Concert review: Veruca Salt at Varsity Theater – Minneapolis, MN – July 9, 2014

Published by Joe Stadele | 7/11/2014

“Hi, I’m Nina,”
“…and I’m Louise,”
“and we are VERUCA SALT,” exclaimed Nina Gordon and Louise Post in Minneapolis for the first time since April 28, 1997.

Veruca Salt ©JSP2014 (1)When it comes to Veruca Salt, Nina is Louise’s Thelma; a musical partnership far stronger together than apart.  An era (or two) has come and gone since we last saw the original lineup of Nina Gordon, Louise Post, Jim Shapiro and Steve Lack together, onstage, as Veruca Salt.  While Post soldiered on in the interm, the reunion is a welcome return to form for the Chicago natives. While the 90’s nostalgia of the Volcano Girls is prevalent, Louise Post was happy to announce, “We’ve finished tracking the new album!”  A statement welcomed with praise and applause among the Dinkytown audience at The Varsity Theater in Minneapolis.
“Wow, they still have it,” was heard (over and over again) in the front rows of the Varsity Theater.  With some fans having driven from as far away as Winnipeg, Manitoba to see Veruca Salt 1.0 back in action, there was excitement in the air for a real rock show.  At 9;45pm the band took stage and took fans on a nostalgic 90-minute ride through their catalog, highlighting American Thighs, Blow It Out Your Ass It’s Veruca Salt and Eight Arms To Hold You.  (No songs produced outside of the original lineup were performed). The classic VS sound was there: Gordon and Post’s complimentary high-low vocal exchanges and dueling guitars, Lack’s thick bass-lines and the pumping drums of Nina’s brother Jim.  “All Hail Me”, “Straight”, “Seether” and “Don’t Make Me Prove It” sounded just as good as ever. The riding bass and chugging guitars of “Shutterbug” stirred the crowd into frenzy and “Volcano Girls” felt like pure celebration; leaving fans smiling ear-to-ear. The new songs “It’s Holy” and “Museum of Broken Relationships” felt right at home among their older relatives; sounding even better live than on the 10” Record Store Day 2014 vinyl.

Veruca Salt ©JSP2014 (23)More importantly, the band was having fun performing together and interactive with the audience.  In fact, in the spirit of “interacting” Louise shared a story about how a promoter or publicist once suggested the ladies talk more to audiences to help build a connection with the audience.  Nina in-turn shared a story about being mistaken as hookers while attempting to catch up on much needed sleep in a French hotel lobby, because they were in full make-up, laying on couches prior to a photo shoot. As we all know, actions speak louder than words and the ladies took that to heart, as in classic Nina fashion, she returned to the stage during the encore with a bouquet of roses.  One-by-one she handed and tossed the two dozen roses to fans. And while the rekindled sisters-in-crime were clearly at-home on stage and left fans with excitement pumping through their veins, the real story and promise is that of a more mature and future-focused Veruca Salt.  Beyond (just) the Volcano Girls’ Nina and Louise, we are glad to have you all back.

Personal Anecdote:  I last saw the original line-up of Veruca Salt open for Bush at the Dane County Coliseum in Madison, WI in 1997.  While they were opening for Bush, it boggles my mind to this day as to why it wasn’t the other way around.  Also, having seen Louise perform in the various incarnations of VS over the years,  she is far more powerful with Nina by her side.

SetlistVeruca Salt ©JSP2014 (22)
Get Back
All Hail Me
It’s Holy
Straight
One Last Time (tease)
Forsythia
Spiderman ‘79
Don’t Make Me Prove It
I’m Taking Europe With Me
Venus Man Trap
With David Bowie
Number One Blind (Levelor)
Celebrate You
Museum of Broken Relationships
Hey Little Ghost (tease)
Seether
Shimmer Like A Girl
25

Encore
Shutterbug
Volcano Girls
Victrola
Earthcrosser

 

 

 

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