CHICAGO — The way Wes Scantlin pandered to the sold-out crowd at the House of Blues on Thursday night, he would have made “How
to Win Friends and Influence People” author Dale Carnegie proud.
Three songs into Puddle of Mudd’s 12-song show, the first of a 14-date
club tour (see “Puddle Of Mudd Getting An Eyeful Of Fans On Next Tour” ), the band’s shaggy-haired frontman scratched the crowd right where it
“F— the Yankees!” screamed Scantlin, and the response was deafening.
Even those in the plush opera boxes who had one eye on Scantlin and the
other on a TV playing game five of the World Series cheered.
“The Cubs were robbed,” Scantlin continued, alluding to the
bespectacled fan some feel was responsible for the North Siders’ loss to
the Florida Marlins during last week’s National League championship
series. “That f—in’ bastard!”
Then Scantlin dedicated Come Clean’s “Drift & Die” to “the guy
who caught the ball and f—ed the Cubs!”
Showcasing material from the group’s forthcoming sophomore album,
Life on Display — and everything a Puddle of Mudd fan would
expect from Come Clean, their platinum-plus debut (including
“Blurry,” “Control,” and “She Hates Me”) — the group seemed
virtually rust-free following a long hiatus from touring.
“I don’t even want to go back in the studio for another f—in’ six
months,” announced Scantlin. Life on Display arrives in stores
November 25, but the four songs the band previewed prove the band isn’t
ready to surrender their Nirvana-inspired aggro-rock quite yet.
Led by bassist Doug Ardito, the torpid groove of “Nothing Left to Lose”
and first Life single “Away From Me” — with Scantlin’s
Cobain-y warbles — didn’t deviate tremendously from Come
Clean, while the stoner textures of “Already Gone” and dreamy, Pink
Floyd-ian “Think” (an excellent candidate for a second single)
indicated some growth.
Naturally, songs from Come Clean — the ones everyone knew
— generated the strongest reaction. “She Hates Me,” in particular,
inspired the audience to sing along enthusiastically. “Fortunately for
us,” Scantlin said midway through the song, “we’re actually on tour
because of that bitch.”
Scantlin dissed the dudes in the audience by noting, “There’s a lot of
good-looking women here — and a lot of ugly dates. That’s good for
us.” But he got them back when he quoted the opening riff from
Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” before launching into the band’s
ubiquitous radio hit, “Blurry,” dedicated to “the lovely ladies in the
The band nodded to the gods of metal by adding the first line of Led
Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” to “Bring Me Down,” and during their one-song
encore they dropped a verse of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” (with some
alternate lyrics) into “Control.”
Beholden to the unwritten rule that a band with only two albums,
including one its fans haven’t heard yet, doesn’t need to play until
the members drop, Puddle of Mudd called it quits 65 minutes after they began.
But a new Puddle song they didn’t perform suggests where the
band left the crowd. It’s called “Cloud 9.”
For more sights and stories from concerts around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports.