Monotonix played one of their last US shows for awhile this past saturday, February 5 at 285 Kent. Stalkers, Pujol, and Federation X started off the evening. After the three openers, the all ages crowd got rowdier, tipsier, and fearless- boys threw themselves on stage, girls threw themselves at band members, and an all around 50 degree increase in room temperature set the foundation for the holy mess that ensued when Israeli garage-rock band Monotonix took the stage.
Their stage, as is to be expected from their dangerously chaotic live shows, consisted of the entire venue floor, the back bar, the walls, and fan's heads. All while singer Ami Shalev manages to keep the beat on a drum set flying through the air supported by a screaming, packed crowd of kids. The fans practically begged to be stood on, trampled, and suffocated.
Stalker's singer Andy Animal pulled the hairband off of my ponytail at some point during the show, put it in his mouth, and preceded to chew on it. He may have swallowed it, but I was abruptly distracted by Ami Shalev of Monotonix, barreling in my direction atop a bass drum.
After all the sweaty chaos, Shalev somehow managed to get the crowd to sit on the floor and listen. He announced this Brooklyn show to be one of their last shows on their final US tour. They are not breaking up, but Shalev, 46, claimed to be tired, and with drummer Haggai Fershtman approaching fatherhood, they will be taking some time off. Just after the January release of their second album Not Yet on Drag City, if you missed Monotonix in the U.S., you can follow them to Europe, but not to their home in Tel Aviv, because they've been banned from almost every venue.