BROOKLYN, NY—I will start off by saying that The Bell House is a great venue, and seeing ANY band there would be a real treat. But because it was The Muffs, and I’ve loved them since I was a kid, it was like, really something. Ya know?
For the first time in probably years, I made it to the venue early enough to catch the opening band, which on this night happened to be The Connection, and I’m really glad I did. I’d heard the name and maybe a song or two played on Little Steven’s Underground Garage once or twice, but seeing them live and hearing all they had to offer was really cool. They work very well together, and it’s just really fun, very catchy roots rock ‘n’ roll. It’s as nostalgic as I can get, as a 20-something, and it’s super refreshing. They made me temporarily forget I was there to see The Muffs, and I had been talking about this show to anyone who’d listen for about a month leading up to it; I’d really recommend seeing them on tour or purchasing their latest album, Let It Rock! It’s available on both CD and vinyl—a very nice touch for lovers of all things analog, such as myself.
Kim, Ronnie and Roy of The Muffs took the stage shortly after, and the room was suddenly very full. It was really great to see. And I guarantee ya—any downstairs lady parts joke you could possibly make about their name, Kim’s are gonna be funnier. And louder. And made throughout a nearly two-hour set quite frequently. The banter between bandmates and the audience was fun, and made for a really great and intimate experience. Not that The Bell House is necessarily small—I’ve been cramped into smaller, divey-er places—but the warmth between everyone made it feel like you were a close friend of the band’s, coming over to the garage or basement and watching a practice. A really great practice. It’s not something I’d ever experienced before, and I don’t know how else to explain it. We all felt like friends.
They played songs spanning their entire 20-year career, from their first record to new material from an upcoming release and everything in between, and despite Kim going on tour with The Pixies and any other endeavors Ronnie or Roy may embark on, it’s clear they’re not going anywhere or fading out as a unit. They work way too well together; it’s like a well-oiled rock machine and I swear, they haven’t aged a bit. It’s like they’re still in college, hanging out with buddies as opposed to being an established and beloved band, in a sense. Roy plays the drums like a talented, drunk baby. Kim screams into the mic in a way that reminds me why I do what I do. Ronnie’s just casually throwing himself into the audience as if he were falling back on a dusty old couch or something. It’s great to see, and I’m glad I got to experience it. Can’t wait for a new record, and hopefully a tour. Or at least more East Coast shows! Please?