Show Recap: Veruca Salt at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, July 17, 2015 05:48pm | Post a Comment

Nina Gordon and Louise Post of reunited alt-rockers Veruca Salt walked onstage at Amoeba Hollywood July 13 with smiles miles wide. The band had just released its first album with the original lineup in 18 years, the well-received Ghost Notes, after reconciling two years ago following a bitter falling out in the ’90s. Given their ability to overcome such a storied history and long hiatus, the positivity flowing from the two singer/guitarists was palpable. 

Gordon and Post held up their “set plates” (“There was no paper backstage, but there were plates,” Gordon explained) and began with the first song on Ghost Notes, “The Gospel According to Saint Me.” They looked at each other and smiled while harmonizing to the song’s autobiographical lyrics about the band’s breakup and reunion. Gordon’s lyrics about how “it’s gonna get loud, it’s gonna get heavy” may have felt ironic for an acoustic set, but they rang out to an appreciative audience of devotees who may have picked up on a small teaser to the American Thighs song “Victrola.”

The singers’ chemistry and tension was as fascinating to watch as their performances. At one point, Post asked for less Gordon in her monitor. “I love you, but it’s just too much,” she said, but later admitted, “I miss you,” as though summing up their history.

It was great to hear one of the band’s best songs, Eight Arms to Hold You’s “Benjamin,” which should’ve been a hit and was mostly acoustic to begin with. This was a band that meant a whole lot to me in high school and was one of those that always felt like “my band” because they were underappreciated during their time, a sentiment I’m sure many fans of the band share, so hearing them play a deep cut like “Benjamin” was a pleasure.

The duo seemed in some ways like they were still re-finding their footing, pointing out that several of their own new songs had the same chords. But their easygoing attitude helped overcome any such obstacles, and they particularly felt spirited singing new songs like “The Museum of Broken Relationships,” their voices dividing into dueling raspy lines. And as a treat to fans, they played “Good Disaster,” a B-side to “Volcano Girls,” during which it was clear they were just enjoying the moment of playing together again and being friends again. By the time they coyly played their eternal Alternative Nation-era hit “Seether,” their set had proved they didn't even have to.

See more photos from the show here.

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