At The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., May 22, 2017

MONSTER MAGNET (Live at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., May 22, 2017)
Photo: Mick Burgess

It has been a long, long wait but after 22 years they are back in Newcastle and the Riverside was packed to the rafters to welcome the return of legendary Space Rockers Monster Magnet.

Metallica may sell millions of albums, Guns N’ Roses may play shows in football stadiums but neither are anywhere near as cool as Monster Magnet who exude attitude from every pore and in Dave Wyndorf have the very epitome of a Rock Star.

With its huge monolithic riff, Dopes To Infinity stormed from the speakers as Monster Magnet marked their entrance in grand style quickly kicking into Radiation Day and a truly monstrous Powertrip which saw guitarist Phil Caivano let rip with one tasty solo.

Dressed entirely in black Wyndorf cut a striking pose as he stalked the stage bringing the music to life with his moves. In between songs the banter flowed thick and fast with a sharp sense of humour keeping the mood light but the music dark.

The face melting Garage Rock of I Want More and new song Mindfucker evoked MC5 and The Stooges at their most potent while the swirling space fuzz of Twin Earth could be the result of a head on cosmic crash between Hawkwind and Black Sabbath. Even better was Dinosaur Vacuum with its driving, titanic riff shaking the very bowels of the Riverside making it quite possibly the highlight of the night.

The psychedelic jam of Spine of God incorporated a twisted take of American Pie which chewed it up and spat it right back out in true Wyndorf style while Negasonic Teenage Warhead may well have the best song title ever and was every bit as thrilling as its name suggests.

Few bands can distort something as seemingly innocent as a tractor and a farm in a song but Tractor does just that with the inimitable delivery of Wyndorf before closing the show with his very own signature tune Space Lord, which just about sums up the whole Monster Magnet ethos in one song.

22 years in the waiting and one sweat soaked space driven Rock ‘n’ Roll show later Monster Magnet delivered what everyone wanted and certainly more than made up for the ever so long wait. Come the end of the year this will surely be up there with one of the gigs of the year.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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