Live Bait: Monotonix

with War Elephant, January 19th 2009 @ the Pyramid Cabaret

By Holly Beddome

Photo by Cheyenne Rae
Photo by Cheyenne Rae

On January 19, 2010, a group from Tel Aviv named Monotonix walked into the Pyramid Cabaret and left an amazed audience behind.  Bandmates Ami Shalev, Yonatan Gat and Haggai Fershtman rocked out in short shorts with wild hair flying as they played a raw set of rock and roll anthems reminiscent of decades past. The trio turned the Pyramid into a playground as they continually moved their set, with energetic audience members cheering for them on all sides.

Although missing their guitarist that evening, opening act War Elephant still rocked the stage. The Winnipeg duo kicked the evening off with a perfect contrast to Monotix’s wild energy, with a laid-back set with thudding beats and slow, distorted bass hooks.  While War Elephant are not a band to dance to, they nonetheless rocked out and played a solid, grunge-tinged show that resembled a less-vocalized mix between Black Sabbath and Soundgarden.

Following War Elephant’s performance, Ami Shalev of Monotonix walked up to the bar and grabbed several bottles of water while drummer Haggai Fershtman and guitarist Yonatan Gat warmed up.  Cheers and whistles rang out from the audience as Shalev grabbed the microphone. The real show began as the band ripped into their first song; riffs were shredded, beats pounded and Shalev yelled like a man possessed with the spirit of Johnny Rotten.

The band fed off the energy of the crowd and clearly enjoyed shaking things up.  A garbage can was dumped over Fershtman’s head, drumsticks were given to audience members, and Shalev hung from the rafters like a monkey mid-song. Water and beer rained down as the Israeli rockers emptied the contents of several bottles over the crowd. Despite the chaotic energy of the evening, the vibe was friendly as people simply forgot their troubles and absorbed the show.  Monotonix truly put on a performance to be experienced, not just observed.

Next time these crazy rockers roll into the ’Peg, do yourself a favour and pick up a ticket. Seeing this band live is an experience that you will never forget!