Stage banter was held to a minimum at last night's Dead Meadow show at the Bowery Ballroom, as the D.C. stoner trio used the gaps between druggy guitar epics simply to give thanks and catch their breaths — which certainly couldn't have been easy given the huge clouds of pot smoke billowing up from their audience. Venue security gave up pretty quickly on confiscating the green stuff, finding their pen lights no match for the haze.
As expected, the set list drew heavily from the band's forthcoming Old Growth, which came free with the reasonably priced $25 ticket. Crowd reaction was decidedly amped, and the dirge-y new single, "What Needs Must Be," sent a set of Jay and Silent Bob look-alikes into a hair-tossing frenzy. For well over an hour, hairy singer-guitarist Jason Simon laid thick layers of muddy, fuzz-pedal-y riffage over forceful percussion from even hairier, Viking-esque stickman Stephen McCarty. People swayed, doobies were smoked, and hands were raised aloft in devil-horn formation (when they were not being used to hold said doobies). —David Bevan