Monday, October 1, 2018

Live Shows: Supersuckers, The Cove Music Hall, Worcester, MA 9/28/18

Despite listening to the Supersuckers since the 90's, I had never seen them live. For some reason it's just never quite worked out. Once they announced their 30th Anniversary Big Show was coming to the distant suburbs, I knew I had to make it out for a night of big loud rock.

In all the ads and promotion for this tour, Supersuckers let everyone know exactly what they were going to get: Songs from the recently released Suck It, a short country set, and The Smoke of Hell and La Mano Cornuda performed from start to finish. Supersuckers took the stage and blasted out the first three songs from Suck It ("All of the Time," "The History of Rock 'n' Roll," and "Dead Inside") before going into their country set. Eddie Spaghetti talked about how their first country album was badly received in 1997 but seems to be liked now. The funny thing is that in 2018 there doesn't seem to be much of a difference between their country material and their rock 'n' roll songs. Some of the country highlights included "This Life (Would Be a Whole Lot Better If I Didn't Have to Share It) With You" and "Holdin' the Bag," which Spaghetti introduced by saying "This song is about a guy who doesn't want to get stuck holding the bag. It's called 'Holdin' the Bag.'"

Then came the highlight of the night: The playing of 1992's The Smoke of Hell and 1994's La Mano Cornuda. (The band even recited the answering machine message from the beginning of "High Ya!") As with any night of a band playing a classic album from start to finish, it takes a bit of the mystery and surprise out of the night, but you also get to hear songs you would never hear otherwise. Spaghetti made quite a few self deprecating remarks about how Supersuckers never really broke into the mainstream, such as how Sub Pop wanted to release "Mighty Joe Young" as a single, and the band refused. He mused that he can't remember why now, and wondered what would have happened had they listened. "Creepy Jackalope Eye," the first song off La Mano Cornuda, got a bigger reaction than anything off The Smoke of Hell, so perhaps that album could have been the break through they never got if something different had happened. They also joked that they were going to play "On the Couch" despite knowing the crowd was sick of it after it received so much radio and tv play in 1994. After the nostalgia part of the night was over, the band did their patented fake encore break where they stayed on the stage before breaking out Suck It's ode to autoerotic asphyxiation, "'Til I Die."

At one point, Spaghetti mentioned that their style of rock isn't exactly fashionable and they keep playing for dwindling audiences. That was definitely evident in Worcester Friday night, as the show was modestly attended. Not sure if that is how their shows normally go, as Worcester and The Cove Music Hall aren't exactly known as a hotbed of original live music. The other two shows the club was advertising the most were a Journey tribute band and a Tool tribute band. It's sad when original rock from the 90's don't draw as well as bands covering hits from the 70's and 90's.

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