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Motorhead Live in Seattle

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Monday, April 21, 2003 @ 1:58 AM

Motorhead, The Dwarves, High o

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I always get excited when Motorhead comes to town -- the guys have been at it for a long time and they always put on a great show. This performance would mark the seventh time Iíve seen the band, the first time was in support of Ozzy Osbourne way back in 1981 and the last time was their headlining tour last year. Before I go any further Iíd like to thank Ace from the official Motorhead web site for his help in securing my photo pass and ticket as well as Shelly from the Motorhead camp for actually hooking me up. I got to the venue promptly at 7 PM, when the doors were scheduled to open. There was a huge line stretching around the venue and it was not moving at all. The doors didnít open until 7:40 but I still got in with time to spare before the first band played. Once inside, I noticed that the audience was comprised of all types -- metalheads, punkers, skinheads, businessman-types, young kids, members of the Banditos M/C club, and more.

The evening started out with locals The Jet City Fix. The five-piece band played what seemed to be a hybrid of punk, pop, and Ď80s style hard rock. The group displayed a lot of energy and even though there weren't many people in the venue they managed to get a fairly decent response to their 30-minute set. I couldn't really get into the music as I was in the mood for something with a little more aggression and heaviness. I spent the majority of their set in the bar chatting with friends so I could save my ears for the impending sonic assault.

After a fairly short changeover the Bay Area band High on Fire took the stage. Iíd never heard the band before but wasnít expecting a lot due to the ďStoner RockĒ label they are generally labeled with. That label couldnít be more wrong -- High on Fire isnít your run of the mill Sabbath-worshipping bunch of hippies! The 3-piece outfit played a highly aggressive set of noisy and distorted hard/rock metal that pummeled the audience with their crushing heaviness. Singer/guitarist Matt Pike showed a lot of energy and had a great stage presence, basically commanding the attention of all who were watching. Drummer Des Kensel pounded his minimalist kit with a fury not often seen and, along with bassist George Rice, provided a strong background to Pikeís crushing riffs and screams. These guys put on a great show! Iíll be checking out their studio work soon, if itís anywhere close to as good as their live show Iíll be one happy metalhead.

High on Fire photos from this show can be found here:

Next up was the old-school punk/hardcore act The Dwarves. Iíve never been a huge fan but give them props for being in the business so long and staying true to their music. Iíve never seen them live before and as a result I was very surprised at what a great show they put on. Vocalist Blag Dahlia is one of the most energetic frontmen I have ever seen (number one in my book is the singer from Canadaís Beyond Possession), never remaining in one spot for more than a couple of seconds and constantly egging the audience on to ďhave a metal riotĒ and come over the barricade. At the Portland show the night before I hear the audience took him up on his urging and overwhelmed the security team up front, not so in Seattle though. The rest of the band was almost as energetic as Blag, moving constantly and swinging their instruments around. The Dwarves put on a very impressive show, the next time they come to town you can bet that Iíll be there to see them.

The Dwarves photos from this show can be found here:

Once The Dwarves were done there was only one band left to see, and the audience was definitely ready because when Lemmy and the rest of Motorhead took the stage and played "Motorhead" the audience went nuts. I had to move around a lot more than Iíd like while I was in the photo pit due to the number of bodies being passed over the barricade. Much to my surprise the majority of those bodies belonged to women! Motorhead performed a number of old favorites and a few newer tracks, almost everything I would expect them to play. Lemmy and Phil Cambell moved about the stage frequently, giving all the people up front an equal chance to be close to the metal legends. Lemmy seemed sincerely happy to be playing for the large (1000+) crowd at the Northgate Theater and got a laugh out of me when he said ďWe've always had good shows in Seattle, except for that one at the Firehouse.Ē For those who donít know, The Firehouse is a shitty little bar known for its overpriced weak drinks and screwing over bands. The group was (as usual) tight as hell, displaying the true professionalism that comes from two and a half decades on the road. Mickey Dee played his traditional drum solo during ďSacrificeĒ that, unlike other drum solos, didnít come off as cheesy and overly long. All things said and done, this was an outstanding concert. Iím crossing my finger that the Iron Maiden/Dio/Motorhead tour makes its way to these parts as I donít want to wait another year to see the mighty Motorhead again!

Motorhead set list:
No Class
Shoot You in the Back
Civil War
God Save the Queen
Doctor Rock
Shut Your Mouth
Over the Top
Damage Case
Sacrifice/drum Solo
Going To Brazil
Killed by Death

Ace of Spades

Note: Iron Fist was on their set list (I caught a glimpse of it after the show) as the first song of the encore but they didnít play it for some reason, perhaps a venue-enforced curfew.
v Motorhead photos from this show can be found here:

(Photo by Chris Slack)

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