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Last night’s Soul Asylum and Meat Puppets show at the 9:30 Club was sparsely attended, which made the show feel more intimate than the typical show from “The Brothers Meat,” as Kurt Cobain once them. The band, which now includes Kirkwood’s son Elmo on rhythm guitar, is still a fascinating force of nature; watching guitarist Kirk Kirkwood take the band into a elongated cosmic freakout on “Up on the Sun,” then come back and stop on a dime, was worth the ticket price.

If you know and appreciate raw energy, you’d get sweaty just watching how hard Soul Asylumplays. Frontman Dave Pirner‘s usual dedication of “Without a Trace” to band co-founder Karl Mueller was especially poignant on the week of the 20th anniversary of Mueller’s death.

The audience got a taste of the future of music last night, too, with a group of kids called Fast as Lightning from Annapolis, Md. The story goes that Pirner heard about the group a few days ago and invited the young’ns to make their 9:30 Club debut before the Soul Asylum set last night. Not bad for a fivepiece whose ages range from 8 to 14.

See photos from all sets in the gallery.