On tour: Boris | 09.09.23, Red Flag

Boris and Melvins w/ Mr. Phylzzz | 9.9.23, 8:00 PM | Red Flag, 3040 Locust Street | All ages | $31-49.50

[UPDATE 09.08.23: Please note that the Melvins have had to cancel their appearance at Red Flag this weekend. Boris and Mr. Phylzzz will still appear. The article below appears as originally published ~ Ed.]

Two of the loudest bands on Earth will put your earplugs to the test next Saturday as Boris and Melvins bring their 2023 “Twins of Evil” Tour to Red Flag. The tour finds these titans of feedback criss-crossing the U.S. for 43 shows across 26 states as part of the Melvins’ 40th anniversary celebration. They are joined by Mr. Phylzzz, a garage punk band from Chicago.

Formed in Tokyo in 1992, Boris consists of the trio of bassist and rhythm guitarist Takeshi (with his signature double-neck guitar), lead guitarist Wata, and drummer Atsuo. Boris’ long and storied career has found them dabbling in a variety of styles, from stoner metal to post-rock to crust punk, which makes every Boris show feel like a unique experience depending on which of the bands’ many modes they are operating in. For the current tour, Boris will be playing the entirety of their third studio album, Heavy Rocks, released in 2002—not to be confused with their 2011 album Heavy Rocks, or their 2022 album Heavy Rocks, which are completely different releases. The album was recently re-issued through Third Man Records, and is currently available on streaming for the first time.

Boris was in St. Louis almost exactly a year prior, playing Delmar Hall with the shoegaze band Nothing on their 2022 “Heavy Rock Breakfast” tour. In addition to a previous show at Delmar Hall in 2019, Boris also played the Firebird twice (in 2010 and 2013). Interestingly, their first St. Louis appearance was at the Scottrade Center in June 2007, where they opened for Tool.

According to Boris’ Takeshi, the upcoming tour was a dream collaboration many years in the making (as quoted by Loudwire):

“Could anyone have predicted such an astonishing event, that Boris and the Melvins would tour the entire USA together? Since the mid-‘80s, the Melvins have had an enormous influence on artists of all genres not only limited to heavy music, and have brought forth a surge of faithful followers over the years. Needless to say, Boris is just one of these many bands influenced by the mighty Melvins, and we took our name from a song title off of the 1991 album, Bullhead.”

Photo of Melvins by Chris Casella

Like Boris, Melvins will be playing the entirety of a classic album, Bullhead, one of the essential records of the early alternative metal scene. As noted in the quote above, Bullhead proved to be so influential that Boris cribbed their name from the first track, an audaciously slow, repetitive, and crushingly heavy song that served as an inspiration for decades of sludge to come.

Although Melvins have undergone many lineup changes over the years, the core of the band has always been guitarist and vocalist Buzz Osborne (aka King Buzzo) and drummer Dale Crover, who have been joined by bassist Steve McDonald, one of the original members of Red Kross, since 2015. Tragically, mere days before the start of the tour, the band announced that Crover would be undergoing emergency spinal surgery that would prevent him from playing. Fortunately, they found a pinch hitter in drummer Coady Willis, known for his work in the band Big Business, who will be filling in for Crover on all dates of the tour.

Like many classic bands of the American metal underground, Melvins have a long history of playing St. Louis, beginning with appearances at iconic venues like Mississippi Nights and Club 367 in the early ‘90s. Barring a few exceptions, nearly every one of their annual US tours in the past decade included a stop in St. Louis, most of them at either the Firebird or the Ready Room. Most recently, they played the Old Rock House last September while touring for their 2022 album Bad Moon Rising.

Next Saturday’s show will start with an 8:00PM set from Mr. Phylzzz, followed by Boris playing their Heavy Rocks set. Melvins will play a slightly rearranged Bullhead set, followed by an encore of classic songs from throughout their discography. | David Von Nordheim

Melvins + Boris “Twins of Evil” 2023 Tour

09.05.23 – Fargo, ND @ Fargo Brewing Company

09.06.23 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater

09.07.23 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave II

09.08.23 – Chicago, IL @ Metro

09.09.23 — St. Louis, MO @ Red Flag

09.11.23 — Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue

09.12.23 — Grand Rapids, MI @ The Pyramid Scheme

09.13.23 — Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall

09.14.23 — Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom

09.15.23 — Pittsburgh, PA @ Roxian

09.16.23 — Maspeth, NY @ Desertfest NYC

09.18.23 — Albany, NY @ Empire Live

09.19.23 — Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club

09.20.23 — Bethlehem, PA @ MusicFest Café

09.21.23 — Philadelphia, PA @ Brooklyn Bowl

09.22.23 — Washington, D.C. @ The Howard Theatre

09.23.23 — Virginia Beach, VA @ Elevation 27

09.24.23 — Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle

09.26.23 — Nashville, TN @ Brooklyn Bowl

09.27.23 — Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse

09.28.23 — Savannah, GA @ District Live

09.29.23 — Birmingham, AL @ Saturn

09.30.23 — New Orleans, LA @ Tipitina’s

10.02.23 — Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live – Studio

10.03.23 — Austin, TX @ Mohawk

10.04.23 — Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater

10.05.23 — Oklahoma City, OK @ Beer City Music Hall

10.06.23 — Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom

10.07.23 — Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck

10.09.23 — Denver, CO @ Summit

10.11.23 — Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater

10.13.23 — Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre

10.14.23 — San Diego, CA @ House of Blues

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