It’s been a heady week for Mudhoney. Last Friday, they played to a packed house of 16,000 when they opened for Pearl Jam at Key Arena. Wednesday night, they played to an equally packed house — though at 100 attendees, the numbers were a bit smaller — at Full Tilt Ice Cream in White Center.
The special in store appearance was set up to celebrate the release of Full Tilt’s newest flavor, “Mudhoney,” a pleasant mix of fudge, cinnamon, and honey. A line of Mudhoney fans braving the cold snaked down the street as they waited patiently for the doors to open at 7 for the 8 p.m. show. Though the store’s capacity was said to be around 50, a store employee counted nearly a hundred who managed to jam themselves inside. With the band strategically set up in Full Tilt’s front corner, by the window, they were also visible to crowd filling the street outside.
The hour before showtime passed quickly, attendees quaffing beer (Pabst Blue Ribbon being the favored choice for audience and band members alike) and sampling the new ice cream, which 12-year-old Stone Machel, sporting a Nirvana t-shirt, proclaimed to be “Awesome!”
Shortly after 8, Mudhoney entered through the front door, hailed like conquering heroes, cameras flashing as they pushed their way through the crowd to their instruments. The front line — vocalist Mark Arm, guitarist Steve Turner and bassist Guy Maddison — faced the greatest challenge of having to rock out without being able to move more than a foot or two in any direction (drummer Dan Peters, safely in the corner, had more space for himself).
They nonetheless tore into their set with passion, Arm somehow finding the room to twist his body into his trademark contortions, with Turner spinning out searing guitar work as an audience hovered in his face mere inches away. There was no crowd surfing, but there were a few moments when the moshing was on the verge of getting out of control.
The 11-song set drew on the group’s entire catalogue, from the raw “Suck You Dry” (from 1992’s “Piece of Cake”) to the sneering “Chardonnay” (from the band’s latest release, “Vanishing Point”). But that wasn’t enough for the crowd, who demanded more, and after a quick conference, the band returned for an encore, which included a Fang cover, the sarcastic “The Money Will Roll Right.” And what Mudhoney show would be complete without the band’s signature song, “Touch Me, I’m Sick”?
Afterwards, the band stuck around to chat with fans, and helped to create a new collectible by signing tubs of their own ice cream. Maybe one will eventually find its way into the collection of the Experience Music Project.