Puddle of Mudd at Arizona Bike Week, 3/29/12

Puddle of Mudd Arizona Bike Week at WestWorld of Scottsdale Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bikes on bikes on bikes. Arizona Bike Week is all about hogs, big, roaring machines, and the big, tough looking dudes that ride them. After awhile it all seems to blur together, but the loud grunge sounds of Puddle of Mudd definitely managed to stand out.

I'll be the first to admit that I had no idea that they still existed with their hard rock, grungy ways, let alone that the Kansas City rockers still played live. But to my surprise, the band still has it.

I remember their song, "She Fucking Hates Me" and how my parents used to turn it down every time the F-bomb dropped (they did a lot of turning down). There was no one to censor the band last night at WestWorld, and with each repeat of the chorus, the rowdy bikers turned up the rowdiness.

I wasn't expecting to be impressed, but I'm glad I went. The band still has a firm grasp on the post-Nirvana, early 'aughts post-grunge sounds that made them stand out just a little from the nü-metal and rap-rock sounds that dominated radio. Sure -- they shared the stage, labels, and airwaves with bands like Staind and Limp Bizkit, but there was always something a little more "classic rock" about what they did.

Lead singer Wes Scantlin interacted with the crowd, and the crowd was happy to reciprocate. Yeah, some even found it worthwhile to toss their underthings on the stage, to the delight of Scantlin who sang, "Panties on the ground, Panties on the ground."

Puddle of Mudd released a covers album, Re(disc)overed in 2011, showing off its classic rock roots with tunes by Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Bad Company, and The Rolling Stones. They threw that at the crowd and everyone sang along. If you can cover AC/DC well, then you're good in my book.

Clearly, I was out of place. But thank you to the random few who complemented me on my tattoo. I got a little into my old grunge phase and damn, turns out I miss it. I'll give it to y'all: Bikers sure know how to have a good time.

They proved themselves making radio hits in their previous years and now covering classic rock hits; What will they do next? My main question is can they break away again and get back on the radio for us all? I'd rather hear their post-grunge dominate the radio than Katy Perry any day.

"If you love your band put your middle finger up in the air, and if you hate us tell us you love us," said Scantlin. How do you think the crowd responded?

Critics Notebook:

Last Night: Puddle of Mudd at Arizona Bike Week

The Crowd: Well clearly bikers. Beer in one hand cigarette in the other.

Personal Bias: Not looking forward to this at the beginning, but hell I thought it was an awesome show. Puddle of Mudd sure knows how to shred the guitar and get the crowd going. I will say I couldn't handle the cigarette smoke however. It was tough for me.

Random Notebook Dump: How can anyone find their friends?! They are all basically wearing the same thing: Black vests.

Overheard in the Crowd: For once I did not hear someone asking to bum a cig.

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Taylor Moon
Contact: Taylor Moon