was running in overdrive at this point, the Varsity about 3/4 full (it was the only show on this tour not to sell out, sadly) and it seemed, despite the synergy and power spilling from the stage, the band was still warming up. "I'm Taking Europe With Me," a forgotten gem from 1996's Blow It Out Your Ass, It's Veruca Salt EP which was followed by a roll call of sorts, Post calling out names of her friends possibly in attendance from Minneapolis and parts north (her husband is from Hopkins). There was a lot of hollering back and then the formidable "Venus Man Trap" erupted from stage and the night clicked into the next gear.

Photo by Tahiel Jimenez

Post called for a dance party in the form of a booty shake from stage and while this is Minnesota and we don't all dance in public (or very well when we do) it was slightly awkward but the band was finally loosened up and it made for an exciting second half of the set. "With David Bowie" and "Twinstar" were particular highlights, and Post shook her fist in the air through much of the latter. Then they announced they have a new album that's almost finished, which caused much chatter in the crowd. "Seether," by far their biggest hit, finally made its appearance and it was a testament to the strength of the band's material that it wasn't the night's highlight.

Location Info


The Varsity Theater

1308 4th St. SE, Minneapolis, MN

Category: Film

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