Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Live Review: Monotonix

Mississippi Studios, Portland
Thursday, October 14th, 2010

I have news Monotonix fans will find incomprehensible. Are you sitting down? Alright, here it goes. Monotonix played the last fifteen minutes of their show ON STAGE!

One more quick surprise. They played cover songs?

Hearing Mississippi Studios would be the next victim of destruction was an exciting moment. There is a lot of room to wander, lots of high places to climb, and the lead singer might jump into the crowd from the balcony. These thoughts created wicked anticipation.

Since this review just started, and is already full of surprises, here's one more. The show was much more mellow than usual. They didn't even play outside? While the lead singer did spend a good portion of the show above the crowd, less was spent literally on top of the crowd. He still climbed whatever was near him, including standing on the soundboard, but he never made it to the bar (unfortunately).

During their most recent Portland show at the East End, Mr. Shalev jumped on the bar, poured a giant water bucket over his head, pulled down his shorts, and had a female patron spank him on his bare ass with the bartender's rubber drink mat. This occurred minutes after he threw the bar napkins and garnish containers into the crowd (make it rain). I heard they even broke the sprinkler system the last time they played the East End, yet were still invited back?

The delicate nature of the evening was probably due to the venue's staff. At one point, the band stopped the show when an employee started giving the, "tone it down a notch" hand gestures. The lead singer pointed her out and thanked her for allowing them to perform, leading to appreciative applause. Mr. Shalev later darted up to the second level, teased the crowd saying he would jump off the balcony, then said security wouldn't let him. He joked it was much higher than he expected, and playfully questioned why security wasn't holding him back. There were more than enough people in the crowd to catch him, and the VIP tower he jumped off at Sasquatch 2009 was much higher. Are they displaying a conscious because they are running out of venues they are still allowed to play?

The cover songs were shorter versions of popular songs, including two Led Zeppelin tunes, and the uber popular "Smells Like Teen Spirit," with butchered lyics. It was like stumbling into a kareokee bar in Israel full of thickly accented boozers singing Elvis Presley ballads. It was painful. He later joked the reason they play cover songs is because they are fun. He's right, it was.

A Montonix crowd is much different than your typical hard rock moshing ragesters. You are part of the show, and must work together to keep the show moving, so it's more like organized moshing. I say organized, because you can't be knocking people over into the drum kit, or bumping the gaggle of fans holding the lead singer above their heads. If you're an idiot, we all lose.

While I escaped the event without being hit in the head with a farmer's blow, and without touching a slimy hairy half naked man, I can't say my mostly voyeur status was a success. Watching a dude in a wheel chair covered in sweat leaving the pit left me wondering why I moved to the outskirts in the first place?

If what you've heard about Monotonix, or what you've read here scares you, don't be. This is the definition of a fun live band. Their music isn't great, and they'll never make it big, but why not spend ten dollars having a fucking blast with some good people? If you don't believe me, just ask the guy in the wheelchair.

1 comment:

  1. I was not nearly fearful enough at this show for it to be a complete success.