Feb 1, 2012

Machinehead - Ram's Head Live

By Bob Suehs

www.rocknrollexperience.com

MACHINEHEAD

February 1, 2012

Baltimore, MD



The word Machinehead means 3 things in rock n roll:

1. It's the title to a classic Deep Purple record

2. It's a hit single by the band Bush

3. It's a metal band fronted by Robb Flynn that blends hardcore with heavy metal.

This review is about option #3 & this was actually the first time I'd ever experienced a headlining set from Machinehead because over the years they've opened for everyone from Metallica to the 2011 Mayhem Fest tour & the band usually has a short set that's around 30 minutes in length.

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Machinehead's set was slated to start at 9:10 PM this night but they actually took the stage early & the show started at 9:08 PM which is rare for metal bands considering most metal shows wind up starting later rather than earlier!

Machinehead's set list for the night was as follows:



I Am Hell, Be Still & Know, Imperium, Beautiful, Blood Sweat & Tears, Locust, This is the End, Aesthetics, Old, Darkness, Bulldozer, Ten Ton, Who We Are, Halo, Davidian

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My first taste of Machinehead music was the song "Davidian" which was a song written about a Religious cult from Waco Texas & as irony would have it, that was the last song of the night although I question how many fans at this show knew that song because there were many younger fans there who only knew the bands more recent material & that's the thing I thought was pretty interesting about the crowd; you had the obvious old school fans who went back to the beginning & then you had the newer fans who more than likely saw the band within the past 3 or 4 years opening for bigger bands & playing short sets that were comprised of newer songs....this show was great because the band played a lengthy set that covered all their material!

Listening to the older material you could hear heavier tones, more aggression & pure f**king anger whereas the newer material has a more melodic side & the band actually tried to sing as opposed to screaming when they played some of the newer material. I will be honest here & admit that I can't stand it when the band tries to do clean vocals...the gritty, raw, rough vocals are what made Machinehead's sound in my opinion.

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"Ten Ton Hammer" was my personal favorite of the night & the funny thing is, I hadn't heard that song for many years & I actually forgot about it up until they jammed it out at this show...upon hearing it again I was reminded of what a kick ass song it truly was/is!

The light show that accompanied the live show added another element to the Machinehead live experience as well because the beams of lights shot from behind the band members & created a trippy experience for the audience while the band played....it made for a large rock show "feel" even though the show was on a club stage & not an arena.

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The other thing I will note is that Robb's guitar playing has improved over the years & the band tries to incorporate more double leads, harmonies with the guitars & when you go back to album #1 by the band you can hear how they've grown, developed & matured as writers & players over the years!

I've seen Machinehead probably a dozen times over the years & this was hands down the best show I've ever seen from the band, they kicked ass, sounded great & after the show various members from all the bands on the bill were at a karaoke bar next door to the club partying all night!

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On an unrelated note this show took place on 2/1/12....if you are a fan of the band RUSH you probably flipped with that date!