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In lieu of a formal preview of tonight’s Rock’n’Roll Hotel Show we are running an edited live show review of “how Peter saw Monotonix and lived, the second to last time they were in town”

in true team work fashion: all (mindnumbing) photos are the Baltimore show via Josh Sisk and all words are from the DC show. Representing and stuff.

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Then Monotonix. This is the perennial exception to the Don’t Set Up On The Floor rule—when a band is so good they can use every fucking single inch of space as a theater. I hesitate even to begin to describe how mindblowing these dudes were, and how perfect it was for them to be off stage. I suspect nothing could have kept them out of the audience anyway, but starting out right in a big pile of onlookers made the whole thing seem like one of those insane street performances you see in Venice or somewhere, crowd members forced to participate in the madness.

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I hope Josh’s pictures do this justice (they do) but let me give you a quick synopsis of some of the feats of wonder and magic this trio performed (note: all while playing the tightest set of MC5ish brutal psychobilly I have heard since Pussy Galore split up). The lead singer (a necromancer I’m sure) kept moving the drums while the drummer was playing them, whilst he blithely kept following along beating on them and grinning under his handlebar ‘stache. Once ensconced in a new area the singer would bleat an incantation into the echochamber and sneak around inviting people to pour their drinks into his shoe, which he would then ingest, or, more disgustingly, spew into the air over everyone. Once he moved the band (and the following crowd) directly in front of bar and dumped the entire water cooler on the drummer in the middle of the song. Once he stole my friend’s drink like a freaky finger-twiddling Gollum and did god-knows-what with it, possibly putting it down the front of his absurdly tight jeans like he did with his beer and BO soaked shirt. He stood on both bars and howled at us. The guitarist performed an immaculate solo with a full trash can over his upper body. Some of these actions may have been hallucinations.

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As the finale, he stole the bass drum and disappeared into the crowd at the climax of a song. The guitar kept soloing squealing high registers of feedback from the amp on the stage across the room, the player standing on a stool twenty yards away. The drummer kept the beat going on the snare and the crash symbol.

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Then the singer popped up and grabbed the snare, luring the drummer, who started up a military roll, into the scrum of people around the bass drum. A moment or two passed where we couldn’t see anything…then suddenly the drummer rose into the air, sitting cross-legged on his bass drum, carried aloft by a bunch of strangers, one of who hoisted his snare so he could rattle on that some more. More helpful kids fetched the hi-hat and crash and held those up as well…the crash swayed back in forth as it ascended, wavering, until just as it was close enough for him to beat on it, just as the tip of the stick touched the metal, the singer leaped onto our shoulders and started singing and guitar roared back into the main riff of the song and bang bang bang shriek end of show. I told my girlfriend that story when I got home and I’m pretty sure she didn’t believe me. It’s hard to believe it was real myself. I’ll never miss another one of these guys’ concerts, I don’t care if they play in a stadium or at a bar mitzvah, I bet they test the limits of believability every time.

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Be there tonight

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