Mike Watt & the Missingmen LIVE @Once Ballroom Somerville, MA 10-11-19

Mike Watt & the Missingmen LIVE @Once Ballroom Somerville, MA 10-11-19

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Mike Watt, the Pedro man with the bass in his hand has nothing left to prove. He’s shown himself a musical man in the very sense of the word ever since the Minutemen and has been a formidable presence, with collaborations with everyone from Nels Cline, Kira Roessler, Iggy Pop, and Todd Congelliere. The man has had a career of making music, both as personal expression and as part of a greater whole. He has seen and been through so much that it’s no wonder he pops up on so many music documentaries. And unlike people like Dave Grohl who were influenced by whatever band the documentary is covering (“You kiddin’ me? I wouldn’t be in a band if it weren’t for [blank]!), Watt was there. He lived it.

I knew to go in not expecting anything for my third time seeing Watt. The first time I saw him he was Praccin’ his Third Opera and basically treated us to covers, the second time, he played Hyphenated-Man in its entirety. I didn’t even try to go through a refresher with his back catalog and let the moment take me.

Well, lo and behold, on a rainy Friday night in Somerville Massachusetts, Mike Watt proceeded to put on the best show I’ve seen all year. Through the course of an hour, Watt and crew proceeded to deliver 32 (or so) songs spanning his career, like Minutemen stuff, material from his Operas, and surprisingly some Bobblymen stuff as well. Truly the set was all over the place and even though I didn’t know a lot of these songs, the sheer intensity of the performance was truly something to behold. Watt, guitarist Tom Watson, and the newcomer kid (who Watt and D Boon went to highschool with) seemed so in tune, and ripping through these songs with the greatest of ease. These aren’t simple beat songs either: they varied from punk, to jazz, to funk, to rock, to whatever else you can think of. Through it all, Watt dominated the stage (he’s 61!), energy coursing through his veins, as he would move back and forth from behind the drum kit, eyeing drummer Nick Aguilar, getting real close, and letting out screams. It was impressive, beautiful and brought a tear to my eye.

What a great thing to have Watt out there, still bringing music to the masses. Of course, he won’t do it forever, but the impact his trail leaves sure seems like it will last forever.

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