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Monster Truck - The Waiting Room, Buffalo, NY 08/15/2013

Review/photos by Mike "Suicide" Santoro

Buffalo, NY -I grew up on the US/ Canadian border, and grew up listening to Canadian bands. Canada gets a bad rap for their music in the states, i.e. The BareNaked Ladies, Nickelback, Bryan Adams, Justin Bieber, and some of others that I will leave nameless. The fact is, Canada also has a long list of incredible bands that more than make up for that cesspool of examples. Monster Truck could single-handedly make up for every shitty band that ever came from the great white north.

Monster Truck is a band out of Hamilton, Ontario that started out a side project. These guys ultimately were picked by Slash to go out on tour, as well as Deep Purple. If bands like that take them out on the road, it’s worth the time to listen. I caught onto this band last year, and bought the “Brown” EP. It was pretty impressive, but I couldn’t find much about them. Since that time, they have been creating a buzz. They have rolled into town three times before I was able to catch them, so I was pretty excited to see them this time around. As my luck would have it, they were playing at new local rock club the “Waiting Room.” This place is a perfect sized venue for an intimate show with room to breathe.

From the moment they stepped on stage, they delivered high energy, blues-driven, stoner rock. Lead singer, Jon Harvey, has an incredible voice and belts out bluesy, heart-felt lyrics on key. He also doubles as the bassist, and he certainly plays it like you would expect a front man to.

Jeremy Widerman is an exceptional guitarist who lays licks down like he was magically transported from the Woodstock era. It’s quite refreshing to hear a player with soul and depth emanate from his instrument.

Brandon Bliss plays the organ reminiscent to the sound of the old B3’s that spawned some of the greatest sounds of 60’s and 70’s rock.

The drummer, Steve Kiely, rounds out the foursome. He is a great percussionist who filled the venue with galloping rhythm, leading the band though its set list of power rock.

“Sweet Mountain River” is one of their most popular, but my favorite is “For the Sun.” They played them both and many more. If you have the opportunity to check this band out, do it. Their new full-length release, “Furiosity,” might possibly be the best release of 2013.

Set List:
The Lion
Sweet Mountain River
Old Train
My Love Is True
Call It a Spade
Undercover Love
Oh Lord
The Giant
Sworded Beest
For the Sun
Seven Seas Blues
Righteous Smoke
Encore: Love Attack / Runnin’

Special thanks to Jen Cymek and Dana Kaiser