Surviving Motorhead

Posted: March 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

Lemmy of Motorhead, Foto: Chris Pizzello/AP/dapd

         Waiting for Motorhead, I could feel the excitement building in the crowded room,  at the Marquee in Tempe, AZ. on March 10th.  The concert was sold out and the packed crowd was getting rowdy and impatient.  A fight had broken out earlier when the crowd favorite, Clutch was playing.  Neil Fallon, heavyly the bearded lead singer, told the audience to stop fighting as this crowd was family.  The concert goers seemed pleased at his statement as eveyone clapped loudly.  I was bored with Clutch and although they were no doubt great musicians, their music sounded like all those 70’s bands I disliked in the 1970’s.  Sorry to say, there were only two types of exciting music in the decade of the ’70s: glam rock and punk rock.

          There is not much room on the stage at the Marquee so the roadies did not have alot of equipement to move but they spent most of the 40 minutes between bands checking the sound system and getting the instruments placed on stage.  The audience kept yelling “Motorhead,” “Motorhead,” “Motorhead.”  It was difficult to find a place to stand because if you stood in the center of the room you had to put up with the mosh pit and if you stood close to the stage on the side you were right in front of the monster amps. 

           I went with two friends, Andy and Robert and we eached picked a different place to mark out spot according to our comfort level.  Robert stood in the center so he could view the whole stage; Andy started out on the side close to the front but the loudness overwhelmed him and he went further to the side and back; and I stood close to the front in front of the monster amps.

           Finally, the lights went out and the audience started yelling and screaming  and Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee walked on the stage to a round of very loud clapping.  Motorhead is legendary, as they have been around for 35 years.  Lemmy, 65 years old, is a metal rock icon and can still play fast and loud.  He is respected by his younger peers in rock and rock and is considered the father of speed metal.  This Englishman, who was Jimi Hendrix’s roadie in 1967, has influenced Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax and an entire generation of metal bands.  He still wears his raven black hair long, dressed in black and wears his custom made cowboy boots.

           Motorhead delivered and did not disppointed us as we had high expectations of this concert.  They played fast and they lived up to their reputation as being the loudest band ever.  My friends and I could not  hear for the next 14 hours.  They did all their most popular songs with “We are Motorhead,” kicking off their high energy and high speed set.  “Ace of Spades,” and “Killed by Death,” sent the audience into a shouting, clapping frenzy with plenty of the sign of the horn being displayed.  I was surprised that the band only played one song,”Get Back in Line,” from their most recent album, “The World is Yours.”   Motorhead is 35 years old  and  has recorded  20 studio albums and have plenty of material to chose from.  The band played about 90 minutes counting the encores and without hardly any breaks between songs. 

          The band put on a great show and they sound to me like punk, early rock and roll  and metal done super fast.   I could see the influence of early ’50s and ’60s rock on Lemmy, who grew up listening to early rock.  He just rocks alot harder than the early rockers.  I can not wait to watch VH1 Classic’s recently released documentary on the candid man, called, “Lemmy,’ again.


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