Monster Magnet, Split Personalities & Aliens - Tallinn, Estonia, 11th November 2008

Event: Monster Magnet: European Tour
Written by: destroyah
Published: 21.12.2008

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Monster Magnet - Rock Cafe, Tallinn, Estonia, 11.11.2008 by Ivor (21)
It is somewhat difficult to tell the story of how I went to the Monster Magnet concert, seems as the event is mixed up in a complex elaboration of different actual, fictional and semi-fictional episodes of heavy alcohol abuse, wild rides and cosmic horror. It is in the interest of clarity (and for the sake of the reader's sanity) perhaps, that I should divide my character into three somewhat different, yet equally authentic figures. All these figures exist in an ill-defined time-frame ranging from mid-September to late November and are experientially interconnected.

Firstly, there is my Dark Side, a mutant of sorts, trapped in a cyclical drinking spree in some Baltic town (which, judging by the strip-club flyers later found in his pockets, may well have been Riga). This is the part of me engaged in pre-celebration of the gig to come, in the midst of celebrations of things that be. Secondly, there is the True Self, or the part of me which physically (presumably) attended the concert. And the third Self is my Cosmic Avatar, picked up from the side of the highway by a band of rampaging aliens in a fabulously decorated UFO, after falling out of the Self on the Riga-Tallinn bus (who henceforth became known as my Dark Side and who later perished in a violent accident involving a veteran combat dolphin and a bathtub full of marmalade.)

Now, my Cosmic Avatar is key in this case, since while my True Self was able to enjoy the Monster Magnet concert from the first row at Rock Cafe, he lacked the critical eye of my Cosmic Avatar as he was infected with the venomous remnants of my still-living-breathing Dark Side. That is to say, my Cosmic Avatar was the only one capable of due criticism on the band itself, despite having been abducted by aliens.

By the way, the aliens were from Caultron Prime, and had never heard of Monster Magnet. They had, however, been acquainted with the star-spawn of Cthulhu in another dimension, which made them somewhat familiar with Earthly affairs, albeit in a different discipline of reality.

My Cosmic Avatar was indeed the only one of my three dimensions at the time who was able to acknowledge the fact that my Dark Side had placed Monster Magnet on the pedestal in a way, which meant that while my True Self was having a hell of a time headbanging to "Space Lord," apparently having the time of his life, the Cosmic Avatar actually possessed a clear sense of judgement which allowed him to point out the obvious flaws in The Magnet's design. Coincidentally, that criticism almost led to dire consequences, on which I'd rather not elaborate, although I'd hint that it would have involved the words "probe" and "severe discomfort."

The aliens that picked up my Cosmic Avatar on the night Monster Magnet was due to play in Tallinn, were not of benign intent. In fact, Japanese killer hornets pale in comparison with these space-faring astro-creeps. This means of course, that they did not so much pick up a hitch-hiker that night, as they beamed up another potential guinea pig for their strange experiments, which, I'm certain, most definitely violate some sort of intergalactic detainee treaties. Being an earthling, I was unfortunately unaware of the interstellar habeas corpus, if such a thing existed. What I did have, was leverage in the form of Monster Magnet.

While my Dark Side was on the bus a month earlier and/or simultaneously with the events described hitherto, it is my firm belief that he managed to negotiate some kind of a beneficial deal on my part with an unnamed and unfathomable alien entity, while fighting the after-effects of a healthy dose of (possibly) spiked weed straight from the fertile slopes of Vietnam. It's not unreasonable to assume that the deal involved me taking my alien captors to the Monster Magnet gig, in return for immunity while on board their spacecraft. My Cosmic Avatar could only pray that Monster Magnet would put on a good show to appease these space pirates. And lest it be said that it is only due to the aliens' poor knowledge of Earth-music that saved me that night, as Monster Magnet turned out to be a little less than brilliant.




Not pictured: brilliance




This doesn't mean that the band failed, indeed it did not. The sound of the venue failed, as did Monster Magnet's choice of repertoire for that particular evening. While my Cosmic Avatar was looking down from the spacecraft upon my True Self watching the band, it became apparent to him, and all of the mes later as well, how little effect the band's slower pieces actually have in a live environment. I even tried to explain to my new found alien friends (we bonded rather well, as it turned out) that the concert would be tremendously better if Monster Magnet just stuck to their faster nitrous-boosted powerhouse performance songs. This is not to say that the band didn't bring out such party starters as "Space Lord" and "Tractor," but slower tracks, especially "Spine of God" felt as heavy as a set of panzer tracks on a tricycle, in the very worst sense of the term. My alien friends seemed to enjoy the band's futile attempt to generate psychedelia, which is no wonder, considering the amount of that Vietnamese ganja they smoked during the gig - the weed that they undoubtedly obtained from the same source as my Dark Side had - from a strange Scottish vagabond who may have gone by the name Murray.




