Blue Meanies / MU330 / The Methadones - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

Blue Meanies / MU330 / The Methadones

live in Chicago (2004)

live show

I'll preface this by explaining a little about myself. I remember seeing the Blue Meanies on the old cable access show Rail 3 TV, through music videos and the end credit music they provided, and was getting into them just as they broke up in 2001. When this show was announced, I went crazy. I got my tickets September 26th, the day they went on sale. I anticipated this show more than any in recent memory, and it still went far beyond all my expectations.

First up was New Black. The thing that came into my head immediately when I heard them was that they sound like a harder, funked up version of the Epoxies. That may seem a bit odd, but trust me, it works. New Black featured three vocalists: two female, one male, a keyboard, and a boatload of rhythm. I was a fan within minutes of their start. Trust me on this, you should listen to New Black.

The Methadones were next. The band was amazing as usual. They ignored the first album, taking the entirety of their set list from Career Objective and Not Economically Viable. They seemed a bit less energetic than their record release show last month, but even that did not stop them from putting in a hell of a show. Mike Byrne was in top form, spitting picks left and right and sticking them to his forehead with such gusto that it must be seen to be believed. Highlights from their set were the new songs "Bored of Television," "Annie," and the greatest song the Ramones never wrote, "TV World." To close the set, they played ‘Someday' from Schafer's old band Sludgeworth. Amazing.

Next up, MU330. I'm not really into MU330 so I don't know much about them. Apparently this was the first show they'd played in quite a while. Another interesting thing was that the vocalist/guitarist came in on crutches and played the show sitting down and elevating his foot. This was a strange sight to say the least, but it didn't detract from the performance. The place went nuts for MU330, so it's safe to say they did a good job.

Two men then came out on to the stage, one in a priest costume and the other dressed as an elf. With their help, the audience summed up the spirit of the dearly departed Wesley Willis. The intro from Sonic Documentation… came on, and the Meanies took the stage. The time was finally here. I have never heard a louder roar come from the floor of the Metro than what I heard tonight. It was absolutely deafening. We missed the Blue Meanies. "Send Help" kicked off the night, and the band did not let down for the next hour and a half. They erased any doubts about how the reunion would go. Imagine an ideal set list, and the songs were there, sped up just a wee bit and jolted full of intensity. Every album was represented, even The Post Wave, which made me extremely happy.

About three quarters through the set, Billy made a joke about how they only practiced once in the last four years, and that the drummer Bob had even asked for the songs to be slowed down. There was a bet that Bob couldn't do "The Great Peacemaker" in less than one minute. He then asked if anyone in the audience had a stopwatch so he could time the song. I was the kid with the watch, so therefore I was the kid on stage. We set the guidelines; I lead a countdown from ten, and then they ripped into the song. There I was, singing on stage with the Blue fucking Meanies, taking an integral part in the show. Words can't accurately describe what it was like. Honestly. They played through the song in 1:15, so Bob lost his bet. My short time in the spotlight was up, so I went back into the audience, still in awe. They played a few more songs, ending on "Ace Of Spades" before a short break.

The encore was a designated cigarette break time, so everyone lit up. A toast was made to all in the room, and a special toast to Thick Records for hitting ten years in the business. "Pave The World" came next, and they ended with the craziest version of "Smash The Magnavox" that I have ever heard. The Blue Meanies left the stage, hopefully not for the last time. The band seemed to be having so much fun up there, and sounded incredibly tight. It would be such a shame if they parted ways again. This will go down as one of the most memorable nights in my life. Even if you take out getting on stage, it would still be unforgettable. I would like to personally thank the Blue Meanies for getting back together.

After the show, I was like a celebrity. All the way until and including when I got on the train, people were coming up and talking to me, shaking my hand, yelling about how they were jealous. It was surreal. And lastly, to anyone that couldn't make it, the show was filmed hopefully for future release.

Set list as best I can remember, not in order, possibly not complete.
Lay it Out
Mama Getting High on Chardonnay
Employee 00765
Camaro Man
The 4th of July
Send Help
Smash the Magnavox
Smother Me
The Great Peacemaker
The Noise of Democracy
I'm a Have Not
The Devil Came to the 9th Ward
Acceleration 5000
Vote No
Grandma Shampoo
The Shit Fuck Man
Ace of Spades
The Grinch
Pave the World