and its name is monotonix
an eon ago John Landau said he saw the future of rock n roll, and it was Bruce Springsteen.
its time to meet the new boss, same as the old boss in that the live show was frenzied and thrilling and uplifting and glorious
biggest difference between Bruce and Monotonix is after the sweaty freaky wild concert i have zero recollection of one word the singer, 40something year old, Ami Shalev said.
doesnt matter. he looks like a sweaty unfrozen caveman wearing nothing more than (un)tidy whities and sneakers and whatever he belted out from beneath his grizzled face was delivered from a higher place where words take a back seat to magic. and feeling is everything.
equal parts Gogol Bordello, Iggy Pop, Gwar, the comic strip BC, and the video game Gauntlet, at times all of this seems like a dream come true in the middle of a nightmare
straight outta Tel Aviv, the shirtless and equally hairy guitarist Yonatan Gat and drummer Haggai Fershtman kicked out the jams as Shalev scurried around Spaceland in Silver Lake terrorizing patrons with snot rockets, stealing their PBR tallboys, spraying the suds everywhere while literally climbing the walls of the former strip club sending all those in attendance for cover at times for fear of being Pabst-ized – or worse.
i knew things were going to be different when i saw the marshall half stacks being set up on the stage. no not in the back but on the front. the drums were pieced together in front of the stage and i asked for ear plugs from the bartender who handed them over with a smile.
smiles abounded as the trio ripped through their first number WHO CARES WHAT IT WAS CALLED as the diminutive singer ran around like a crazyperson in search for a garbage can which he promptly dumped on his drummer’s fuzzy head.
Fershtman just kept playing away until a fan took the plastic container off of the drummer and another fan placed it on his own head.
hello rock n roll, where the hell have you been all my life?
next thing you know the singer has stolen the snare from his drummer. like a Marx Brothers skit the drummer chases after him. the guitar blares the people are clapping the singer is shouting and finally places the snare next to the dividing wall. the bass drum arrives, cymbals make their way and the shirtless guitarist keeps the music coming and there we have the singer climbing the divider like a monkey.
followed by the guitarist. camera flashes everywhere. now the singer is using the curtains as a wig. now the beer is being kicked. now the smiles are everywhere.
now do you see why the Beatles bore me?
then the singer jumps into the crowd. then the singer jumps on the back of the drummer and hangs there. then the snare is moved to the back of the club. now the singer stands precariously on the tiny cocktail table. the crowd moves along with him. all eyes are on the commotion. no one knows what they are experiencing BUT IT IS ROCK MUSIC
this is not a joke band this is what God envisioned when he accepted Robert Johnson’s soul at the crossroads and inspired les paul to create the electric guitar.
this is why the terrorists love us. this is why you’re fat.
because you arent scurrying around a rock club being lifted up by eager fans who are now holding the drummer’s throne so that the singer can beat on a drum also being hoisted up by fans.
i thought arcade fire were amazing the night before BUT AS USUAL I AM SORELY MISTAKEN!
mayhem begat mayhem as fans began pouring beer on the band and strewn drum sticks found their way between your hero’s legs by a naughty female sitting on the stage.
the stage by the way filled with fans as that was the safest place in the club.
the fourth wall was tossed away the minute the performance began and how were we to know that there was a fifth and six wall that would be destroyed as well. ADIOS!
oh hai, now he’s using the rigging on the ceiling as a cowbell. give this messiah a grammy stat!
iPhones were constantly in danger of being drenched. and im sure there were a plethora of electronic casualties but WHO THE EFF CARES we were experiencing LIFE
and love and passion and essence of Soul Music.
whoops now the band is on the bar. whoops now the singer has the jar of lime slices. heads up now theyre being strewn at the patrons. as are the coffee stirrers and the straws. and the cocktail napkins. the guitarist is on the bar. is that blood on my shirt? yes! it wants to see the show too!
after the fastest 45 minutes youve ever seen the show is over. but no one wants to leave. life as we know it has been changed. outside is america but america is but a dull shell of itself now. cant we stay forever in awe of these three jewish rock gods? i hug the singer. his sweat heals me. my comrade poses with the singer. her soul is renewed. the amps are still buzzing. WE ARE ALL STILL BUZZING
HERE IT IS a half a day later AND I AM STILL BUZZING.
this is a band that often sets their instruments and clothes on fire but obviously Los Angeles would have none of that but it didnt matter as our hearts were aflame with the sound of music.
and our eyes will never see anything like it again.
ALL HAIL MONOTONIX forever shall they reign.