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Monster Magnet Triumphant in U.S. Live Return

Monster Magnet
Paul Werner, Getty Images

Monster Magnet recently wrapped up their first U.S. tour in about a decade, unfortunately having to nix the last four shows due to frontman Dave Wyndorf suffering from the flu. However, we were able to catch the band early on in the trek, and looking back, I’m pretty sure Monster Magnet actually took control of my brain at some point during their Nov. 15 show at Saint Andrew’s Hall in Detroit — and I’m a much better person as a result.

The trek was in support of their absolutely fantastic new album ‘The Last Patrol,’ which returns to the expansive, psychedelic garage-rock sound of their earlier days without ever sounding recycled.

Part of the reason Monster Magnet has been gone so long is that lead singer / songwriter Dave Wyndorf needed to deal with some health and substance abuse issues, including a 2006 drug overdose. Yet, it quickly became very clear that he’s back down to fighting weight and in full roar again. (It should also be noted that the group put out four other good-to-damn-good albums during that decade, and toured overseas twice in recent years.)

Somewhere in between the first two songs — ‘Nod Scene‘ and ‘Dopes to Infinity‘ – it became very clear this wasn’t going to be the kind of show you analyze, track the setlist for or even make mental notes about, but rather a living, breathing thing to be experienced as fully as possible.

And here we are, a month later, still trying to pick up the pieces. The band obviously sounded great. Wyndorf was as charismatic as he was back on the ‘God Says No’ tour, even if he wasn’t waving a flaming torch around a crowded NYC club this time. Of course you can always play the “I wish they had also played…” song game: ‘Radiation Day,’ ‘Tab,’ ‘My Little Friend,’ a lot more from the new album. But then again, you wouldn’t have wanted any of the songs they did play taken out of the setlist.

Let’s see, what else? A large portion of the encore was dedicated to an absolutely bonkers rendition of ‘The Last Patrol”s epic title track, which found Wyndorf abusing a large rack of effects pedals. A couple in their mid-60s made out like love-starved teenagers right next to us the whole night, at various points leaning against my buddy so hard it was like they were having a three-way. Some woman grabbed each of us at various points and told us some long, very important thing that none of us could hear in the slightest. That’s it, that’s all I got. If they come anywhere near you, don’t miss it. And buy the new album.

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