Monster Magnet at Fitzgerald's, 12/3/2013

Photos by Nicholas Zalud
Monster Magnet, Royal Thunder, Anti-Mortem, Venomous Maximus
December 3, 2013

Tuesday night rock shows are always a dicey proposition. Staying up late and partying on a work night sounds like a good idea in theory, but in practice, fans are often too hesitant to really cut loose when they know they're going to have to face the alarm clock bright and early on the same morning that they stumbled out of the club.

Naturally, the best shows are the ones that make you forget not only that you've got to get up and go to work in the morning, but that the very concepts of work and responsibility exist. Experienced rockers know that these shows are few and far between, but we got one last night when the mighty Monster Magnet touched down at Fitzgerald's.

There was already a nice crowd of people inside the creaky old joint by the time the music began, courtesy of local metal sovereigns Venomous Maximus, taking a break from preparing their new album for release to fill Fitz with their familiar, doomy riffage. Heads bobbed enthusiastically for the chugging newer cuts "Dark Way" and "Angel Heart," both of which drew big cheers.

Shouldn't be long now until we hear a full suite of fresh material from Venomous at a big headlining gig, likely on the very same stage. Stay tuned.

Up next was Oklahoma's Anti-Mortem, the kind of straight-ahead heavy metal band that sounds better and better the more beer you guzzle. I was prepared to be a little bored by their stomping, mid-tempo tunes, but the sheer enthusiasm and glee that Anti-Mortem brought to their performance was infectious. As guitarists Nevada Romo and Zain Smith traded finger-tapping solos, I began to come around.

By the time Smith and singer Larado Romo hopped offstage to headbang in the crowd during their set-closer, "100% Pure American Rage," many of those around me had been converted by their showmanship, as well.

Royal Thunder
Even more memorable was Royal Thunder, the Atlanta trio that sounds like Black Sabbath fronted by Dead Sara's Emily Armstrong. Singer/bassist MLny Parsonz held the crowd rapt with a powerful, soulful voice ideally suited to rock and roll, while guitarist Josh Weaver bowled them over with his phasered Gibson SG. It was heavy rock at its most potent, ramping up from soft, feminine cooing into passionate retro wailing over and over again. If you're into dark and heavy Southern electricity, keep an eye on these three.

As for Monster Magnet? Shit, nobody could touch them on Tuesday.

Review continues on the next page.

Location Info



2706 White Oak, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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Jeff Key
Jeff Key

The smoke was all up front and only towards the end . . .

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