Monster Magnet – LIVE: Electric Ballroom, London 2010

Mastermind Tour
London - November 26
Capacity 800
Photo Gallery

After the poorly received 4 Way Diablo Monster Magnet cancelled their 2006 UK tour when front-man Dave Wyndorf entered rehab, and they eventually returned in December 2009. Now with a new album they having another round.

Support for the tour came from dreadful UK act Exit International, which almost the entire venue ignored, and US doom metal side-project Seventh Void, featuring Kenny Hickey and Johnny Kelly of Type O Negative, who are ramping up their presence in Europe following the releaes of their debut album on Napalm Records in November, more than a year after the North American release.

The initial impression of the half-full Electric Ballroom audience when Seventh Void started their set was one of non-recognition. But it didn't take long for the band's grooving doom riffs and Hickey's raw vocals to get most on of their side and with only half an hour available to them they delivered a superb set, including one new song (Fools And Dogs) set for inclusion on their sophomore record, which had the front row banging their heads as any band with that many riffs would always hope to do.

Monster Magnet hit some potential problems shortly before the tour when long-time guitarist Ed Mundell decided to quit the band. However Garrett Sweeny stepped in so that the tour could run as planned and, putting any nostalgia values aside, the band performed just as well.

A combination of the slightly early curfew (22:30), and technical problems with Sweeny's pedal board at the beginning of the show, meant Crop Circle and Bored With Sorcery were dropped from the set, but otherwise they stuck to the standard setlist they've been playing every night on this tour, including new album Mastermind's best track Hallucination Bomb. The ever-popular Crop Circle was probably a bad choice to drop and the blank looks around the room which greeted Medicine indicated where the cut should have been made.

Tedious cover The Right Stuff, which Monster Magnet have really failed to make sound like it belongs alongside their own material, produced the necessary crowd participation effect, but apart from that and anthems Space Lord and Powertrip the set focused heavily on the stoner side of their sound, with mountains of feedback and fuzz blurring the transitions. Perhaps not the wisest decision for a band who have made their mark on rock with catchier, more definite songs, but at least a solid acknowledgement of their place in the genre, and a real treat for fans of older albums like Dopes To Infinity.

In truth Monster Magnet really had a tough act to follow in Seventh Void, who easily won over the unfamiliar in the audience. But the appetite for Monster Magnet's live show in London seems to be healthy, and although they're not quite the potent force they once were, there's still nothing like hearing Dave Wyndorf lead the crowd through the monumental groove of Space Lord to bring that past rushing back to the faithful.

“ focused heavily on the stoner side ”

Seventh Void Setlist: Killing You Slow / Heaven Is Gone / The End of All Time > Shadow On Me / Closing In / Fools And Dogs / Drown Inside / Slow Descent / W.C.D. / Broken Sky

Monster Magnet Setlist: Nod Scene / Tractor / Dopes To Infinity / Hallucination Bomb / Dig That Hole / Medicine / Look To Your Orb For The Warning / Dinosaur Vacuum / The Right Stuff / Space Lord // Gods And Punks / Powertrip

Photo(s): Andy Lye

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2010, Gigs, Hard/Heavy Rock,

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