The quick review for those who wanted to go, but couldn’t get a ticket (it sold out in about 2 minutes or something stupid): It was shit. The sound was shit, the performance was dreadful, Robb forgot the words, the crowd was full of people who’d obviously got the tickets as freebies and were just there to say they’d been there. No atmosphere, rubbish gig. You were better off staying at home.
OK. Go away now.
Have they gone?
For everyone else: HOLYFUCKINGSHITWHATAGIGCRAPFUCKICAN’TBELIEVEHOWGOODTHEYWEREIFEELEIGHTEENAGAINWAAAAAARRRGGGGH!!!!
First things first, my apologies to Hostile who I’d really wanted to catch after being told they’d be worth getting there early for. As ever, traffic and getting parked were the major problems and we arrived at 8pm – missing them by quarter of a hour. If they’re the same Hostile who opened for Lordi a couple of years ago, I’m even more annoyed as I missed half of their set that time due to traffic and was impressed by what I saw.
So to make up for it, a shout out for them. I’ve heard good things about them from people who’ve both seem them and played on the same stage as them so go check out their stuff.
But the headliners. Oh, the headliners… By the time the lights went out, the venue was heaving. My t-shirt was drenched and all I’d done was stand still for half an hour or so. All the aircon in the Liquid Room is over the dancefloor and my wife wasn’t for getting belted by the pit so we were waiting under the balcony, stage right. A quick Google tells me that capacity is 600 and the gig was a sell-out so I guess that’s how many were in. It felt it.
I think the smallest venue I’ve seen Machine Head at is Leeds Metropolitan University. That’s an 1,100 capacity (at least now – dunno if it was the same 15 years ago) so this is a small show, in physical size at least.
Robb and company strode on stage at about 8:30 and launched straight into “Imperium”, then “Beautiful Morning” and then “Locust”. If that doesn’t show the strength of the recent material – from a band that people had written off only a few years ago – nothing will.
No surprise, the crowd were already going mental… and then they dropped “The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears” on us and shit just got real. That was it for me. The wife received my camera, phone and t-shirt and I was off.
The set list was perfection with material from all over the band’s history. I love that Supercharger was slated at the time by pretty much everyone (totally incorrectly, in my opinion) and they’re still playing material from it. In fact, if I have my set list straight, they played at least one track off every studio album including the as-yet-unreleased Killers & Kings.
You want me to pick a highlight? I can’t. It was too good. Machine Head are one of the few bands I know who can play really long songs and not lose the audience. The material is so strong, and played so well live that even the longer stuff like “Halo” doesn’t drag.
At my age, I get knackered easily – mainly as I don’t exercise. I’m a fat, lazy bastard basically. If I can last pretty much an entire gig, non-stop, then it’s purely down to how good the band is. And I don’t think they come much better than Machine Head. I didn’t want the night to end and physically I’m still buzzing two hours later after driving home.
So for anyone else seeing the tour, rest assured; the small venues will be great. You’ll go home with a fucking huge smile on your face.
And then we get to do it all again in larger venues once the album comes out. I fucking hope so, anyway.