Monster Magnet – Headline
European Tour 2020 Powertrip A Celebration
The Drippers – support act
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
29/1 – 2020
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Dave Wyndorf and his Monster Magnet is back in Europe again, this time they’re celebrating the 20th birthday of the POWERTRIP album (or 22nd birthday as its 2020 now). The tour was suppose to take place last year but got canceled due to medical problems and Wyndorf had to undergo surgery. As support act The Drippers from Gothenburg Sweden was called in for the dates in Sweden, the band was formed 2016 and their music is action rock influenced by New Bomb Turks, Gluecifer, the Hellacopters, MC5 and The Stooges. The band debut album came last year titled ACTION ROCK released by the indie label The Sign Records produced by the legendary Thomas Skogsberg (Gluecifer, The Hellacopters, Backyard Babies, Entombed etc). The tour began in Scotland and made three Scandinavian stop before the tour continued out in Europe and ends in Spain at the end of February.
The place for the show this night in Malmo was Kulturbolaget and it was the first show I covered for the year at the venue, since the show took place on a Wednesday the night had to end at 11 o clock which made the support act enter the stage at 8. The club wasn’t sold out and there were tickets available the same day as the show took place, a small line had formed outside when I came to the venue but time went by pretty fast and at 7 the doors opened. As always I took a check at the merchandise stand and could see that Monster Magnet sold a heck of a lot of different t-shirts but not any albums. The crew member was putting the final pieces on stage and pretty soon it was time for the support act to enter.
The tempo was set to full speed straight from the start and the crowd was given no time to catch their breath in between the songs, a few songs into the show bass player/vocalist Viktor said it was time for a song from the bands debut album and it was “Långgatan”. The Drippers is a trio that consists of:
Viktor – bass, lead vocals
William, guitar, vocals
Virvel – drums
“Demon In My Head” (which I think the song is called) followed and the further into the show we came the more I liked what I heard. The bands dirty, fast and energetic garage rock n roll in the veins of the early The Hellacopters really appealed to me and the guys impressed me big time. I’ve never heard the band prior this moment but am really eager to take on their music in the future.
The bands material felt solid and they had a great connection with the crowd, that along with the fact that the trio seemed to have a good time together on stage created the perfect fun rock n roll atmosphere in the club. Viktor asked if Malmo liked rock n roll and if we new about a guy called Lemmy, it was time for a tribute to Motörhead in “Iron Fist” which the band did a great version of. Their fast and furious version of the song would have made Lemmy proud.
As the show proceeded it was time to introduce the members which went pretty fast since there were only three of them. Well now you know who we are Viktor said and now it’s time for a song from our EP.
People say that rock n roll is dead but they are wrong, here are “Battled Blues”. William thanked for the support from the crowd and asked if there were anyone in the club that had seen the band before and one guy at the back shouted YES, what a hero William said and the trio fired off “The Communal Rose” (name?). It’s time for you all to scream for us now and I think you can do better than Gothenburg did. “Day Turns To Night” followed and it seemed like the crowd really appreciated the music, Viktor said it was soon time for the band to leave the stage but that it had been great performing at Kulturbolaget, we forgot to play the next song in Gothenburg last night so we are going to play our big hit for you instead. Here is “Gimme The Shakes” and that song made me even more convinced that I had to check out the music of The Drippers after the show.
Don’t forget to buy our merchandise and albums before you go home later Viktor said, and a big thank you to Monster Magnet for letting us open for them. Our last song is a boogie called “Backbeat”.
The show last for about 40 minutes and began a little rocky with a crowd that felt a bit reluctant towards the band, but the further the show went the band convinced the crowd and won them over with their great music and solid performance and I don’t think I was the only one that wished for The Drippers to keep on playing when their time was over.
Even though Monster Magnet didn’t have much gear on stage it took the crew a while to get everything ready and as I was waiting for the headline I wondered if they really were going to perform the entire POWERTRIP album and which other songs they were going to bring to life. As time went more people came to the club and finally, at 9.20 it was time for Dave Wyndorf and his monsters to enter the stage.
