Mindfucker European Tour 2018, – leg 1 –
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
24/5 – 2018
Live interview and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
MINDFUCKER is the name of the latest studio album by the legendary Monster Magnet. The album is a follow up to 2013’s LAST PATROL. Since 2013 the band has released two remix/redux albums called MILKING THE STARS: A RE-IMAGINING OF LAST PATROL and COBRAS AND FIRE (THE MASTERMIND REDUX). To be honest I haven’t heard those two albums since I lost interest in the band a while ago. The band doesn’t visit Sweden much either; the last time I saw them live was a few years back in Copenhagen, Denmark. The band’s gone through many member changes over the years to the point where the only remaining original member is band leader and founder Dave Wyndorf, who has led the band since its birth in 1989. The European part of the tour began in Germany and at the end it hit Scandinavia with the first pit stop in Copenhagen Denmark.
It’s been 7 years since the band last performed in Malmo so it was about time the guys made a stop here. The place for the show was of course at the best club in town Kulturbolaget and along with them the band brought warm up acts in Pendejo and Table Scraps. Since the show took place on a week day the nightclub wouldn’t open after the show. Doors opened at 7 and the first act was scheduled to take the stage at 7.30. The entire evening was supposed to end at 11. As summer held Sweden in a tight grip, the weather was warm and sunny as I waited outside the venue for the doors to open and when it was 15 minutes left a line started to form. Luckily the time went by fast and soon it was time for the first band which was Pendejo to start the night.
Pendejo started the night with an instrumental piece. The band consisted of 5 people, including trombone and trumpet players. The songs were executed in Spanish and to say the least, this was a very unusual show to attend. I’d say the music was some kind of light rock n’ roll paired with the horn section. Since the singer spoke into the trumpet mic it was kind of hard to hear what he was saying. The lights didn’t work in favor of the band at all and there weren’t any front lights which made it hard to take pictures of the band. The singer thanked the crowd in Swedish and said the next song was about “love for your madras”. Well, the music and the band was strange and not at all my cup of tea. Their light rock was nothing I felt the urge to discover more of and I was pretty glad when the show was over. The singer wanted us to give a hand for Monster Magnet and said the band had two more songs to play. The singer had lived in Gothenburg Sweden before said in almost perfect Swedish that his wife was here this night and surprised him. “When I first met her I asked if she wanted to go home with me and look through my porn-mags”, he said and laughed. After the last song the band thanked the crowd and that ended the 30 minute long show.
This strange kind of music and band didn’t appeal to me at all and the small amount of people that saw the show seemed also a bit reluctant. The work with changing gear on stage began and when Table Scraps got their pieces on stage they did a short soundcheck and then it was time for them to kick off their show.
At 8.20 Table Scraps entered the stage with the drummer centre stage and guitar and bass on either side. Unfortunately they only managed to play one song before they suffered sound problems. When the sound was fixed the band ran through the second and the third song straight after each other. Singer Abbot thanked the crowd saying – “We’re Table Scraps and come from England, it’s nice to be here”. When I got out from the photo pit I could see that more people had arrived to the club but it wasn’t filled yet. Table Scraps consists of:
Scott Vincent Abbot – lead vocals, guitar
Poppy Twist – drums, lead vocals
TJ – bass
The band began to play the next song but had to stop since they played it wrong and began again. Table Scraps played a variation of punk rock n’ roll and just like the previous band, they had major problems with the lights. The sound also felt un-mixed and some of the instruments were way too high in the mix. The band felt a bit nervous and nothing much really happened on stage; the only cool thing was the hard-hitting female drummer. Otherwise the members stood still on stage, hardly doing any talking in between the songs only playing their instruments. On the other hand it seemed like the members all were very young and they have time to rehearse and improve both their music and their stage appearance. The only one that tried to connect with the crowd was the bass player that used the stage somewhat more than the others and he also thanked the crowd for the support.
The band has the potential to go far in the future but they sure need some more rehearsing, some practice on stage presence and some edgier material, but I do think they have the foundation to become something bigger in the future. As for now the 40 minute show wasn’t much to add to the list of memorable shows.
Now, the club started to get fuller with people and on stage a backdrop with the logo to the album GOD SAYS NO on it hung, on each side of the stage amps was placed and at the front a fan stood. You could feel the anticipation for the night among the crowd and finally, after 30 minutes of prepping the stage, it was finally time for Monster Magnet to take on Malmo.
