Experiences With the Monster Voodoo Machine
Sept 1, 1995 at the Rivoli, Toronto, Ont, Canada
by: Gino Filicetti
Finally, the day came for me to FINALLY see Monster Voodoo Machine play again. I thought to myself, I've been waiting for this day since Feburary 7th, when I saw them open up for Marilyn Manson, and when I first fell in love with this incredible band. As the weeks and days approached that fateful day of September 1st, I got more and more psyched, more and more Monster Voodoo Eight Ball 100% Crazy!! September 1st would mark a year since Monster Voodoo Machine headlined last in Toronto, doing their free annual charity Food Bank benefit show, and this year was looking to be a BLAST!

Set to play for the night were local newcomers, Ignorance Never Settles (who broke up the day before, but still ended up playing), Blowhard, Toronto veterans Soulstorm, who were going to play their last show ever, and of course Monster Voodoo Machine.

Somehow, somewhere, someone fucked up, and this show ended up being a 19+ (legal drinking age in Canada), and so, it would seem that my dreams were to be smashed! But not so, since I ain't just any ordinary 18 year old (all boasting purely intentional). So I told Adrian, long before the show would unfold, that one way or another, he'd get me into this fucking place. So he assured me that it'd be no problem, I mean come on, he's good friends with Adam Sewell (vocalist, Monster Voodoo Machine), so I didn't think I had anything to worry about.

Finally, the day to end all days came, September 1st. Today was going to be a good day, I could feel it. Adrian and I already had the plan all laid out as we usually do when sneaking into a club. We'd go down nice and early, go into the stage area long before any doormen could be posted, and I'd be safe from the fearful proposition of the procedure known as "carding." We arrived at siz o'clock, and soon learned that the first band wasn't scheduled to go on until a quarter to ten. So like we usually do, we just hung out on Queen Street and killed some time.

As six o'clock approached, we made our way back to the Rivoli, because I had some friends of mine meeting us (more minors to join the crowd!). Fortunately, we all got into the club and chilled while waiting for the show to begin.

This was when the unimaginable happened. This was when all of my dreams from days long past were suddenly dashed with one simple sentence: "Ok people, we're going to have to check everyone's ID who are in here right now." That was it, "WE ARE DOOMED," I thought. There's no way they can do this to me ... TO ME! Never! I've been waiting for this show for the better part of a year, I know the band, I fucking have every record! They MUST SEE REASON! But there wasn't any talking to these guys. Their minds were set, their fear of "the pigs bustin' the place" indelibly inked in their brains; ALL MINORS MUST LEAVE! I walked out of the Rivoli with my head down, and my heart sunk deep into the earth. How could they do this to me? I pondered; them and their fucking liquor licensing laws, why me? I couldn't believe it, Monster Voodoo Machine's LAST show for their _Suffersystem_ album, their LAST show until April of next year. This couldn't be happening.

My friends tried to cheer me up, tried to tell me not to worry, that there'd be lots of shows to go to, and to forget missing just one. Yeah, but the "just one" show was supposed to be the best show of my life, and I wouldn't be there. So we decided to try some other hot spots on Queen Street, namely the Sanctuary Vampire Sex Bar, but as we entered the place, that horrible procedure named "carding" was once again performed on us.

Now I felt like shit. "Could this night get any worse," I thought to myself? So we decided to just go for a good ol' downtown cruise in our beast-mobile of a car, and rip up the streets of Toronto. We ended up getting stuck in unbelievable Friday night traffic, almost getting compressed by a Greyhound bus, and ending up even more bored than ever. So I thought it was just about time to try and fool the Rivoli once again.

It was now eleven o'clock and we made our way back to the Rivoli. This time I thought to myself, I'm just going to hand over my ID, and hope that the bouncer takes pity on me for being four months under age. And amazingly, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED!

I was in, I WAS FUCKING IN!!! The joy and excitement I felt inside was unreal, unsurpassed and unbeatable. I felt like a god, king of this world, ruler for a day; I was "da shit." So I set out to find Adrian, thinking, this guy is going to flip when he sees me. As I poked out from behind a crowd of people and into Adrian's line of sight, I saw him do a triple take and start to laugh uncontrollably. "I knew you'd be back man, I knew you couldn't just walk away from THIS show." And he was right, I have yet to let Ontario's fucking cheesy assed liquor laws stand in the way of MY musical enjoyment.

I got there just in time for Soulstorm's set. They played a pretty solid, crowd-pleasing show. I must say, it was kind of sad thinking that this would be the last show for these dudes. Soulstorm, THE staple of industrial noise in Toronto, were no more. But now it was time for the "featured presentation" to come out, and kick the most ass they ever had in their lives.

As the set began, I removed my shirt, my necklaces, my watch, my backpack, my wallet, my chain and placed them all in a good safe spot. Then I took up MY spot, center stage, front row, killer mosh position. Blinded by the unrelenting strobe lights eminating from the stage, I eagerly awaited the set to begin.

They opened with the explosive tune, "Threat By Example", and everything just went WILD! The Rivoli's tiny stage was packed with the six man band, and their slew of equipment, but Adam still found room to thrash about madly. I, in the meantime, was having a fit of my own, hanging on to the stage monitors, and screaming along to the words at the top of my lungs. Adam could see our enthousiasm, and let us (the front row) do most of the choral singing.

Their set included a multitude of songs from their last two albums, including "Copper Theft", "Bastard Is As Bastard Does", "Fetal Position", "Temple", "Defense Mechanism", "3 Year Plan", "Get On With It", "Born Guilty", and last but not least, "Voodoo".

By the end of it all, I was delirious, covered in sweat, beer, and spit, and screaming for more! I definitely must say that this show ranked way up there with my all-time favorites, almost, but not quite beating out Slayer (sorry guys). Our departure was made in timely fashion, seeing as we had ten minutes left before the subways closed and left us stranded downtown. But in the end, I thought, it was all worth it. It was in-fucking-credible, and to think, I almost said, "fuck it, let's go home" after getting kicked out. Good thing I didn't, because I'd be hearing about this show for years after the fact from Adrian.

(article submitted 1/10/1995)

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