Machine Head - Bloodstock 2012 review
'Inspiring to the point of heating the blood in your veins'
Anna Hyams - 12 August 2012
Adrift in what seemed a sea of forum hatred, Machine Head (9/10) would be perfectly in their right to have come at this a bit peeved and looking for a fight, but what we get instead is a full-throttle tribute to their 20 year anniversary of pure all out metal.
The band started from humble beginnings playing at a friend’s house party, and tonight belt out their hit-peppered
past to an arena full of die hard metal fans and rapturous applause. The chant of “Machine-Fucking-Head” is heard
resonating around the site well over 30 minutes before the band grace the stage.
As the lights drop, a deep guttural roar emanates from the expectant fans, and a ripple of hands go up when Rob Flynn takes his place centre front.
The band explode straight into track ‘I am Hell’ from brand spanking new album ‘Unto The Locust’ which is met with easy chorus from fans and those new to MH alike. Dedicating ‘Aesthetics of Hate’ to much mourned Pantera demi-god, Dimebag Darrell, blazing jet streams of fire light the faces of the band, and scare a few security guards too.
The top five tracks from a ‘Burn My Eyes’ poll reveal a very interesting set list, the likes of ‘Death Church’ having been omitted from Machine Head gigs since 1995. Crowd pleaser ‘Imperium’ has everyone chanting along, ‘No More Lies’ and ‘Locust’ also come up fighting, as the crowd quickly adapt headbanging skills to each beat.
As a banana-suit clad lad surfs his way to the front, Rob’s soapbox moment leaves him lamenting “We’re
blown away that we’ve been able to make music of this kind for 20 years. We’ve never been on MTV or the radio,
but it’s pretty incredible we’re able to be here, seven thousand miles from home and we’re headlining this
amazing festival. If we weren’t up here doing this, we’d be out there, headbanging and drinking…”
as well as bashing electronic music as ‘shit’ and telling the now roaring crowd “You, you’re a different
breed of people, so are we.” as they dive into ‘Fuck It Up’ with an enormous circle-pit for good measure.
Heart-thudding rolling bass is a character trait of Machine Head and they certainly do not skimp on it tonight, you can actually feel it vibrating
‘Halo’ from album ‘The Blackening’ is dedicated to roadie Mike ‘Scum’ Rivera because “Who knows what would have happened if [they’d] never played his keger?” and anthem ‘Davidian’ closes an absolutely amazing set. This is the kind of show that makes you want to have a fight, break some rules, scream into the night, that sort of thing. Machine Head are inspiring to the point of heating the blood in your veins. Who doesn’t want to let freedom ring with a shotgun blast after a night like this?
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