Veruca Salt

Veruca Salt

Veruca Salt

with Charly Bliss

Webster Hall; New York City, NY • July 31, 2015

Like a summer reading novel, one could say that Veruca Salt’s reunion is a story of mended friendships – wondering after so many years how things went so wrong, overcoming pride to reach out, and just make some great music. And that’s where it ends with me since I ultimately don’t care for such dramatics.Â

Veruca Salt

May Terry
Veruca Salt

Putting aside the soap-opera animosity that basically dissolved the band so long ago, when the original foursome of Nina Gordon (guitar/vocals), Louise Post (guitar/vocals), Steve Lack (bass), and Jim Shapiro (drums) decided to come back to play both old and new songs from a discography that now spans over 20 years, any good fan of ’90s grunge-pop would be foolish to miss such a live performance. That’s how the audience at Webster Hall felt that night. Plainly, this was a damn good concert by veteran alt-rock band plugging a new album that has received solidly good reviews since its release. Veruca Salt’s fifth album, Ghost Notes, is grippingly good, and both the band and the audience certainly knew it.  Â

Charly Bliss

May Terry
Charly Bliss

But first, let’s give a solid mention to the opening band, New York’s young gun grunge-pop band, Charly Bliss. Their self-described style of bubblegrunge was as spot-on as the tight fist squeezing a drippy vanilla ice-cream with color sprinkles depicted on the cover of their 2014 EP, Soft Serve. The attention-grabbing song from the short 25 minute set was “Love Me.” Singer Eva Hendricks laid on her high-pitched helium-inhaled vocals over driving grunge-ska rhythms and the continuously pumped up high physical energy in band’s jagged and jumpy moves made them really engaging and enjoyable to watch.

Nina Gordon

May Terry
Nina Gordon

Veruca Salt took the stage shortly after 9p to a packed house of fans that were excited for both old and new songs. In fact, a third of the songs in the main set were from Ghost Notes, blended well throughout the set with beloved favorites from American Thighs and Eight Arms to Hold You. Best of all, Veruca Salt played the entire set of 18 songs and 3 encores with a renewed enthusiasm and pure joy of rocking onstage, from the opener, “Prince of Wales,” up to last, “25.” And they barely missed a step. Hair whips at song breaks and those wonderfully unique harmonies and distorted guitar licks from Gordon and Post weaved together seamlessly over the driving rock rhythms from Lack and Shapiro.Â

Gordon and Louise Post

May Terry
Gordon and Louise Post

To no surprise, the band performed songs that recorded when they were all together, leaving those from Resolver and IV to be sent down the Wonka garbage chute along with the Dahl literary character for which the band was named.  No matter. Yes, it was great to hear the mainstays “Seether,” “Volcano Girls,” and “Shimmer Like a Girl” (from the 1996 EP, Blow It Out Your Ass, It’s Veruca Salt).   But, “Laughing in the Sugar Bowl” and “The Gospel According to Saint Me” also brought the crowd to jump, dance, and sing the chorus. Â

May Terry

A ghost note is sometimes called a dead, muted, or silenced note. It is sometimes played percussively in passing to accent the next note. At least for the Webster Hall performance, Veruca Salt was no ghost note, and what I took away was loud and clear – if they continue with the same musical passion and vigor that I heard that night, then Veruca Salt’s last note will be a sustained one for quite a while. Â

Veruca Salt Setlist

Veruca Salt: verucasalt.com

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