Monster Magnet – music for cool Boomers, by cooler Boomers. I honestly had no idea what to expect and I got just that; the unexpected. Turns out, the reason I haven’t ever properly heard of Monster Magnet is because they stopped being relevant sometime in 2002, when I was still eating dirt and could trap myself in a washing machine. They haven’t gained many new fans lately but lucky for them, their old fans don’t let go as easily. Their previous Zagreb gig, not that long ago at Tvornica Kulture, amassed over nine hundred people. That piqued my curiosity. I came there to discover just what the hell is Monster Magnet, but what really impressed me was the Monster Magnet army!
Močvara smelled like white wine and the late eighties. The place was packed, albeit not sold out. There was room for five hundred people and a little less than that filled the space comfortably. Let me start off by saying I’ve never seen a single one of these people before, not even in passing. You’ve seen them if you’ve ever looked at drivers around you during your four o’clock commute, you’ve seen them while picking up your kid from school or taking them to swimming practice, you’ve seen them at your 20th graduation anniversary, but I’ve never seen them in my life. At this point, I stopped looking for someone I know and started looking for someone my mom knows.
My favorite thing when Močvara attracts a more mature audience is the sheer enthusiasm they have for 1. Being on a night-out and 2. Being at Močvara. Seeing friends run into friends, excitedly telling each other how long it’s been since they’ve been here and what’s changed. One woman remarked she liked ‘the new CSI vibe’. Stonebride did a fairly good job of warming this crowd up for what followed. I thought I was being clever and timed my try for the bar a bit before their set ended to avoid the long lines, but no no avail. The bar was consistently being overwhelmed by gemišt-seeking dads ordering eight drinks for their entire squad and three bartenders were simply not enough.
The lights went out on time and the first five minutes of this show felt almost unreal. It was exactly like watching a concert scene taken from a medium-budget American movie running on channel two on a Tuesday night. Well rehearsed, a perfectly responsive audience, almost cliche theatrics. Now I understand why Monster Magnet like touring so much. Specifically, touring Europe. I don’t think they can get this kind of treatment anywhere else, our socialism-bred Boomers go crazy at the slightest signs of the American Dream. And that’s not a bad thing! The lively spirits of these normally exhausted parents were a welcome break from the usual cynicism of my own, unimpressed generation.
Frontman Dave ‘Motherfucker’ Wyndorf seemed to be in good health and, if you can get past the fact that he looks like a cartoon villain, is an interesting character to jam with. The echo of the mic never went off, even when he was speaking. Their music struck me the most as some sort of Biker Rock with desert undertones (extremely Vegas desert, though!). Truly, Monster Magnet are their own kind of retro. Another delightful and uncommon sight was how active every inch of the crowd was. No chill in the back, the folks were just as loud in the last row as they were in the first. After all, the only thing better than screaming ‘Space Lord Motherfucker!’ is four hundred people screaming ‘Space Lord Motherfucker!’. The band treated us to a deserved encore but didn’t drag things on for too long. We all went home in a timely manner, snuck into the house without waking up the kids and dreamt dreams of youth, motorcycles and rock’n’roll.