Monster Magnet - live on September 13,2004 at The Bottleneck in Lawrence, KS

From Aural Innovations #29 (October 2004)

This was the fourth time I've seen MONSTER MAGNET, but only the second time I've seen them as the headliner, as in the past several years, MM has been support band for Rob Zombie, The Cult and others. Trust me on this, MAGNET is much better as headliner. For one thing, this was the longest played set I've ever seen them do. Twelve songs in eighty minutes. I had looked forward to this gig for maybe a month. Myself and a fellow space rocker from Kansas City, Leonard Ladd, had started out for this trek about 5pm. I had no idea this show would end up being one of the top three concerts I've seen in 2004, as I've attended fifteen shows. Before the band took the stage at the Bottleneck, group founder Dave Wyndorf was telling Leonard how within recent months, that he was fortunate enough to be in Finland, when Dave Brock of Hawkwind had invited him onstage with Hawkwind to guest on the Bob Calvert tune "The Right Stuff". Wyndorf had also mentioned that this, of course, was like a dream come true for him. Before the show I ran into long-time Magnet guitarist Ed Mundel and ended up hanging with him for awhile. Asked him about his one time band, Atomic Bitchwax. He thoroughly encouraged me to avoid the band at all costs.

Okay, it's show time! Monster Magnet had surprisingly opened the show with the Bob Calvert/Hawkwind gem "The Right Stuff", then went on with "Tractor" (a track from their 1990 self-titled six song EP). Next up was "Elephant Bell", the Stooges cover "1970", "Power Trip", "Dinosaur Vacuum" and "Cage Around The Sun" (perhaps the best number all night). From their current CD, 'Monolithic Baby', they'd done four(4) tunes which were the previously mentioned "The Right Stuff", "On The Verge", "Radiation Day" and "Monolithic". For the blissful encore, it was "Space Lord". A great set, no doubt. Leonard had mentioned they were like a Hawkwind tribute band. I'm sure Dave and the guys would consider that a highly paid as well as earned compliment. They even ended up having a small, but very effective psychedelic light show going on during most of the evening's performance. A crowd of maybe 150 people showed up. Could've been more, and believe me, I've seen smaller crowds than this at the Bottleneck. For those of you reading this review, the Bottleneck has been a very cool place to catch shows of many genres for at least twenty years now. Some may say it's a dive, but it's the sort of dive that'll keep you coming back for more. In the past fifteen years I've seen acts such as Soundgarden, Gwar, Godflesh, Nik Turner(twice actually), Spiral Realms, Agnostic Front, Legendary Pink Dots, Bardo Pond, S.O.D.(aka Stormtroopers Of Death) and Gong there. Heard that Monster Magnet may do a second leg of this current tour and perhaps even return to the region. After the show, many of us got to hang out in front of the club with all five members as everyone got their say about the current events in music, politics and the way that most radio stations and clubs in the U.S. truly suck. As for the year's top three concerts I've seen in 2004 were Bowie, Kiss and Monster Magnet. Long live space metal!!

Setlist: (in order) The Right Stuff/Tractor/Elephant Bell/1970/On The Verge/Power Trip/Dinosaur Vacuum/Cage Around the Sun/Radiation Day/Monolithic/Third Alternative
encore:Space Lord

Reviewed by Mike Reed

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