The Eventim Apollo is an iconic venue that has hosted many great performances; and tonight is no exception. As the lights outside the Apollo glow like a halo above the sign; “An Evening With Machine Head” [5/5]. The atmosphere is electric!
The iconic Machine Head crest adorns the stage, as the light go up Dave McClain appears behind his drum kit. Phil Demmel and Jared MacEachern soon follow with rip roaring shouts and applause from the crowd. Lastly Robb Flynn takes centre stage and kicks straight into “Clenching The Fists of Dissent”, which gets the evening perfectly started.
Tonight’s set is full of crowd pleasers from every album of their 22 year career, showing how dynamic an act they are. Continuing with “Beautiful Mourning” the crowd mosh in unison as Robb asks for a circle pit, the apollo goes nuts with excitement. As the audience sing along with Robb you get a real family vibe, as everyone in this 4’500 capacity venue are here for one reason. To mosh, dance and sing with Machine Head.
The band are on form tonight and you can tell they are enjoying themselves, classic’s like “Take My Scars” and “Ten Ton Hammer” sound as fresh and heavy today as the day they were written. “From This Day” is a welcomed surprise, being one of three songs tonight from “The Burning Red”. Including”Desire To Fire” which they have not played live since 2002, which goes down a treat. After which we are taken back to the album “Supercharger” for “Crashing Around You”, before a short interlude where Phil has some fun with his guitar under a green spotlight.
As Robb comes back on stage with two guitars, he talks to us about how music can get you through some of the darkest times in your life. As he starts strumming the strings, the emotion spreads through the crowd as they sing along. Robb’s voice carries every note perfectly, with the crowd continuing the ending over and over again. As the band applaud from the stage and Robb says “that was awesome”. Time for Dave to show off why he is one of the most underrated drummers in metal music, as he blasts out a hell of a session from behind his kit.
Next up is “Bulldozer” which is thunderous live, as they wrap up this part of the set “Davidian” is unleashed. The crowd goes into chaos as arms and legs fly everywhere, with multiple circle pits opening up. As the crowd shouts “let freedom ring with a shotgun blast” it is almost louder than Robb on stage. The lights go down and the crowd chants begin, even though they know Machine Head will be back.
The first encore starts with “A Farewell To Arms” and plays straight into “Now I Lay Thee Down”; where Phil and Robb play solos between each other. As the bass of Jared opens the chords of “Imperium”, the crowd rumbles with anticipation for the guitars of Robb and Phil to kick in. The lights flash and guitars as the crowd mosh and the circle pits open up once again, to a frenzy of excitement.
After another brief dimming of the lights, the second encore erupts with “Aesthetics of Hate” as always dedicated to “our friend and your friend Dimebag Darrel”. The intensitey continues with “Game Over” that the crowd sings along to, screaming “game over!” Leaving no time for the show to stop “Blood for Blood” is inleashed, another mighty classic from the Machine Head vault.
Finally the actual encore begins; as the final song of the night is “Halo” as announced by Robb. This is the last chance for the crowd tonight to embrace the might that is Machine Head and they don’t disappoint. As Robb, Phil, Dave and Jared give it their all, it is amazing how they perform such a long set night after night for this tour. It shows the pure strength in the characters and the drive as a band they have, to give their fans this experience every night. As ticker tape explodes over the crowd, the night comes to a close. At a lengthy 2 hours and 48 minutes, tonights show was one of the most memorable and greatest occasions that I have seen Machine Head. They have gone from strength to strength, showing why they are a force to be reckoned with!
- Clenching the Fists of Dissent
- Beautiful Mourning
- Now We Die
- Take My Scars
- From This Day
- Ten Ton Hammer
- This Is The End
- Desire To Fire (first time live since 2002)
- The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears
- Crashing Around You
- Guitar Solo – Phil Demmel
- Darkness Within
- Drum Solo – Dave McClain
- Killers and Kings
- A Farewell To Arms
- Now I Lay Thee Down
- Aesthetics of Hate
- Game Over
- Blood For Blood