Dead Meadow unleashes stoner jams, fog machine, at Milford, Conn., show

Sometimes a hearty does of stoner rock just does a body good.

In this case, it was a few dozen bodies who turned up to see Dead Meadow perform Wednesday night at Daniel Street in Milford, Conn. The Los Angeles (by way of Washington D.C.) trio obliged with a set of sludgy, psychedelic tunes wreathed in drifting smoke courtesy of the MiniFog smoke machine positioned off to the side on stage.

Here are four highlights in addition to the dry-ice fog:

1. The guitar tone: Not only was the band loud, Jason Simon’s guitar tone was crumbly and overdriven. There was  just enough reverb for a hint of backslap on the hypnotic riff to “What Needs Must Be,” and his solos frequently swirled on eddies of grimy wah-wah for an effect sort of like bubbling mud. Pretty sweet.

2. Drummer Steven McCarty: With his long hair and full mustache, the skinny McCarty looked like he stepped right out of 1975 in the role of the college kid ready to play dungeon master for his high-school buddies. He’s an incredibly solid drummer, however, playing strong, swift fills on opening song “Ain’t Got Nothing (To Go Wrong)” and anchoring the fast chugging stoner blues “Everything’s Going On.”

3. The vibrations: Dead Meadow was loud, sure. But more than that, the trio rumbled through its songs to the point where a glass on a ledge near the sound board vibrated right off and crashed to the floor.

4. Opening band Bottle Up and Go: Never mind that it’s pretty  much autumn now, and that more than a few people in the venue wore sweaters: Bottle Up and Go guitarist Keenan Mitchell was rocking out shirtless on stage like he was playing an August outdoor festival. The core duo augmented its guitar-and-drums garage-rock sound with a baritone sax, which is never a bad choice.

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