VERUCA SALT @ Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL Review

Veruca Salt


Review by Nicci Allen

In 1998, Nina Gordon left Veruca Salt to pursue a solo career, but Louise Post fought to keep the name of the band in solid standing until 2013 with a revolving cast of members until 2012, when they finally decided their hiatus. In March of 2013, the band announced the reunion of their original lineup, and hit the road for a US tour at the beginning of this month. On the fourth date of their tour, Veruca Salt returned to their hometown of Chicago with an intensely triumphant roar, and were welcomed with the same by their long awaiting fans.

With two sold out shows in Chicago, even they were impressed with the turnout at Lincoln Hall. After opening up by blazing full force right into the show with four songs (“Get Back,” “All Hail Me,” “It’s Holy,” and  “Straight”) Louise stepped up to the mic and thanked the crowd, saying “Every single one of you had to have bought the ticket on the first day. That’s amazing…”

Standing side by side, both of the guitars rocking and bodies swaying in synch with Steve on bass, as Jim kept perfect time on the simplest 5 piece set (the kick drum adorned with a puppy,) everyone in the band seemed genuinely excited to be there, and as frictionless as if they had never parted ways. Radiant smiles never left their faces, and not once did the group energy subside.

The band’s love for their fans was truly inspiring to witness. Several songs were dedicated to specific people in the crowd, and Louise stopped to hand roses out personally “because we love you!” At least twice the band paused between songs to ask the crowd how they were doing, stating how much they sincerely missed their faces, received by superfan cries of “never leave us again!!!”

The entire room exploded with a surge of raging stamina when Veruca Salt brought out their first hit “Seether.” This was followed directly by “Shimmer,” which Louise designated as being “For all the beautiful women in the audience” as she fist-pumped right into the intro, which persuaded all the females in the audience to bounce along even harder, while Nina and Louise headbanged in unison. The rest of the band then backed away and rested in the shadows for a moment as the spotlight fell on Nina, while she ended their set with the soft and lovely solo of “25.”

At the close of the four song crowd-demanded encore, which included their other hit singles “Shutterbug” and “Volcano Girls” off of “Eight Arms to Hold You,” Louise capped off their performance saying “We will definitely be seeing all of you again soon…” alluding to the possible future tour for their upcoming album that the band had mentioned being in progress earlier in the show.  There was not a face in the venue without a grin from start to finish of their performance that night; evidence alone that 16 years was well worth waiting for.

Nicci Allen is a photography/graphic design major who has been an active and involved member of the music scene since she was old enough to be let in local shows. Whether it was bartending concerts at The Pearl Room, being an involved member of the Girls of Metal, booking and promoting local shows and benefits, attending festivals and supporting artists of every genre, or DJing and writing her own music, Nicci has always made music a necessity in her daily life.