Home » Live Review: Mr. Bungle is Back! Supported by The Melvins and Spotlights at Crystal Ballroom, Portland May 21st, 2023

Live Review: Mr. Bungle is Back! Supported by The Melvins and Spotlights at Crystal Ballroom, Portland May 21st, 2023


Mike Patton’s rise to fame was through Faith No More. Over the years the group has gained a cult following that includes new and old fans. Manor 208 got the opportunity of a lifetime to attend one of the already sold out shows. The Geek tour features support from The Melvins and Spotlights.

This show in particular managed to sell out tickets within 10 minutes of going on sale. It has been more than a decade since Mr. Bungle have toured. They recently made an appearance at Sick New World in Vegas the week before. It wasn’t until 2020 that we saw there was an active presence of the band when they re-recorded their “The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo”. Mike Patton established Mr. Bungle when he was in high school in 1984 in Eureka, California.

I got to the venue early and hung out in the line with the fans before the show started. Closer to door time, you could see the line continue to grow; the line eventually wrapped around the building. It was show time, I made my way through security and walked my way up to the ballroom. Of the many venues in Portland, the Crystal Ballroom is one of my favorites. It has a mid-century look, one of the oldest ballrooms to still be functioning.

The first band to grace the stage was Spotlights. A wife/husband duo that really packs a punch with their sludgy slow churning metal sound. For a band that has only put out three full length albums and an EP, they have accomplished more than most bands in their 7 years of being established. As an opener they blew me away with their sound, all around aesthetic, & style. Come early and check out Spotlights – you won’t be disappointed.

The Melvins are Seattle royalty emerging out of a post-grunge era of the 90’s. Most well known for their sludgy grunge sound, they have influenced bands outside their own genre such as Nirvana, Tool, Primus, Faith No More, & Mastodon. Dale Crover the drummer, was a major influence in introducing  Krist Novoselic to Dave Grohl which eventually would lead to the formation of Nirvana. The setlist for the night included “Snake Appeal”, “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “Blood Witch”, & “Honey Bucket”.

Everyone in the room was eagerly awaiting Mr. Bungle, Matt Patton emerged to an energetic start. Without skipping a beat they headed into the show with a cover of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” made famous by Mister Rodgers. Matt’s vocal range is phenomenal, very few artists are capable of achieving such a broad range of control.

To understand Mr. Bungle you have to journey back to the formation of the band. Members currently consist of Matt Patton of Faith No More, Scott Ian of Anthrax, and Dave Lombardo of Lamb Of God / Slayer with support from Trey Spruance and Trevor Dunn. From the success of Faith No More, Mr. Bungle was able to get signed by Warner Bros Records in 1990. They toured 1999 and 2000 in support of their third album, ending their short run in 2004.

Tonight’s show was showcasing the re-recorded album “The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo”. The source material for this album was a thrashy lo-fi sound that added ska elements. The setlist also included diverse covers “Speak English or Die”, “Hell Awaits”, & “Cold War”. For being gone from the stage for so long, it was refreshing to see Matt and company get back to their roots and come back to where it all started. There were a lot of newer fans out in the crowd with their parents, sharing a moment together. There’s something magical about how music can bring people together. Do not miss this tour, whether you’re a diehard Mr. Bungle fan or just discovered them this will exceed your expectations.

The Geek tour continues this fall on the East Coast. Also just announced catch Mr. Bungle at Riot Fest this September.

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