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Mike Watt and his loyal Missingmen landed in San Diego for a second time this year to deliver an encore performance of the band's rock opera Hyphenated-Man.

The trio tore into the piece with a tenacity that brought to mind ye olde Minutemen. In fact, Tom Watson's scratchy guitar playing and Raul Morales's manic drumming are about the closest we are likely to get to Double Nickels on the Dime II when they are allowed to stew with Mike Watt's trademark bass toolin'.

Special kudos for this show has to go to Morales, whose drumming has reached a level of greatness. The kid was on fire. I never got to see Keith Moon play ten feet away from me, but I think I got to witness his spiritual incarnate on this night. It was as if the entire show was just one long drum fill for him, and that is the ultimate in rhythm-section treats.

The core set consisted of the rock opera, which was pretty much flawless — no surprise coming from this band. No banter between songs, just firing them off one after another. I was in heaven. Nirvana was truly reached, though, when the band blasted into a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Machine Gun" during the encores. A moment that will forever be etched in my mind as perhaps the greatest performance of a cover song I have ever witnessed in this venue. It was not only face-melting, but an ear-melting, brain-melting, full-on body-melting, humanity-obliterating delivery of this tune. After the show, a dude walked up to Watt with a smile a mile wide and told him that "Machine Gun" was the best live performance he'd seen all year. My compliment had been used.

The band pedaled CDs and T-shirts from the stage after their set. I witnessed numerous attendees deliver Watt handfuls of cash and then refuse their change. When you are a living legend, this probably happens from time to time.

  • Concert: Mike Watt and the Missingmen
  • Date: November 5
  • Venue: Casbah
  • Seats: General
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