Machine Head in Dublin, Ireland

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Tuesday, January 1, 2008 @ 10:11 PM

At the Ambassador Theatre

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Reviewed By Dessie "Fish" Daley

Anyone who was fortunate enough to be at Dublin's Ambassador Theatre last night witnessed what can only be described as two hours of the most mind-blowing heavy metal that's been seen in Ireland in the past twenty years. Regular visitors to Dublin, Machine Head have always delivered great show after great show here down through the years. However, last nights spectacular trumped any performance they've ever put in here in the past: a show of jaw dropping proportions.

Main support of the night was provided by English four piece Evile. Having released the hugely impressive album, Enter The Grave a short while ago, the sold out venue was already full(1200 capacity)shortly after doors opened at 7:30pm. At 8:30pm to a reception usually reserved for main acts,Evile took the stage. The venue security were caught off guard as absolute chaos broke out with classic thrash metal delivered to the elation of all present. This is what Trivium wished they sounded like. And if they did, it would be easy to understand all the talk. Expect to see Evile supporting every major metal band over the next couple of years. And do yourself a major favour, go out and buy their album,Enter The Grave. You wont be disappointed.

The main eventers took the stage at 9:40pm. Robb Flynn strode out first, fists clenched, head nodding in appreciation of the deafening roars from the crowd. "Clenching The Fists Of Dissent" was chosen as the opening number. The venue quickly turned into one gigantic circle pit. Every single one of the 800 people on the floor standing section moshing, thrashing and crowd surfing created a picture of utter chaos. A scene like this has never been witnessed at a Dublin venue before, and considering Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth are regular visitors here, that’s saying something. "Imperium" and "Ten Ton Hammer" were then delivered before Flynn addressed his crowd. "Dublin, Ireland is a city that means a great deal to Machine Head. It was the first city we ever played outside of America [supporting Slayer on their Divine Intervention European Tour at Dubin's S.F.X. Centre] and was the first place Phil Demmell ever played live as a member of Machine Head". His appreciation of the crowd’s performance was acknowledged with, "We love coming to this venue. Oh my God is the only way I can describe what I see in front of me. Awesome Dublin. Fucking awesome."

"This next song no longer needs an introduction. At this stage,you all know it concerns a very dear friend of mine, Dimebag Darrell. This song is called, “Aesthetics Of Hate.” That was how Flynn lead his band into another spine tingling track. The staggering intensity at which this song was delivered, was astonishing. "Old" was next up and "as a special treat for you Dublin, “Farewell To Arms will be played tonight and tonight only on this U.K. Tour." The title of the song was greeted warmly but his geographical error was booed vigorously. An inaccuracy that has been made many times in the past by U.S. acts that come to Ireland as part of their U.K and Irish Tours. Flynn quickly realized his mistake and responded with, "Ok, Ok...in this part of the world!" The crowd accepted that an honest mistake had been made. Following, "Farewell...", another track off, The Blackening was selected. "This song is great to drink beers to. It’s even better to smoke marijuana to. And it’s even better to have sex to. So, those in the balcony, if you feel like having sex, this is the song to do it to! This song is called “Halo”.

When studying Flynn on stage at a Machine Head concert, it becomes very apparent that every single song played is a unique piece of Flynn's personal history. The intensity and conviction of each songs delivery gives rise to the belief that the subject matter of each song is something that happened to Flynn or its something he truly believes in. This integrity and honesty is rewarded in the fan base that Machine Head now have. The interaction and bond between band and fans seen here tonight is amazing. Time was taken to bring a fan up on stage to share a drink and he was then invited to stage dive back into the crowd. For laughs, Adam Duce decided momentarily to wear a pink bra throw from the audience as headwear. "Do you see them, Dublin? They're called goose bumps." Flynn said about his reaction to the atmosphere. Pointing to the 400 people in the balcony, Flynn said, "Usually when we play a venue with a balcony, the crowd just sits there drinking milk! This has got to be the most rocking balcony a band can play to. Cheers fuckers! Cheers." The compliment was rewarded by the young lady who flashed the band. "Nice tits!" was Flynn's cheeky reply.

The final three songs of the night were, "Take My Scars," "Descend The Shades Of Night" and "Davidian." The penultimate song was dedicated to, "All those here tonight who've ever lost a friend or family member to suicide or anyone here who's ever considered suicide". A breath taking round of applause drowned the first 30 seconds of the song out. The always awesome "Davidian" was the final song of the night. The show concluded at 11:10pm with the same blistering intensity as it began some hour and a half earlier. A ten-minute ovation was the bands’ reward for a show of immense proportions. Flynn was asked at the time about the meaning of the album title, "Through The Ashes Of Empires". Flynn said it was Machine Head's commitment to themselves and their fans to produce Machine Head music year after year no matter what the trend of the day was [at the time Nu-metal was in].The performance tonight exemplified that and this band from Oakland did themselves and heavy metal proud in the same city that was blown away by them almost fifteen years ago as support to Slayer.

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