Free at Noon Flashback: Meat Puppets exhilarate a packed World Cafe Live

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Meat Puppets | photo by Emily DeHart for WXPN | dehartvisuals.com

Meat Puppets aren’t new to this. Since forming in 1981, the Arizona band has released 15 albums, switched around their lineup, and toured endlessly. Now, for the first time since 1996, the original Meat Puppets lineup has returned. Before a show at Underground Arts, the band delivered a boundlessly energetic and rejuvenating Free at Noon set. Lead vocalist and guitar player, Curt Kirkwood, undersold it when he called it “a hoot and a half” as he walked off stage. The animated, six-song set, turned a gloomy Friday afternoon into a vibrant one.

The band’s latest album, Dusty Notes, sees them openly embracing the Americana and Country tones that have always been present in their work. On stage, they blend this style with the Punk-attitude some of their earlier work suggested. “Unfrozen Memory” soared with bold and brash guitar playing, while “Nine Pins” evoked the feeling of standing under the blaring Wild-Western sun. The album’s title track and “Warranty” were met with impressive guitar playing, elevating the songs and exciting the crowd endlessly. Every audience member in the sold-out World Cafe Live was equally giddy about every note the band played.

The show also featured some tracks from the band’s past. “Plateau” unraveled hypnotically, as did “Up On The Sun”. The latter of which closed the set by continuously building until the band was playing extremely rapidly, with irrepressible energy, and with no indication of ever slowing down. Hopefully this drawn-out finale is representative of the band’s career.

Dusty Notes is out now on Megaforce.

See photos and stream an archive of Meat Puppets’ Free at Noon set below.

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