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


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The floor was suddenly crowded as bandleader Dave Wyndorf and his group of stony, sci-fi compadres took the stage, calmly brimming with supreme confidence. With a psychedelic projection screen already humming right along behind them, the men of the Magnet carried themselves with the air of a band that knew they had an audience right were they wanted them.

And why not? Wyndorf is a total ringer: an old-school rock star with the kind of effortless charisma that keeps all eyes on him during a performance. He kept a guitar slung way down low over his hips, banging out heavy chords on songs like "Nod Scene" and "Dopes to Infinity," but it was the audience that he played like an instrument, smoothly gesticulating and eyeballing each of us as if conducting an orchestra of headbangers.

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"What's happenin,' dudes?" he asked us with a grin. "Y'all wanna take a ride?"

What followed was a psychedelic journey to the center of the scrotum, cascading over us in waves of slinky, hypnotic grooves that swelled into sweaty, pulverizing rock. Enhanced by intense, colored strobes and scenes of interstellar apocalypse on the screen behind the band, it was irresistible to simply lose yourself in the hysteria.

A major highlight of the set was the never-ending "Spine of God," slithering from an itching vamp into a punishing, galactic freakout that Wyndorf rode like a surfer on a wave. Though hardly a young man at this point, the front man's voice proved still supple and elastic as he drew the crowd in before working them to a lathery release.

The unhinged shout-along to "Space Lord" (motherfucker!) that capped Monster Magnet's set might have been the most memorable moment of the night for most, but it's that extended trip through outer space on "Spine of God" that took me out of myself on Tuesday night. It sure beat sitting behind a desk on Wednesday morning, let me tell you.

Enjoyed the trip, Dave. Let's do it again sometime.

Personal Bias: Working stiff.

The Crowd: White, over 30 and ready to rock out.

Overheard In the Crowd: (Glumly) "You can't smoke in there, can you?"

Random Notebook Dump: For a band with Monster Magnet's stoner-rock pedigree, I didn't catch a whiff of the weed on Tuesday. How responsible of you, Houston!


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Location Info

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Fitzgerald's

2706 White Oak, Houston, TX

Category: Music


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1 comments
Jeff Key
Jeff Key

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

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