Veruca Salt reunites with their original line up after nearly 20 years with their release Ghost Notes.
In the Veruca Salt song “Prince of Wales,” featured on their newest album Ghost Notes, Louise Post recalls her fractured self at the Prince of Wales hotel in Australia: “I remember that day…I remember that girl…I remember it all”
We, too, remember that girl, and we, too, remember it all.
It was 1997. Dave Grohl, drummer of fellow 90’s staple Nirvana and 2000’s staple The Foo Fighters and at the time Louise Post’s boyfriend, broke up with her over a long distance phone call. Post announced the split onstage … and then had to be carried offstage. And while Louise was dealing with that split, the band then dealt with a split of their own: In 1998, Nina Gordon set off on her own. Louise Post stayed with the Veruca Salt Name. Gordon most notably gained success in 2000 with the pop single “Tonight and the Rest of my Life,”
But tonight, and for the rest of their lives, fans feel lucky to have witnessed the Veruca Salt reunion. The female duo of Veruca Salt are back together, along with fellow original members Jim Shapiro and Steve Lac, stepping back into the musical spotlight with their new album Ghost Notes and playing under the actual spotlight of Webster Hall on Friday July 31, 2015.
It’s been nearly 20 years since their debut album American Thighs rocked the world. When “Seether” dropped in 1994, Veruca Salt officially became a member of the 90’s alternative scene. When the song dropped last night at Webster Hall, it was a gift amongst the tracks of Ghost Notes; a present for fans who remember rocking out to American Thighs and fellow 90’s release Eight Arms to Hold You.
The 2015 release, Ghost Notes, is littered with delicious guitar crunch. It’s several yells short of The Donnas, more bold than The Breeders, more polished than their early 2000’s releases, and many beautiful harmonies and guitar work away from Hole, who they used to open for back in the 90’s.
Moments of 90’s nostalgia found their way into the night both through the audience and the band. The crowd sported wallet chains, plaid, multi-pattern outfits, and bangs. And the band sported jolly ranchers (which got stuck on their boots), band t-shirts, and… bangs.
For bands looking for optimal success, it seems that Veruca Salt has written the Basics in Bandom. And with that, here are the Ten Commandments of Band Life as learned through Veruca Salt’s performance at Webster Hall:
- Thou shall write songs introduced with 1-3 notes or chords and they shall be good. Roll that bass with single notes, or add that guitar crunch to two notes. If your presence is there, the crowd will eat it up.
- Thou shall switch the lead singer role, and even microphones, to distribute the stardom. Bonus for expertly crafted vocal harmonies. Louise and Nina switched vocal duties and even places during the night. And their harmonies made people go crazy.
- Thou shall give your guitarist solos. Rock out. Enough said.
- Thou shall let your guitar wail and squeal but only when needed and gently ease in and out. Use your pedals to add, but not to takeaway.
- Thou shall craft harmonies to add depth. See commandment #2.
- Thou shall mix up how you present well-known songs and include your audience in the performance. During their vocals-only, slowed down, performance of One Last Time, Veruca Salt invited the audience to a riveting call and response. It was immediately followed by “Seether” as if to say “Thank you!”
- Thou shall say thank you during your set, both figuratively (see above) and literally. During the show, Louise Post thanked us “for being a part of our rock and roll fairy tale.” And of course, audience members yelled back, “You Too!!”
- Thou shall not date famous members of other bands. … Unless you write an album about it.
- Thou shalt forgive and forget. And then write about it.
- Thou shall look good doing it. Led Zeppelin T shirts and straight hair never hurts. Neither does standing with your guitar above your head, inviting the crowd to cheer (Louise Post did that).
The song Veruca Salt released after their hiatus was called “It’s Holy.” Featuring a music video of fans rediscovering the song, the lyrics decree: “Hello world…Here comes your girl…Here comes your brand new day.”
And what a brand new day it is for Veruca Salt.