The crowd cheered as soon the band members showed up and the first song out for the night was “Atomic Clock”. “Tractor” followed and I soon discovered it was really hard to take pictures of the band because of the red lights and white flickering spotlights covering the members. Today the band consists of:
Dave Wyndorf – lead vocals, guitar
Phil Caivano – guitar
Bob Pantella – drums
Garrett Sweeny – guitar
Alec Morton – bass
The band had a lot of space to move around but mostly stood solid on their spots behind their mics during the show, “Crop Circle” followed after which Wyndorf asked how Malmo was doing. I want to see you all clap your hands in “Temple Of Your Dreams”. So far the band only performed songs from POWERTRIP and some of the songs became really extended when the members jammed away. Wyndorf look happy on stage doing well compared to when I saw the band a few years ago when he mostly stood with his back against the crowd, Nice to see him doing well again. He sang great and when “3rd Eye Landslide” followed the fans exploded. It was really hard to get any pictures of Wyndorf because he had two spotlights at the stage floor that lite up his face with red lights. The rest of the band members stod almost in darkness on each side of Wyndorf and it was almost too dark overall on stage which can be seen on the pictures in the review.
Brothers and sisters we have a new bass player with us tonight Wyndorf said, would you like to see him play? Morton threw a bass solo that led into “See You In Hell” and the band felt solid together as a unit. The band members all completed each other and their co-operation teamed up with the magical voice of Wyndorf made the Monster Magnet experience a great one. Wyndorf didn’t do much talking in between the songs, he let the music talk and fired off “Baby Götterdämerung”. Brother and sisters I know which road we all walk down, in the end everyone is going to die which is a “Bummer”. The fans made their best to show the band their support and it felt like the band really felt the love coming from the crowd this night.
When the crowd heard the familiar intro to the epic “Powertrip” they screamed on at the top of their lungs and the roof nearly fell down in the club. Needless to say did the fans sing a long in the song and Wyndorf told everyone to raise their middle-fingers in the air. After that blowout it was time for the last song for the night and Wyndorf said he wanted the fans to help him out shouting Space Lord Motherfucker. The fans screamed it a few times until Wyndorf was satisfied and it was time for one of the bands, if not their biggest, hits in “Space Lord” and just like in the previous song the fans sang a long during the entire song. The song became of course extended of a long guitar solo, then Wyndorf said ok we love you Malmo thank you and after a long outro Wyndrof said good night, see you all next time, and the band walked off stage.
The fans started immediately shout after encores and when I looked at my watch I saw that the band only had been performing for about 1 hour. It took the guys a good while to come back and as Wyndorf took on his guitar he said, fuck it’s hot in here now. What do you want to hear? Well I think we’re going to try on “Twin Earth”.
“The Right Stuff” followed straight away which is a cover originally made by Robert Calvert which the band featured on the 2004 year MONOLITHIC BABY. Are you still doing well Wyndorf asked saying it was time to “Look For The Orb For The Warning”. Because of all the long guitar parts also that song became an extended one and the fans barely had time to catch their breath until it was time for the last encore and song for the night in “Negasonic Teenage Warhead”. The song taken from the bands third album DOPES TO INFINITY winded up the fans once more and the atmosphere inside the club was now electric. Before leaving the stage again Wyndorf said he loved Malmo thanking the fans for coming to the show.
The band didn’t play the entire POWERTRIP album as promised, they only played 10 out of the 13 songs on the album which maybe disappointed someone, but not me. I was really satisfied with the 1 hour and 25 minutes Monster Magnet was on stage delivering rock hard solid tuned for a hungry fanbase. I was a little disappointed that there were so few songs from the older albums and had wished for more current picks but I guess I can’t have it all. It felt like the band was back at having fun together and it was so great to see Wyndorf looking content and feeling confident on stage again. He still got his voice intact and not many 63 years old is cooler than him. Even though the playing time was a bit short this was nothing but a show off in why Monster Magnet is one of the best bands in their genre and a proof of why they have managed to stay important throughout all their active years. I lacked one or two personal favorite songs but I was happy with what I got. It was an amazing night at Kulturbolaget once again.
The band recently proclaimed they’re touring USA celebrating POWERTRIP the upcoming summer and the band also got several festival shows booked as well. I long for a new album, after all their previous one MINDFUCKER came 2018 so it’s about time for a new one.