July 25th, 2014 12:15pm

Words Won’t Do It

Veruca Salt @ Bowery Ballroom 7/24/2014
Get Back / All Hail Me / It’s Holy / Straight / Forsythia / Spider-Man ’79 / With David Bowie / One Last Time / Don’t Make Me Prove It / Wolf / I’m Taking Europe with Me / Venus Man Trap / Celebrate You / Aurora / Museum of Broken Relationships / Hey Little Ghost – Seether / Shimmer Like A Girl / 25 // Shutterbug / Volcano Girls / Victrola / Earthcrosser

Veruca Salt “Don’t Make Me Prove It”

This was a show by the original reunited lineup of Veruca Salt, which had dissolved sometime around 1998. I never got a chance to see them play as a teenager, but in retrospect, I think that’s fine – I certainly appreciate them more now, and the band on stage seemed as though they’d walked through a time portal from the mid-’90s. They appear to have barely aged despite being in their mid to late 40s, and they rock really, really hard. One nice thing about seeing Veruca Salt now is that their very presence highlights the reality that nearly all rock bands led by people in their early to mid 20s today are substandard in songwriting and anemic in execution. There were so many excellent bands in the ’90s that it was possible for people to shrug off a band this good and fierce because we just had so many options that we could get really picky. In 1995, they were part of a glut. In 2014, they’re like a goddamn miracle. It’s not nostalgia, it’s just the thrill of seeing someone do this RIGHT.

The mood of this show was very warm and celebratory, and focused on these four people enjoying being on stage together after years of being apart. Louise Post, the only member who stuck with the Veruca Salt name over all that time, was clearly the most excited, and took a bit of time in “Celebrate You” to talk about how they – and especially she – managed to get over their shit. I’m sure she does this at every show lately, but she’s very genuine, and it’s kinda inspiring to see people actually get over petty grievances and long term grudges. I think particular to a band like this, it can be hard for talented people to really appreciate the value of chemistry until they have to do without it. Nina Gordon and Louise Post just click, and one of the things you really get from seeing them live as opposed to hearing them on record is the extent to which their vocal and guitar parts are constantly intertwined. On paper, there’s Nina songs and Louise songs, but on stage, there’s just Veruca Salt songs.

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