It’s just after 8pm on a Thursday night in Paddington, Sydney. The venue is the Unicorn Hotel, which according to a quick Google search is “permanently closed” and to be quite frank, I haven’t ventured here since they held Monday night ABBA nights with, which were an Oxford Street institution in the late 80s.
But tonight, it was all about those Canadian hard rockers, Monster Truck, who were visiting Australia as support to Nickelback. After a few bevvies courtesy of Young Henry’s, we made our way downstairs to the dungeon. It was dark, lit with candles, had the atmosphere of an intimate gig in an out of the way cave and it was the perfect setting for the showcase.
Warming up the evening were Bec & Ben and The Delta Riggs DJs. It was the perfect way to open up the night and get the crowd stirring.
If you’ve not heard Monster Truck previously, don’t be put off by their support to the mainstream Nickelback. This is straight up, old school hard rock. You could imagine them supporting Led Zeppelin back in the day or even playing the part of Stillwater from Almost Famous. Each song they played with conviction, with rock ‘n’ roll sweat their only stage prop.
They had the crowd engaged from the very first chord. The band was on point and Jon’s vocals quite mesmerising in parts. My test of a great band is if I really want to make a trip to the bar during their set. Nope. I’m not missing a single note, a single stage move, a single riff.
Even though this was a small showcase, the band played as though this was a larger show. Sure, there was not much of a stage but that didn’t matter or detract from the band’s stage presence.
If you like your hard rock laced with honest, no bullshit riffs then you should all aboard this vehicle, for she is one helluva monstrous beast.