The members all walked out to the tones of the intro and opened the night with the epic “Dopes to Infinity”. It was clear the fans missed the band, after all it was 7 years ago since the band last visited Malmo, and the fans did their best to fire up the band. Wyndorf seemed to be in a good mood and looked cool, he said it’s fun to be alive and fired off “Rocket Freak” taken from the new album MINDFUCKER. Wyndorf said he wanted to hear the fans scream and the band felt really relaxed and in a good mood. The line up today is:
Dave Wyndorf – lead vocals, guitar
Phil Caivano – guitar
Bob Pantella – drums
Garrett Sweeny – guitar
Chris Kossnik – bass
“Soul” followed straight away. Contrary to Table Scraps, Monster Magnet had great sound, however the lights left more to wish for yet again. There was a lot of smoke and blue lights which made it hard to get shots of the band. “Mindfucker” followed and the band seemed to be almost over-excited this night. It was clear the band was happy to be back in Malmo and they delivered a show that oozed of energy and high voltage rock n’ roll music. The band energy rubbed off on the crowd that also did their best to support the band with cheers, dancing and screams and it was no doubt the fans had longed to see Monster Magnet. Wyndorf wanted to see everyone jump in “Radiation Day” which made the fans go nuts. Wyndorf let the crowd take the chorus and as soon as the song was over the show continued straight away with “Dinosaur Vacuum”.
“Look to Your Orb for the Warning” followed in which Caivano had the audience clap their hands. Wyndorf’s voice was in perfect shape and he sounded amazing. The rest of the band was also really tight and everyone seemed to be having a really good time on stage together. Wyndorf was so amped up that he forgot to do some talking in between the songs; he let the music do the talking instead. “Do you want to hear some more music mother fuckers?”, he shouted. “Scream louder for me!”, he said and fired off “When the Hammer Comes Down”. “Negasonic Teenage Warhead” followed instantly and the old classic tune really fired up the fans to the next level. Wyndorf thanked them, smiled and looked really grateful when he said he had missed being in Malmo. The band began to play the intro to the next song and Wyndorf said he wanted the fans to scream at the top of their lungs and that he wanted them to sing a long with him. “Scream with me Space lord mother fucker!”. The fans did as he said and it was of course time for the majestic “Space Lord”. The fans all sang their hearts out and the temperature inside the club rose several degrees. Wyndorf led the sing a long in the middle of the song and he urged the fans to sing louder and louder looking really satisfied when the song peaked. The song ended and Wyndorf said “Thank you Malmo, rock on people!” And that ended the first 60 minutes of the show.
The fans of course shouted for encores but it took a while before Wyndorf came back on stage firing off “Ejection” as the first encore. The song is an new taken from MINDFUCKER and not everyone in the crowd knew the song. The band didn’t extend the songs with long guitar solos as they use to, this show they focused more on delivering a rock solid show without any longer solos. Wyndorf said it was time for a song called “End of Time” and counted in 1, 2, 3 and kicked off the song. Wyndorf said that he wondered if the crowd could manage one more song this night? OK, scream louder for me…here is “Powertrip”! With that song and a thank you Wyndorf and Monster Magnet ended the show that lasted for about 85 minutes totally this night.
It was so nice to see Monster Magnet in such a good shape, I remember a few years back when I saw them when Wyndorf didn’t feel too well and didn’t want to be on stage at all and it felt a little sad to see the icon in that state of mind. This night however he oozed confidence and everyone in the band seemed to work in harmony and it felt like they had a really good time together. The only bad thing was that Wyndorf didn’t do much talking, but on the other hand we were there to hear the music I guess. The ordinary playing time on one hour felt a bit short luckily they made it up to us by doing some great encores. But it wouldn’t have hurt with a few more songs in the ordinary set. The set list felt fresh and fun and even though I missed a few of my personal favorites I’m really happy with the songs we heard and it was nice to hear that the current songs worked out well live. This was nothing but a great night and I really hope it doesn’t take the band 7 more years to get back to Malmo!
If you haven’t bought the new album “MINDFUCKER” yet you have to do it right now, it’s damn good and proves that Wyndorf still remains one of the top songwriters in the business.
Dopes To Infinity
Look To Your Orb For the Warning
When The Hammer Comes Down
Negasonic Teenage Warhead
End Of Time
Thanks to Totte Lundgren, head of Kultubolaget, for help with press/photo-pass to the show.
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Thanks to the always friendly staff and security at the club.
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