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Turbonegro, Mondo Generator live!

| September 26, 2007 | 0 Comments

Turbonegro, Mondo Generator
Metro, Chicago
Wednesday, September 19, 2007


For the first stop on their U.S. tour, Turbonegro took not one, but two encores. For most rock bands this would be one too many and a bit pretentious for a group playing a 1,100-capacity club. For this Norwegian act, though, it was perfect – maybe even two too few.

You have to be somewhat pretentious, after all, to dress like frontman Hank Von Helvete, who took the stage at Metro wearing a red, white, and blue tasseled vest and chaps punctuated by a cape fashioned out of the American flag and topped off by what appeared to be a Canadian-flag bandana, which we can only guess must be in preparation for his band’s sole north-of-the-border gig in mid-October. Dressed in his ridiculous Old Glory garb, it surely wasn’t coincidence Helvete and co. (guitarists Pal Pot Pamparius and Rune Rebellion, bassist Happy-Tom, guitarist/keyboardist Euroboy, and fill-in drummer Thomas Dahl) started the night with “We’re Gonna Drop The Atom Bomb,” this being the only country to ever actually detonate an atom bomb in combat.

A statement about pretentious, insolent Americans? Maybe. But as far as possible political statements go, that’s where they ended because fuck around with that stuff too long, and it leaves no room for jokes about boners and gay sailors. The rest of the night was devoted to good old-fashioned, mindless fun. “City Of Satan,” “Wasted Again,” and “Fuck The World” were big, sing-along crowd favorites, and Von Helvete is nothing if not a crowd-pleaser. In a set full of thinly – very thinly – veiled man-on-man punk tunes like “Sailor Man” and “Get It On,” the jiggly, gyrating frontman raised, or maybe lowered, the bar while discussing the Cubs/Reds game happening down the street. First he complimented all the “sexy asses” in Chicago then imagined “a whole arena named after chewing gum” and full of “little Cubby asses.” Later, leading into “Everybody Loves A Chubby Dude” from Turbo’s recently released Retox (Cooking Vinyl), the shirtless, plump and hairy Von Helvete admitted why he truly loves the our great country. “Back home I’m considered obese, here I’m kind of slimmy,” the singer said, seductively running his hands down his sweaty torso. “Here I’m slimmy, cool, sexy.”

You’d probably hear more maturity walking through a 7th grade hallway than any given Turbonegro concert, but this, folks, is what you get. Judging solely by the reaction of the audience, who were chanting the “Oh whoa whoa, I got erection” chorus of “I Got Erection” well before the band even took the stage, it’s exactly what you pay for.

Remember when Queens Of The Stone Age were interesting? Easy: When exiled bassist Nick Oliveri was still playing, writing, and singing with them. Oliveri fronted openers Mondo Generator, and while hIs bandmates may not have been much to watch, the wild-eyed intensity he displayed while ripping through Mondo Generator’s set recalled what made his former band fun, exciting, and even dangerous once. Not to mention songs like “Lie Detector,” “So Low,” and “Life Of Sin” sounded like the awesome guitar rockers Josh Homme has failed, or refused, to write during the last five years. Mondo Generator even concluded their set with “You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire,” one of the many great songs Oliveri co-wrote on the last good Queens record, Songs For The Deaf.

– Trevor Fisher

Category: Live Reviews, Weekly

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