Monster Magnet - "Viva Las Vegas" (Live in Las Vegas)
(A&M Records 1999)
From Aural Innovations #8 (October 1999)
This is the limited edition live CD that came in the 2nd release of Powertrip in the US and Europe. While many feel that Monster Magnet have sold out now and become too mainstream, I would like to argue that this has all been a calculated plot by Dave Wyndorf himself. A little background... Back in 1995 I had a one - hour chat with Dave on the bus in Boston and he told me that in order for him to gain 100% control and be able to put out albums like Space Ritual with 20 minute songs he had to ride the edge of just being pop enough to sell enough records to gain this control. Now that Powertrip has sold like 2 million worldwide, he must be smiling. This CD just shows you that the band really wants to play "Space Rock". The CD opens with a pretty standard Temple of your Dreams. Next up Dave gives a monologue about the CD being recorded in Las Vegas and that they have been playing the same numbers for the last 6 months and how would the audience like to hear some "Space Rock"! Now the CD really gets going... you can hear the Hawkwind era 1972 space sounds in the background and the band blast into Dinosaur Vacuum. Baby Götterdämerung is next and also pretty spaced. This is followed by an excellent very psychedelic version of Cage Around the Sun. Finally, they close the set with Bummer at 7 ½ minutes, which of course stole the guitar riff from Hawkwind's Time We Left This World today! The music is not over before a 9½ minute version of Space Lord Mutherfucker, where I can just picture Dave smiling all the way to the bank; as he has 30,000 people singing Space Lord Motherfucker and all sorts of other weird lyrics!! Excellent CD and shows that the band are still dedicated to playing some spacerock.
Reviewed by Scott Heller