Monster Magnet. The Garage, Glasgow. 14/2/15.

I was expecting to go to a gig on Saturday night and hear some ballsy riffs and psychedelic wails from Monster Magnet.  I was not expecting to witness the second coming of the Messiah, but as Dave Wyndorf sang a miracle occurred.  The sick were healed, and the crutch that had carried some crippled soul into The Garage was raised aloft and waved in the air as he jumped around, healed by the power of Monster Magnet!

Metaltech 4 pm
Metaltech

It was an early start as the first support act, Scottish band Metaltech took to the stage just after half six.  They describe themselves as industrimental/techno, but to be honest their look was so distracting the music came a distant second.  Anyone who knows me knows I have a severe dislike of any inanimate object that seems to come to life, e.g. ventriloquists dummies, scarecrows, masks etc.  So when Metaltech appeared and two of them were in masks it was game over for me.  The singer was also unrecognisable in dayglo orange facepaint.  This isn’t to say they weren’t entertaining, they made sure the crowd got involved by shooting them with silly string, throwing out party poppers to be let off and even at one point setting fire to sparklers on the end of their guitars.  With an Ipad providing a pounding drum track the sound was more techno than I like but they certainly made interesting watching.

Bombus

Next up were Swedish band Bombus, playing their first ever Scottish gig.  This was far more the type of band I’d expect to see opening for Monster Magnet.  Less facepaint and silly string and more loud guitars and full on rock.  The crowd was growing by this point, with a lot of people having been caught out by the early start.  More and more people arrived throughout the set and although it took a few songs for Bombus to get them on side by the end of their set they’d made quite a few new fans.

Monster Magnet

So, to the main event.  Monster Magnet have been around for a long time, and The Garage was absolutely packed.  The crowd was quiet, just a buzz of anticipation in the air.  However as the band took to the stage to open with The Right Stuff from 2004’s Monolithic Baby! the waiting masses went from zero to apeshit in a flash.  Standing in the pit ready to shoot it was like a wave of noise washing over me.  This continued throughout and singer Wyndorf at times looked quite astonished by it.  This was a set that included tracks from the entire history of Monster Magnet, going back as far as 98’s Tractor and 91’s Spine Of God.  The psychedelic sound they’re known for came from a sound board at the back of the stage that Wyndorf worked expertly, while also singing and playing guitar.  I was lucky enough to interview him a few months ago, which you can listen to in the Audio Interviews section of Planetmosh.  I came away from that interview with the impression that I’d just spoken to someone with more imagination and creativity in his little finger than most of us can ever aspire to, and Saturday’s gig confirmed it for me.  His lyrics, the sound and the originality in the way it’s achieved is incredible.  On top of that, despite having been performing for so long his voice is still as strong and vital as ever.  Highlights for me were I Live Behind The Clouds from Last Patrol, which is just beautiful, and Spine of God, which somehow morphed into a chorus of Don McLean’s American Pie.  The show finished with Stay Tuned, because as Dave said, if he wants to finish the show with a lullaby, he’ll finish the show with a fucking lullaby.  He described the song as a 21st century lullaby, which means paranoid.  His lyrics are certainly paranoid, but there’s so much truth in them.  They came back on stage to roars and chants from the crowd for an encore that included Three Kingfishers and the aforementioned Tractor.  Space Lord closed the encore, and I have to say audience participation is usually a bugbear of mine, as crowds tunelessly warble “woowoowooo” or “yeah yeah yeah” back to the singer, but Dave Wyndorf is way cooler than that.  “Ooooooooooooh Space Lord Motherfucker” is easily the best example of audience participation I’ve seen in a long time, and was joined in with to a man.  Well, except for the guy who managed to fall asleep hanging over the barrier at the front, clutching a wooden carving of a minotaur.  Now that I think about it, maybe he’s lost his crutch!

Set List:

The Right Stuff

Dopes To Infinity

Look to Your Orb

Twin Earth

I Live Behind the Clouds

Last Patrol

Spine of God

End of Time

Stay Tuned

Three Kingfishers

Tractor

Space Lord

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About KarenS

Photographer, lover of books and movies. Can normally be found walking the dog in the rain.
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