Monster Magnet/Black Moth - Leeds, Brudenell Social Club - 23 May 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Ben Hughes   
Saturday, 10 June 2017 04:30

Tonight, I pop my Monster Magnet live cherry and what better place to do it than the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, probably the best small venue in the country. The chance of catching one of Nineties rock survivors in an intimate venue such as this does not come along very often. So, as me and 400 odd fans of varying ages pack ourselves into the sold out Brudenell Social Club tighter than the turning circle the bus driver probably used to manoeuvre that tour bus into the car park outside, we await Dave Wyndorf and his band with anticipation.


Monster Magnet 2


First up tonight though, local band Black Moth open proceedings to an already busy room with the temperature rising by the minute. The perfect match for the headliners, Black Moth mix female lead vocals with doomy Sabbath inspired riffage to great effect. It's a good opportunity for the band to try out new material from their upcoming third album and the new songs mix well with established desert rock plunders such as 'Blackbird's Call'.


Being gifted a decent sound mix works to their advantage and singer Harriet Hyde soon loses the leather jacket as the temperature continues to rise. If you dig anyone from QOTSA to tonight's headliners then you will surely dig Black Moth as much as Monster Magnet's fan base here tonight do.


Monster Magnet's backline takes up a fair chunk of the stage but those Marshall stacks and the Monster Magnet logo on the kick drum look mighty fine as I stare, awaiting the band's arrival. Finally, the anticipation is over as they walk to the stage. That doomy riff to 'Dopes To Infinity' still sounds amazing after twenty odd years and it leads us into a set that pretty much covers all bases to keep everyone happy.


Monster Magnet 3


From riff heavy killers such as 'Radiation Day' and 'Powertrip' to tripped out psychedelic jams like 'Spine Of God', there's something for the rockers, the rollers and the stoners alike.


Mainman Dave Wyndorf is smaller than I imagined, but his larger than life onstage personality is as big as the riffs that emanate from the twin guitars of Phil Caivano and Garrett Sweeny. Both switch guitars nearly every track, presumably for the different tunings the various songs are in. And Dave, all dressed in black, his SG hanging round his hips, works his crowd like the pro he is.


The fact that nothing is played tonight from the last couple of albums and their spacey, re-imagined counterparts ('Milking The Stars' and 'Cobras And Fire') might hint at a different direction for the band on the new, upcoming album. But a new song played early tonight pretty much seals the deal for me.


That new song is called 'Mindfucker', and it's a stunner to be fair. Never has a brand new song that I have never heard sound so vital and instant in the live arena (well, club in this instance). Less Sabbathy/Hawkwind and more MC5/Stooges, this song kicks with a classic Detroit garage rock vibe, a 2 chord riff, powerhouse beats and a cool as fuck, sing-a-long chorus that has us shouting it back by the end of the first chorus. Yeah I'm sold, rock 'n' roll never sounded so good.


Monster Magnet 1


'Look To Your Orb For The Warning' sounds immense, the first of many mesmerising jammed out tracks to get lost in. That riff man, live it works wonders as we all nod our heads in unison to the beat, enraptured by the heavy grooves the band give out.


Following the epic set closer of a jammed out 'Spine Of God/American Pie' one-two, the band return with an even more epic trio of songs that instigate a bit of a mosh pit down the front and send us all off into the night happy campers. 'Negasonic Teenage Warhead' is as anthemic as Monster Magnet get...or is it? 'Tractor' follows... fuck!, I forgot what a tune that is. I mean c'mon, "I'm driving a tractor on the drug farm"... classic tuneage if ever I heard one! The crowd go mad for it, but the crowd-surfing and final moshing has been reserved for the obligatory closer 'Space Lord' that has Dave getting his crowd participation on. Getting us all to shout out those immortal words "SPACE LORD MOTHERFUCKER!", explaining how much he loves saying the word "Motherfucker", and who doesn't eh?


Drenched with sweat, ears ringing and a smile on my face, that's how to emerge from a Monster Magnet gig whether you like it or not I reckon. With the Monster Magnet live experience finally ticked off the list and a new song firmly embedded in my brain, I'd say it's been a pretty successful trip tonight, now when does that new album drop?


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