Machine Head Live in Hollywood

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 4:47 PM

Machine Head, With Chimaira, L

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Hey Metalheads!

I just returned from the Road Rage stop (09-04-04) in Hollywood, CA at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip, with Trivium, Chimaira, and of course, the mighty Machine Head.

Now, before you snarks get on my ass, I skipped Trivium since I was upstairs snarfing down good eats and copious amounts of alcohol. Also, there was a band that opened before Trivium (I think they were called Mastodon), which boasted the tallest lead singer I have ever seen. He was a full 1.5 times taller than the guitarist, who looked to be of an average height (5'8" or so).

Anyway, we made it downstairs for the Chimaira set. Now, I will state right up front that I do not own any of their albums, nor have I heard any of their songs. I went into it with an open mind.

Well, the positives first. There were probably 400 fans in the room, and they were all into them in a big way, singing along, moshing along, and causing general mayhem. Their drummer was very good, and their bassist was running crowd call and response.

Now, for the negatives. There were 6 members of the band: a singer, two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, and a sampler/keyboard/backing vocalist. He didn't look like he had much to do, but he was bangin' his head as good as any of them. Also, their songs ran into one another, and I could not quite tell where one ended and another began. Also, the singer said that he wasn't going to talk to us all night, instead opting to "kick our asses" by talking to the upper balcony and making fun of them between every song. Odd.

Anyway, the highlight of their set (for me) was when all three guitarists swung them guitars across their bodies, a la KISS. Looked very corny and choreographed. They ended, mercifully, plugging their new DVD and their impending studio excursion.

A few short minutes later, the lights went down, more fans showed up and the intro music for Machine Head came on. It was a Latin chant of some kind. It was very spooky and intense. Then came Robb, Phil, Dave, and Adam. They kicked right into "Imperium," which knocked me on my ass when the main riff kicked in. Robb and Phil were all smiles, and they tore through the song, starting a large mosh with many large men going wild. Phil is an insane crowd rouser with his weird, slightly deranged smiles, gestures, and proximity to the fans on the sides of the stage.

Next up was "Seasons Wither," which was heavier than the album version, if that is at all possible. Robb was going nuts, urging us to sing along, mosh in larger quantities, and generally asking us to "lose our minds." They then turned to "Old," a crowd favorite. We all sang along with the chorus, and Robb smiled all through the song like he had no idea LA could make as much noise as we did.

"Days Turn Blue to Gray" was a surprise, and it was slightly slower than the previous songs, but the crowd ate it up, getting rowdy when Phil or Robb asked us to. Then, when the lights went down, out came the acoustics for "Descend the Shades of Night," an "8-minute rumination on death." Robb was laughing as he began the song since his acoustic was very quiet. As he kept playing, he said, "Fuck man, I can't hear it either." A few tweaks later, he was back, and the band killed this number. Just nailed it, sound effects, feedback and all. Closed it off with the crowd singing the chorus back to them. Again, Robb was smiling.

Then came "Davidian." Oh my Lord. The pit got to be the size of the entire floor, and we got louder every time we shouted back "Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast!" Then came "Ten Ton Hammer," "The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears," and a nice surprise with "Bulldozer." They closed with "Block," and we were waiting for an encore, chanting the usual "Machine Fuckin' Head!" But, the jerks closed the curtains, and we were left without an encore and only ten songs. Still, it was a great show, but we could have used at least 12 or 13 songs.


Set list:

Seasons Wither
Days Turn Blue to Gray
Descend the Shades of Night
Ten Ton Hammer
The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears

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