As the sun was setting Sunday night a huge crowd formed in front of the Sub Pop stage at Bumbershoot. The adjacent beer garden was also packed with a huge crowd of over-agers pressed up against the fence that separated the kids from them. They were all here to see Seattle legends Mudhoney.
Mudhoney was the band that the term ‘grunge’ was first used to describe – a word that would become the simple definition of Seattle music. Older now – there were small children back stage dancing along to the music – Mudhoney still knows how to excite a crowd. Within seconds of their first song the crowd was electric, moshing and crowd surfing, just like it was 1992 all over again.
The band played all their classic ‘hits’ such as ‘In and out of Grace’, ‘Sweet young thing aint sweet no more’ and of course ‘Touch me I’m sick’ which got the crowd going even more. Mark Arm’s voice does not seem to have lost any power as he belted out every lyric as if he was still in his twenties. Steve Turner provided Arm’s voice with blistering solo after solo, showing that his playing has certainly evolved over the years.
For the last few songs Arm put down his guitar to sing and changed into a completely different person. Channeling his best Iggy Pop he writhed across the stage while screaming into the mic. He really seemed to relish the freedom of not having guitar parts to play.
Mudhoney was slapped with the grunge label early in their careers but really are and were a punk rock band at heart. As if to prove it they ended the show with a racous version of Black Flag’s ‘Fix me’. It was fast and loud and while we all can relate to that song in some way, Mudhoney’s performance was all the fixing the audience needed Sunday night.