Monster Magnet Red 7 Concert Review: Stoner rock pioneers deliver a blistering, psychedelic onslaught to rabid fans in Austin, TX.
The last time Monster Magnet played Austin TX was 1998, alongside headliner Rob Zombie. After years of semi-obscurity, they were riding a wave of hype for their breakthrough album Powertrip.
But that fame would be short-lived; follow-up album God Says No was a critical and commercial dud ( a criminally underrated album) , getting lost in the shuffle of Nu-Metal and they went back to being a cult item, becoming more famous in Europe than their home country, and quit touring the U.S. et large.
But due to the critical success of new album Last Patrol, the band is finally doing a proper U.S. tour, which brought them last night to Red 7 in Austin, TX.
Perhaps being conditioned by their European festival regimen, the show was set-up like a mini-music festival, with three opening acts of diverse material; the southern rock of Diesel and Dixie, the Groove Metal of Anti-Mortem, and the psychedelic blues of Royal Thunder.
But fans were rabid for the band that hadn’t played the Texas capital in 15 years.
When Monster Magnet stormed the stage, frontman Dave Wyndorf prepared the crowd for a set of mind melting proportions; Are you ready to take a ride?!
The band ripped through a set of material pulling largely from their psychedelic space rock roots, opening with Nod Scene from début album Spine Of God, followed by the celestial stomp of Dopes To Infinity (from the album of the same name).
Sound and chops wise, the band were a sharp, swaggering juggernaut, with blasts of noise rock interspersed with atmospheric interludes thanks to the triple guitar assault of Wyndorf, Phil Caivano and new lead guitarist Garrett Sweeney.
Wyndorf offered humorous asides in-between tunes; You know why I make that sound with my guitar? Because it’s easy and effective! And winning over Austinites with flattery; I haven’t been to Austin in a while, but you haven’t lost your looks!
I must make a note about how loud the band were; my ears are still ringing. But it’s a testament to the sound mix that the roaring din didn’t dilute their musicianship.
After riffing through new album track End of Time and a truly trippy Spine of God/American Pie medley, they played the first three songs off Powertrip, culminating in their biggest hit, the monolithic Spacelord, which showcased the true power of Wyndorf’s pipes. He belted just as loud as the guitar cacophony, allowing for all his lyrical wit to cut through the mix (and his Red Skull T-shirt was a nod to his comic book obsession.)
The band came back for a brief encore including the title track for the new album, which he informed the crowd was 12 minutes long, so if you want to sit down I won’t take offense! And they closed with the druggy anthem Tractor.
While the set list appeared brief, their lengthy jams and hearty performance left no one disappointed. Let’s just hope this isn’t their last patrol to Austin, because they provided a sorely needed fix for my fuzz-rock habit.
Monster Magnet Red 7 Concert Set List:
Dopes to Infinity
Look to Your Orb for the Warning
End Of Time
Spine of God / American Pie
Want to get Monster Magnet’s new album Last Patrol on iTunes? Preview/Order below: