Montonix, Harlem, The Uptown Bums
Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, Denton
September 24, 2009
Better than: imagining Yanni and Kenny G conceiving children.
(Thanks to Michael Briggs of Gutterth Productions for passing along the above taping of the ENTIRE Monotonix set from last night. Check it out. Thanks, Michael!)
Plus, check out photos from the show here in our slideshow.
When the trio is practically naked before the music starts--and someone shows up in a gorilla costume wearing headphones and pink sunglasses--you know you're in for a wild ride.
Such was the case on Thursday night at Rubber Gloves in Denton, where Monotonix headlined a bill after performances from Harlem and The Uptown Bums. Hailing from Tel Aviv, Monotonix opened its set at around midnight by slamming the venue with a wall of sound while crowd surfing under a steady rain of beer.
And this was just the first five minutes.
Even with a hefty $14 cover, the venue was packed with a youthful, high-powered show of force and, like a protest in Crawford or New Year's Eve in Amsterdam, it was hard to move of one's own volition--and better to simply swim with the current. Throughout the show, the audience was encouraged to beat on drums and support the lead singer as he dangled from the rafters.
Audience member Collin Currans-Sheehaf described the show as "bad ass. A full-body experience. Visceral to its core."
Adding to the insanity: Monotonix's members look like the result of Yanni and Kenny G's miraculously conceived, yet beautifully misguided, triplets.
But what really sets Monotonix apart from other bands is not their interactivity or "stage" presence. Rather, after the show, these guys were accessible and friendly--utterly unpretentious. Humble, even. While some shows end with handshakes and autographs, folks approached the band with enormous smiles and widespread arms.
After the show, audience member Justin Webb critiqued the performance: "There are better bands out there. But I pay to have a good time. I had a great time."
I have to agree with Webb on this one: Despite their musical resonance not being the tightest or most complex imaginable, the band's stagecraft and controlled chaos is truly a spectacle to behold. As Rubber Gloves manager James "Shep" Shepard put it: "If you can have a crowd like this without the crowd killing each other, that's a positive thing."
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Amen to that.
Personal Bias: Rubber Gloves is a tight venue and not akin to the jungle gym nature that Hailey's offered when Monotonix played at NX35. So the band's antics were limited by comparison.
Random Note: Monotonix was once slated to play a show which was canceled. A middle-aged lawyer in the crowd offered to host the show in his home. When the crowd arrived at his residence, the lawyer changed into pajamas. When asked why, he stated that if anyone needed something, he would be easily recognized as the homeowner. While recounting this story, Monotonix member Yonathan Gat said, "Give pajama-guy our best."
By The Way: Those little wind shorts worn by frontman Ami Shalev don't hide much--especially when the singer is horizontal and supported by 20 young Dentonites. Monotonix is a great show for you--if you've never had the chance to glimpse a grown man's balls.