Machine Head

Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Machine Head returned to Copenhagen with their The Eighth Plague tour, and again they visited the familiar concert hall KB Hallen.
Or not, as it most regrettably burnt down only a couple of months prior to the visit... Luckily the sold out show was able to relocate to Amager bio, certainly a bit smaller but still quite enjoyable.

With them on the tour, Machine Head had bought along the bands Darkest Hour, DevilDriver and Bring Me The Horizon. Darkest Hour seemed good but I didn’t catch the whole show, DevilDriver kicked ass, and Bring Me The Horizon, well, they played as well.
But now it was time for the main event, Machine fucking Head!
The stage was set, the crowd was ready, and after the calm start of the song had rolled out of the speakers as an intro the band came on to the stage and ripped up the place with the heavy notes of I Am Hell (Sonata In C#). Loudly and with blood running down the many video monitors placed around the stage.
This was one of the loudest shows I’ve seen in a long time actually, and even though the name of the tour was probably referring to the locust theme on Machine Head’s latest album, the biggest plague here at Amager Bio was definitely the sound. When Dave McClain was pounding that bass drum of his, all the rest was nearly completely drowned out, and the speakers sounded like they had been blown to bits (maybe they had, who knows?).

”Copenhagen, are you ready?!”
- Robb Flynn (vocals/guitar)

Yes, I would certainly dare say the Copenhagen crowd was ready for this. Already from the very beginning (after the intro that is) a wild mosh quickly grew to great proportions on the floor level, and it wasn’t long before people were trying their luck in a circle pit as well. Yes, the action was certainly go for the Machine Head gig, and with good reason – the band was on fire!
Even though they were not the liveliest and most moving about band of the evening, they were still the most intense; the look in Flynn’s eyes could make walls crumble before him!
He also showed his best side as frontman as he not only delivered the songs with conviction, but despite the anger apparent in the band’s music he showed a great mood and a sense for humour in between songs. He spoke with regret about the loss of KB Hallen in which the band had played before, something I’m sure the local audience appreciated as it truly was a loss of a special place, but after this Flynn lightened the mood a bit and again pleased the native crowd by sending out a special thanks to DMeA (Danish Metal Awards) as he reminisced about how great it was to visit back in 2007 when Machine Head won the Best International Album award for The Blackening, and he was equally pleased to see that their new album, Enter The Locust, was also hitting well in album-sales charts around the world (peaking at 10th position in Denmark).
There was also time for some more traditional audience interaction though, like when we were asked to give a big hand to McClain to get him to start Beautiful Mourning, or when Flynn jokingly asked how to say cheers in Danish by first trying out ”prost” (German) and being booed at. He then tried with ”Skål” which received a lot of cheering, at least until he added ”Tamejfan” (Swedish) which of course also led to a small uproar in the Danish crowd. He excused it by saying it was something he had learned from touring with Meshuggah...
One more unusual audience participation presented itself rather late in the gig; here most of the band members took a short break while Flynn invited a guy up from the audience (how he came to choose this particular man I do not know). The guards took the man round back to get up, and suddenly this massive man walks in with a giant grin on his face. Flynn says that now we’ll get to see what he wished he never had, after which he begins to play the Pink Panther theme on his guitar while the guy slowly dances around, ending in him lifting his shirt above his head revealing a large, pale beer-belly which Flynn gave a slap before giving the guy the go-ahead to stage-dive back into the crowd; something the man was obviously not too comfortable with but did anyway in the end. Apart from the fact that I’m glad I was not in the receiving end of the crowd at this time, this was a highly disturbing and yet slightly humorous intermission to the seriousness of the music.
To that note, I should also not neglect to mention Flynn’s affection for rum on this night (even though he himself called it vodka for some reason, probably a mistake). He had a whole little routine going where he shouted a very piraty ”Aargh” after which he took a sip of the cup before sending it flying to the audience. One guy was lucky enough to actually catch one of the cups, but he received due ridicule both by Flynn and his peers when he just threw the cup on the ground instead of drinking it...

This was a night where Machine Head truly showed why they have reached the high position in the metal community that they now possess – they delivered one hell of a concert which showed of all of the experience they’ve received over the years, but more importantly than this, they also played with an intensity and vitality which showed that even though they were the oldest band here, they could still kick the ass of any competition; heck, they could even kick the ass of themselves from earlier days if it came to that!
Yes, like a fine stick of dynamite, Machine Head only gets more dangerous with age.


I Am Hell (Sonata In C#)
Be Still And Know
Beautiful Mourning
The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears
This Is The End
Aesthetics Of Hate
Darkness Within
Ten Ton Hammer

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