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Live Review: Veruca Salt @ Beat Kitchen

| July 30, 2015
vs-alisondyer3-1024x732smVS: 2015 • Photo Alison Dyer

Veruca Salt
Beat Kitchen, Chicago
July 25, 2015

Though this past Saturday wasn’t Veruca Salt’s first Chicago show since the band reunited, it did mark a homecoming of sorts for the once-local foursome. The Beat Kitchen set marked the first time the original lineup of Veruca Salt: Louise Post, Nina Gordon, Steve Lack, and Jim Shapiro – had performed in its city of origin since the release of their brand new album, Ghost Notes. Furthermore, the evening’s set served as a more intimate precursor to the group taking the stage for Wicker Park Fest the following night. The result was a loose and kinetic assault that never let up across the course of a packed hour.

Throughout the succinct set, Veruca Salt’s more muscular ambitions were on full display. 1997 hit “Volcano Girls” was unabashedly metallic, while “Spiderman ’79” came off more raw and garage-leaning by comparison. Similarly straightforward and sonically assaulting was Eight Arms to Hold You opener “Straight.” The more slow-building “Prince of Wales,” meanwhile, proved fueled by guitar solos all full of punk and promise. And set closer “Shimmer Like a Girl,” off 1996’s Blow It Out Your Ass It’s Veruca Salt EP, cemented Veruca Salt as raw rock juggernauts, shutting down the evening with heavy thrash, replete with both Post and Gordon screaming and Shapiro demolishing his kit.

Midway through the show, the group reminisced, looking back on performing at Beat Kitchen back in 1993. The reflection preceded nostalgia-tinged Chicago ballad “Empty Bottle,” with a powerful duet between Post and Gordon elevating the end of the song. And even though Veruca Salt now call the West Coast home, Saturday night’s set was a reminder that Veruca Salt coming back to Chicago is as much a reunion as Gordon, Post, Lack, and Shapiro all sharing a stage again.

– Jaime Black

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Category: Featured, Live Reviews, Monthly

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