Words: Stephen Buckle
Photos: Andrew Basso
Cold winter winds would usually stop most Melbournians going out at night, but not metalheads. Machine Head fans gathered quickly outside the venue with a loud and proud “Machine F***ing Head” chant echoing down Flinders Street. With a long three hour set and no supports Machine Head were preparing a setlist of a lifetime to supply fans with the fix they were after.
Doors opened an hour and a half before Machine head went on, presumably to make sure every fan was inside and ready to indulge in the monster 26 song set that spanned Machine Heads 24 year career. With the lights going out tyhe crowd erupted knowing that it was time for the night to begin!
Machine Head came out to a thunderous roar from the sold out crowd and opened with the opening track on ‘From the Ashes of Empires’ Imperium. The heavy, axe grinding guitar and fast paced drums brought the brought the roar to another level that didn’t let go for the whole night. Following with Volatile from their latest album “Catharsis”, they continued and shut down the haters who said it wasn’t their best album as it was clear this album sounds much stronger live.
Going through their later albums the brought forth Now We Die and one of the many massive hits from ‘The Blackening’, Beautiful Mourning. This created the circle pits which looked crazy whether you were from the back of the venue or on the barrier looking back. With the impeccable light show continuing to make the show that much better, Machine Head unveiled another newbie from ‘Cartharsis’, Kaleidascope.
Another from ‘Unto the Locust’, This is the End saw the crowd surfers start to flood over the barrier at larming speed, although it was nothing the security in the venue weren’t prepared for. Once the song was done Phil Demmel went into a guitar solo while the crowd raised the fist to the air chanting along. The band then came back out and went straight back into the set with full force, as there was no stopping Machine Head tonight.
Running through hits like Bulldozer from ‘Supercharger’, Killers and Kings from ‘Bloodstone and Diamonds’ and fan favourite Davidian from ‘Burn my Eyes’; which brought a massive circle pit to the middle of the Forum, Machine Head lit the venue up with lights bouncing off every surface including the chaos in the pit below. Once the circle pit died down Rob Flynn pointed to a female fan who was standing on someones shoulders and said that he loves all the fans new and old. Asking for a chant from the “angry girls” and “angry guys” he was happy that his audience was very well attended by girls and not just guys.
Then he surprised the crowd….
…With Creeping Death as originally performed by Metallica, which I overheard that their cover was phenomenal! Now approaching the back end of their set, Machine Head performed arguably one of their two biggest hits from ‘The Blackening’ or some may say period, Aesthetics of Hate. The crowd showed no signs of slowing down and this song was a fast and noisy one with the crowd prying to be heard over Robs voice.
With ‘Bloodstone and Diamonds’ Game Over and their debut album ‘Burn My Eyes’ Old Machine closed out their set to yet another thunderous roar and applause.
Heading off stage the crowd let them know they weren’t done and wanted one more song. Machine Head came out minutes later and said they were grateful to perform halfway across the world to sold out crowds who appreciate their music after all these years.
They then burst into the 8 minute extravaganza from ‘The Blackening’ Halo. The crowd was very loud during the song and showed how much they appreciate the band!
If a band in the heavy genre can go this long and still stay relevant then they’ve obviously got something right, and are able to find new ways to continue on over time. If you’ve never seen Machine Head then i suggest you go out, find when they’re hitting a city near you and go. It’s a show like no other and one that connects with you and your love for heavy metal.
With 3 hours and 26 songs spanning their entire 24 year, it will give you an equal show full of songs of every album, what more do you want?!
Now We Die
This is the End
From This Day
Ten Ton Hammer
Unto the Locust
Beyond the Pale
Killers and Kings
Descend the Shades of Night
Desire to Fire
Creeping Death (Metallica Cover)
Aesthetics of Hate
Get your tickets to see Machine Head on the Catharsis World Tour HERE!