Rob Zombie / Monster Magnet

Wolves Civic Hall

December 14 1998


Advertised in some circles as a double headliner, there was a third band on the bill, Backyard Babies. However, due to double headliners, or something like that, by the time I got in, Monster Magnet were taking to the stage. A mere 50 minutes after doors opened. So 50 minutes to get enough people in to watch, do an entire set, and set up for a second band. Either things were highly efficient, or BB likely played to a near deserted venue. Whatís the point in doing 3 band bills if people donít get the chance to see the third band, and the band the people.

So Monster Magnet were being introduced by someone whose only words that I understood were in fact, Monster Magnet. Ah, that wonderful Wolves acoustics. Good job I wear ear plugs really. Not only stops the tinnitus getting any worse, it makes an awful sound become bearable. And if you think Iím a wuss for that, then outside NOW. But still, Monster Magnet are currently trying to be rock gods. Not really the way I envisaged them, given the Sabbath / Soundgarden soundscapes they create (ooh, Iíve wanted to use the word soundscape for a while as well. Sod it, I should apply for a job at Kerrang! Kidding), but they, or at leasy Wyndorf comes over as being from the Rocket From The Crypt school of buttering up the crowd beyond recommended cholesteral levels. Someoneís gonna get blocked arteries from the man soon (see if you can add a fnarr in on that one), and you just know itís so clicehd as to be all totally untrue. But the music matters, and itís cool. They choose not to air some of my favourite songs from the Powertrip album, but instead gradually find their feet more as the likes of Powertrip, Dopes to Infinity, Crop Circle Bummer (my personal fave song of the ones they played) and set closer Space Lord. The swagger is there, and people gradually get to it. And it was good, but tonight, crowd reaction tells you that this was not a double headliner.

Oh no, the cries of Zombie Zombie have not been heard since the heady days of the Bruce Dickinson gig recently. Well, they werenít heard there either, but you know what I mean, the chanting of the name. You donít really get it at say a Deftones gig. And you donít get the stageshow, or the lights. Itís really simple stuff in a way (the lights), but man it makes such a difference. Suddenly itís a spectacle. Itís not new, in many ways I think back to the Maiden gigs of the 80s. Effective stage show, someone putting effort in, and thatís what you get. And so the 75 minutes fly by. You also get a sizeable selection of White Zombie stompalongs, interspersed with Hellbilly Deluxes. And the Civic bounces. Well apart from me, which kinda sort bobs the head in that totally stupid ďlook at him, he canít pogo or danceĒ manner. But one of the really puzzling things, was what the hell the bloke from Way Ahead was doing playing guitar for the band, when not drinking whatever it was he was drinking from his guitar. And so we are delivered Electric Head Super Charger Heaven, I Zombie, More Human Than Human complete with Zombie really not doing great vocals. Which is one of the things I remember most from seeing White Zombie. Well that and having bought a ticket off a tout to see the band in Leeds on my Birthday. On CD, thereís a limitation in the songs that the live performance helps to overcome, by the sheer spectacle. But live doesnít disguise how he can struggle vocally. So just throw in some ďyeahsĒ and everyone will take it from there. Which is maybe how it should be anyway. Was a letdown when he didnít put on the Santa hat that was thrown on stage. Wouldíve suited the man down to the ground. Oh yeah, he did some new stuff as well including Meet The Creeper, Living Dead Girl and set closer, and standout track on the album, Dragula.

The encore is the Zombified version of Sabbathís Children of the Grave. Still not sure I like the version, but I mouth the words to myself all the same, and Thunderkiss 65 finishes a performance which was just that. A performance. A forgotten entity sometimes these days.