Veruca Salt are back, and people seem pretty happy about it.
The band kicked off its tour — in support of this week’s Ghost Notes, the first album from the original lineup since 1997’s Eight Arms to Hold You — with a stop at San Diego’s Soda Bar. The sold-out show was attended by people from all over the US (and as far away as Spain, though it’s possible they were also in town for Comic-Con), and all of them greeted the reunited band with a wave of good will and affection.
It helps that, unlike most other reformed ’90s acts, Veruca Salt are just as interested in putting out new music as they are stoking the flames of nostalgia. The band played a best-of-all-worlds set that included hit singles “Seether” and “Volcano Girls,” rarities “Shimmer Like a Girl” and “I’m Taking Europe With Me,” and new tracks like “The Museum of Broken Relationships” and “Alternica.”
Veruca Salt have always been a band that emphasizes dichotomy: Satanic guitar riffs over angelic vocals, sugary melodies married with salty lyrics, serene moments trampled by explosions of distortion, Nina Gordon’s purr circling Louise Post’s growl. Those disparate elements were all present during Wednesday’s show.
Throughout the set, Gordon and Post expressed their gratitude to the crowd for accompanying them on their 20-year journey. The band also thanked attendees for their patience while it worked out some kinks in the newer songs. But the occasional forgotten lyric or flubbed guitar line did nothing to defuse the crowd’s excitement at seeing a beloved band return to its former glory.