Monster Magnet / Buckcherry: Atlanta The Masquerade

Buckcherry still worship the cocaine, and still rawk hard...

Rock’s been around a long time, and isn’t going anywhere. Same with the

similarly obstinate institutional-like Masquerade concert hall, a former sawmill. The Masquerade’s creaky floors, exposed beams and raised stage have seen a lot of strut, but they still stand at attention, tattered, tattooed freak flags flying, one of the last bastions of balls-out rock

in Atlanta.

LA’s tattered, tattooed Buckcherry stand in front of 700 people on the Masquerade’s stage. Like Guns ‘N’ Roses and Motley Crue before them, their bluesy ’70s-influenced Sunset Strip stories of cocaine, women, cocaine, music and cocaine play well in the hometown of The Black Crowes. The crowd cheers when Buckcherry play ‘Porno Star’ and the title track off their new album, ‘Time Bomb’, but really get worked up during Buckcherry‘s hit, ‘Lit Up’, with its [I]”I love the cocaine”[/I] chorus.

After Buckcherry‘s early 40-minute set there’s a mass exodus. Headliners Monster Magnet play to a little over 400 people, but they work twice as hard. If Buckcherry are cocaine and Jack Daniels, “stoner rock” band Monster Magnet are LSD and amphetamines. Lead singer/fire god Dave Wyndorf stalks the stage like a caged predator in black, flame-embossed leather pants and a black skull-n-crossbones emblazoned wife beater, a spotlight and fan fixated on his face from below.

A girl on her boyfriend’s shoulders flashes her tits for the band. There

may not have been as much bandannas, scarves and leopard spot cowboy hats

as sweaty rock expects, but there were tits. That’s rock. What else rocks? Monster Magnet‘s duelling guitarists play half the songs from above – dramatically poised on top of the stage monitors – going down each song just long enough to flail away on a wah-wah pedal.

Monster Magnet concentrate primarily on their last two albums, ‘Powertrip’ and the new one, ‘God Says No’. Tops, however, is when Wyndorf, who knows how to work a crowd, plays the beat of ‘Bummer’ on the stage with a guitar wildly set ablaze, and when the band transitions in and

out of a snippet of trail-blazing space-rockers Hawkwind during classic concert highlight ‘Dinosaur Vacume’. Monster Magnet close their encore with ‘hit’ ‘Space Lord’, before they strut off stage and the audience

leaves, properly rocked.

Tony Ware