BEING THERE: Veruca Salt @ The TLA


In the mid-1990s, Veruca Salt released two well-received albums of post-Breeders girlie grunge-pop before a 1998 cat fight between co-lead singers/guitarists Nina Gordon and Louise Post [pictured, above] caused Gordon to abandon ship and the original lineup to dissolve. Post recruited new members and carried on under the Veruca Salt banner, releasing a few albums that failed to capture original lineup’s magic while Gordon embarked on a solo career that included one successful album and undoubtedly the greatest N.W.A. cover ever. Ten plus years later, Post and Gordon reconnected via email and buried their hatchets, paving the way for an upcoming new album and current tour with original members drummer Jim Shapiro and bass player Steve Lack. Last night at the Theatre of Living Arts a re-united Veruca Salt thrilled a packed crowd with an epic two-hour show that included almost every track from their first two albums and a few surprises. The secret to Veruca’s success lies in the Yin and Yang of Gordon and Post. Gordon supplies light to their sound with her sugary sweet voice and chugging rhythm guitar and Post throws shade with her caustic vocals and piercing guitar solos. That magic blend was in full effect on last night, as the duo energetically pogo-ed, head banged and harmonized their way through twenty one songs backed by the precise and thundering rhythm section of Lack and Shapiro. Their set included impressive new songs “It’s Holy” and “The Museum of Broken Relationships,” and Gordon announced (with tongue in cheek) that they were considering naming their just completed but unnamed album Veruca Salt’s Sexploratorium in honor of a risqué store across the street from the theatre. The band played B-sire “Aurora” live for only the second time ever, with Post and Gordon’s gentle vocals and guitar playing wrapping around each other to delivering three minutes of stark, delicate beauty. Veruca Salt’s overlooked second album Eight Arms To Hold You was well-represented with the Driving Metallica-lite riffage of “Don’t Make Me Prove It, and an encore that included an explosive “Volcano Girls” and a the rumbling loud and soft dynamics of the Philly-referencing “Shutterbug.” Veruca Salt also ably recreated the sludgy lo-fi glory of their debut album with a raging “Seether,” the song that started it all. –PETE TROSHAK