Monotonix at the Pyramid Cabaret, Winnipeg

Monotonix concert photo

Monotonix at the Pyramid Cabaret, Winnipeg, Jan 19 2010. Ailsa Dyson photo

Review and photos – Monotonix at the Pyramid Cabaret, Winnipeg, Jan 19 2010

– text by eugene osudar/photos by Ailsa Dyson

expectations
and
anticipations
HigH
there’s Electricity
in the air. there’s, hope.

there was last May’s
legendary Pyramid show.
75 people. and Monotonix.
their return.
one of my top ten
shows of ’09. and that’s saying
so much because i saw 675
full sets of music in 2009.
their 45 minute
epic art, punk rock
set
set me and 74 others ablaze.

They are a band of Iggys.

and last night, was supposed to be
a sell-out
500 crazed Winnipeggers
hip/coolsters, punks and joy bombers
metallic mosh pit killers, art/scene thrill/seekers,

only, i hadn’t met a single person
with a ticket in hand. i heard a lot of talk.

Do you think they’ll go outside again?
Do you think he’ll climb a tree again?
Do you think he let go again?
Are there any tickets left?

He’ll drop his short shorts. That’s for certain.

the moon is full(y) bright and Very
Hairy.

A cool May night is different from minus 8
(warm for January), wind chill, minus 15?

i had to ask. drummer Haggai Fershtman.
he shakes his wildly long, black curly, hair
no/no/no
it’s too too cold
as opener War Elephant makes
conversation next to impossible.
“Have you lived here all your life?”
well, i had a period of sanity,
eight years,
4 in Victoria and 4 in Vancouver,
then i went insane again
and moved back to,
minus 8, a tropical heat,wave!

by 11:15, singer Ami Shalev
and Haggai are in their short shorts
shirtless
towels wrapped around their freezing torsos,
nipple erect(ors). it’s Really cold inside the Pyramid.
guitarist Yonatan Gat has a shirt on, with his shorties.
just like last time.

the rug is on the floor. the stage is
the floor. again. and the flock,
the assembled know
from YouTube and word of mouth
and thesnipenews.com
to come forward
to come close
to gather round the eye
of the stormmmmmmmmmmm.

Ami…

last time, Ami had to call us close.
bring us forth. not this time.

there are 200 people in The Pyramid.
by show,time, 7 minutes later
maybe Maybe
250.

but that’s enough
because the torrent unleashed
is unbridled mayhem
supersonic chaos.

it’s heavy duty
heavy metal
punk.

Ami opens bottles of water and shoots it
out into the pogoing
head/banging
masses and it’s raging
full/on

he takes a guy’s beer
and shoot/drenches
the audience

the message is
(like last time)
pour and drench us
and everyone
and be free
and uncontrollable
be in the moment

be alive
be alert
be bad
be a flirt

it’s all feedback and killer
drums
and snares and bass drum
and kick
stomps and climbing and lifting
and surfing and throwing

and there’s a beautiful
young woman
so petite
so into the moment
Ami and others lift her
onto Haggai’s shoulders as he
plays
and i’m there, right there
i’ve been given a space
by youngsters who see me
everywhere
i’m right in front of Haggai
and i’m dancing
and moving and my journal
is getting drenched

and there’s break,neck
moshing
and slamming
all around me
but as long as i’m there,
in front of Haggai
i’m safe
i’m untouched

this 46 year old “machine.”
(some are calling me
The Machine)(it’s the non-stop
dancing and the being Everywhere,
all the time)

but when i’m somehow
outside that immediate drum stand
zone,

i get hammered,

my right eye
my glasses bent of shape
(repaired after work today)
and i’m reminded
i’m old
i shouldn’t be on the inside

i belong on the outer
asteroid belt
of the mosh (re)action pit.
i pull back.

i surrendered.
somewhere in the middle
of the moment.

but not before i lead the kids
into moving the gear
(waving and commanding
and yelling)
into understanding
their role
(right after the first song)

they are the show

as much as Monotonix is

i yell, i roar
and Ami and Haggai
look with approval
to this old lion’s roar/

Ami points the mike
my way
and that’s it
i give my roar
and
(i’m gone)

to be a witness
to the carnage
in my journal
i’m writer

42 minutes
and this time
the guys stayed
together much more
than last time

and this time
it sounded like songs
and i heard it
(i heard it)!
listen!
they are a band

there was this song
right after
Ami’s “Shut The Fuck Up”
and sit down
part of the set

so very Motorheadish.
i thought, maybe
just maybe
it was going to morph
into Ace Of Spades
but it wasn’t
it simply
is a great heavy metal
punk song.

songs
songs played as a band
and I Loved
this set more than
last May’s set.

my friend Dave didn’t.
i think, having only 75
people the last time
in a space that holds 500,
meant the last time
gave us room to breathe and see
and feel everything

that our eyes and ears could take in

this time,
250 or so
meant
that sometimes
we lost Ami
in the madness of the masses.

he climbed the heating ducts
he was lifted and played the drums
this time!
they played the side bar

and that’s when The Moon
came out,

The Hairy Moon.

on the side bar!
so narrow.
the audience roadies
put the drums and stool
exactly where
Ami directed them to.
and Haggai climbed
on top. and Ami sang
and Yonatan
walked around, so near.
so there. the band.

and it worked.

my friend Michelle
made it just in time,
11:15 and today
we talked
she was so tired
so on the fence
but she made it
and
she was so happy

she was Ecstatic.

i am too.

she’s never seen anything
like Monotonix.

you’ll never see
never experience
a band
like Monotonix

to be one of the top
ten of 675
live sets
in my ’09

is to be
awe,
some.

No Means No
was the best
live show of
my ’09.

and yes
this Monotonix set
will be the best
of my January.

and at the year’s end,
again…

maybe just maybe

the best.

Monotonix
January 19
The Pyramid.

More photos:

About Eugene Osudar

“born, august 16, 1963. i’m 45, and yes, i’m getting too old for this. bring out the rocking chair. my first concert, november 1978, elvis costello and the attractions. i was 15. their blisteringly brilliant 65 minute set only served somebody to affirm my new direction in the musical parallel universes, new wave punk alternative, oh sanctity oh celebration (!Freedom!) college radio! i’m old, i’m used up and i’m free. i see 50something Full sets of music every month and dance most of them. and when i dance, i mean to say, I Dance and Celebrate, 2/3/4 hours a night. The Gaslight Anthem. The Boss. The Weber Brothers. The Wind Ups. i’ll dance with Los Campesinos. i’ll move to The Long Winters. The Replacements. Husker Du. The Pogues. oh elvis costello, oh Clash! i could go/go/go Gogol Bordello forever. L(eonard) Cohen. come, Dance With Me (Old 97s) wherever you may be, sincerely, eugene
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