Pictured: tractors on a drug farm




All is well that ends well and I'd venture to say that all my three selves and the aliens found something that night. My True Self got a sore throat from furiously abusing the opportunity to scream "mother fucker" out loud in a public place. My alien captors left this planet with a sense of appreciation towards the general genre of stoner rock and hallucinogenic drugs. The Pilgrim Fathers, the opening act of the night, appealed greatly to my Dark Side, still kicking and screaming at the astral makeshift hippopotamuses that apparently litter the fields and knolls surrounding the Tallinn-Riga highway. Indeed it was a band capable of presenting mind-shattering psychedelia in an audible form with great skill - an effect further enforced by the somewhat poor sound quality of the venue. As for my Cosmic Avatar - hell, he was just pleased about not having gotten probed by those frisky space crusaders.




The Pilgrim Fathers and Nebula: the co-pilots of the night




There is one tiny detail that did salvage the entire night, however - all my personalities and avatars were admittedly rather delighted for getting the chance to yell "I'm never gonna work another day in my life" that night. "Powertrip" was a welcome song, as in the normal universe, I would most assuredly be working hard at the university the next day. Except, I wouldn't be so much working hard, as as I would be just fiddling about. And I wouldn't be at the university as I would be anywhere but.



Setlist:


Dopes To Infinity
Crop Circle
Powertrip
Twin Earth
Third Eye Landslide
Zodiac Lung
Radiation Day
The Right Stuff
Negasonic Teenage Warhead
Space Lord

---

Melt
Cage Around the Sun
Tractor
Spine of God


 




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Ivor - 21.12.2008 at 16:41  
The gig was great indeed and, as you put it, the only real issue was the sound. It wasn't just bad. It was atrocious kind of bad. With reputation like MM has, you'd expect them to be a bit more professional than simply turning volume up as far as it goes. Unfortunately that wasn't the case.

I.
Thryce - 21.12.2008 at 16:52  
Gotta love these vivid LSD-stories. You sir, make me smile.
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.12.2008 at 17:08  
Written by Ivor on 21.12.2008 at 16:41

The gig was great indeed and, as you put it, the only real issue was the sound. It wasn't just bad. It was atrocious kind of bad. With reputation like MM has, you'd expect them to be a bit more professional than simply turning volume up as far as it goes. Unfortunately that wasn't the case.

I.


Maybe it wasn't their own soundguy but someone employed by the club? I have seen gigs being fucked up that way a lot of times here in Tivoli, Utrecht. I remember walking out on Soundgarden when they did their Ultra Mega OK tour here. The guy working for the club lived by the credo, the louder the better and hence fucking up Cornell's vocals which really pierced my eardrums and physically hurt me.

Most bands don't take their own soundguy along, they just rely on the club's soundguy. Which imo is a stupid thing to do. Even Detonation ALWAYS have Maarten do their sound for them no matter where they play.

Back to the MM review. Once again, brilliantly written, Mart, I think you should focus on writing short stories or novels. At times you completely lose me with your speech, but that is my problem and not yours
Ivor - 21.12.2008 at 17:20  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.12.2008 at 17:08

Most bands don't take their own soundguy along, they just rely on the club's soundguy. Which imo is a stupid thing to do. Even Detonation ALWAYS have Maarten do their sound for them no matter where they play.

I can't say which one was the case this time. It's been both ways in Rock Cafe. However, the better sounding gigs there don't seem to be the metal ones. Fork was excellent in this sense, they are a cappella though. Paul Guilbert was good as far as I remember.

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.12.2008 at 17:08

Back to the MM review. Once again, brilliantly written, Mart, I think you should focus on writing short stories or novels. At times you completely lose me with your speech, but that is my problem and not yours

Hehe, true enough, destroyah's writing is twisted and excellent reading. When he's in the mood and with a beer in his hand, he can pull it off in real life as well. I've seen it.

I.
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.12.2008 at 17:32  
@Ivor maybe the club's acoustics aren't really suited for metal gigs.

Damn, I would love to see Dessie pull it off in real life with a beer in hand, hahhaah
destroyah - 21.12.2008 at 17:35  
Written by Ivor on 21.12.2008 at 17:20

When he's in the mood and with a beer in his hand, he can pull it off in real life as well. I've seen it.



What the hell man, I'm normal!



..or is he?
destroyah - 21.12.2008 at 17:40  
Oh by the way, I was actually really disappointed that they didn't play any "4-Way Diablo" stuff. It's a real shame cause that record surely has plenty to offer...
Thryce - 21.12.2008 at 22:40  
Written by destroyah on 21.12.2008 at 17:40

Oh by the way, I was actually really disappointed that they didn't play any "4-Way Diablo" stuff. It's a real shame cause that record surely has plenty to offer...

And I was surprised to see they didn't play that big radio hit they had in 2004...

I remember seeing Monster Magnet live on a big open air festival in that same year, and as far as I can recall they were actually pretty good.

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