Three albums in and Monster Truck continue to be one of the hardest working band in recent years with constant touring backed by those three solid albums. Never far from a UK festival line-up, it’s been a while since they’ve undertaken their own headline tour, and even longer since I’ve seen them. With possibly their best album to date, in True Rockers, it’s unsurprising that SWG3 is comfortably full by the time they take to the stage.
However, before they do, Royal Tusk have the task of warming up the crowd. And warm it up they do. Making the most of their short time and a captive audience, they rattle through a number of songs and the crowd are more than appreciative of their efforts. There’s also time to fit in a cover of Audioslave’s “Cochise” and whilst no-one should really attempt Chris Cornell’s vocals, the band’s own take on it keeps it fresh and not the worst attempt I’ve heard.
Solid as an opening act sonically, they’re far different from Monster Truck but do share similar trademarks – namely shitloads of riffs and grooves. However, this is far sludgier with hints of doom, underpinned by Daniel Carriere’s pop-punk-esque vocal delivery. Essentially, it’s utter filth of the highest order with the pedal to the floor the entire time.
Monster Truck storm onto the stage right on cue and demolish everything in their path. Relying heavily on their recent album and previous effort, Sittin’ Heavy, they smash through their set whilst Furiosity takes more of a backseat with only a smattering pulled from it, and saved mainly for the finale alongside a deep cut from The Brown EP.
Much like their touring partners, Monster Truck grab the crowd by the scruff of the neck and drag them along for the ride with no intention of slowing down, other than for the odd bluesy number. For the large part, it’s a high-charged rock show by a tight band who worship at the rock and roll altar, for those fans who nod their heads at the same place of worship. There’s not a weak part to their set and once they take their final bows, there’s a real sense that whilst they gave it their all, they could have easily played for another hour.
That said, they’ve never been better and they’re a much more assured live act than they’ve ever been. Riffs fly with ferocity, and the thick grooves ensure that people are either banging their head or bouncing around. It’s hard to tell who’s enjoying themselves more – the band or the crowd. Though, it’s clear to see both band and crowd are egging each other on, desperate for the other to go harder.
Monster Truck are at the top of their game, there’s a real sense that they’ve stepped everything up and have their eyes on bigger stages. It’s a simple reminder that when you’re a great live band and have the material to back it up, you don’t need anything fancy to make a riveting show, you simply need to go out and play.
Photos by Shellstar Media