Just minutes after hitting the stage and churning out “Get Back” and “All Hail Me,” the first two tracks off 1994’s American Thighs, the crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg drowned out the band they had all come to see. It had been 16 years since Nina Gordon left alternative grunge band Veruca Salt, and the fans’ fervor, which had been bottled up for well over a decade, was bottled no more.
“You guys are going to make me cry,” Gordon said, smiling brightly.
The previous, undisclosed dramas that sunk Veruca Salt’s battleship are now in their rear-view mirror, as the newly reunited foursome (Gordon, along with co-leader/co-guitarist Louise Post and also-original members Jim Shapiro, drums, and Steve Lack, bass), showed New York City that this wasn’t just a reunion, it was a return to form.
The band bounced between Thighs and material from the Bob Rock-produced Eight Arms to Hold You without missing a beat. Gordon and Post’s harmonies were masterful as they threw down fan-favorites like “Victrola,” “Wolf” (with a softer, chilling acoustic start) and a booming, mighty rendition of Eight Arms-closer “Earthcrosser” that seesawed between lullaby and carnal rock fury.
Of course, debut single “Seether” and former MTV fave “Volcano Girls” came out to play, but the most surprising and rewarding tracks played were from the band’s between-records EP, Blow It Out Your Ass It’s Veruca Salt. “I’m Taking Europe with Me” brought out the grungiest guitars Veruca Salt had to offer, along with Post’s signature snarl. Oh, how we missed them.
The band played to a sold-out crowd of adoring, every-lyric-knowing superfans (myself included), whose love and dedication for the band seemingly never faltered throughout the years. Based on Gordon and Post’s glimmering eyes and stolen glances at each other, it just doesn’t matter who the seether was anymore.
– Nick Caruso