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Motorhead in Washington D.C.

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @ 6:42 PM


At the 9:30 Club

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Reviewed by Brother Bob.

Going to see Motorhead on a night that followed a week in Vegas, returning to DC at Midnight & a full day at the job is probably not the smartest thing I've ever done. But damn, it was the right thing to do. Motorhead has been touring with The Reverend Horton Heat and Nashville Pussy. I saw Motorhead twice, at The Tower and the Troc in Philly, and the Reverend once at Janus Landing in St. Pete, all back in the 90's. I remember The Reverend putting on a great show, but being disappointed in Motorhead both times. I'm glad that I gave Motorhead one more chance, as it took this show for me to realize that it was my own damned fault I didn't enjoy those shows more than I did. I got plowed for both concerts, had my heart set on hearing two songs (Eat the Rich and Orgasmatron), was disappointed when they didn't get played, and walked out of both mosh pits with black eyes. This time I went in completely sober - and it was a world of difference.

As usual I showed up a bit late, and missed Nashville Pussy entirely. I showed up late for The Reverend, but from the play lists I've seen published I only missed about three songs. They put on the same powerful show I remember from back in the day. When the band gets introduced and we meet "The Naturrreee Boyyy.... JIMBO!!!" I follow up with an obligatory Ric Flair "WHOOOOO!!!!!" They close with "The Jimbo Song" and "Big Red Rocket of Love". And I am kicking myself for having waited this long to see them again. Between sets, the 9:30 does something pretty cool - they play RHH over the PA while Motorhead's crew sets up. At this point I also meet up with Big Kev, who gets the hat tip for the pics you see posted here.

I've never been more than a casual Motorhead fan - I had a tape of Orgasmatron back in the day and still jam to their greatest hits at work. So I know their big numbers, but won't know the deep cuts or the more recent stuff. It doesn't matter - Motorhead is similar to AC/DC in this regard. You can knock them that most of their stuff sounds the same, but it cuts both ways. When Lemmy announces that they're about to do a song off of the new album, it rocks just as hard as all of their classics.

This show has one of the best mosh pits I've been in at the 9:30. Bouncers are hanging out around the perimeter tossing out any a**holes, and the pit is strong. Even though I manage to go the entire show without getting knocked off of my feet, I make a rookie mistake and take a shot to the ribs that I'll still be feeling two weeks later.

Motorhead gives us a good mix of old and new. I don't know a lot of it, but it doesn't matter - between the energy of the band and the crowd it's an amazing vibe. They open with "Iron Fist", throw out other classics like "Metropolis" & "Killed By Death", and even stop before one song to rip on politicians. Even though this is DC the remark gets a good cheer from the audience. The set closes out with "Bomber", and of course they come back out for an encore.

They use an interesting choice - "Whorehouse Blues". I normally don't like it when an intense metal show does a massive change of pace like this but...it works. I'll be damned if they don't rock the crowd and have us ready for the final songs. "Ace of Spades" is up, but I start feeling light headed and make my way out to the bar on the far side. That shot to the ribs must have gotten me worse than I thought, and I hang by the bar just trying to catch my breath and settle down. Major props to the sweet bartender working back there. Seeing me down, she comes over and pours me some OJ and then some water. I rally, and make it back out to the pit as they close with "Overkill".

And no, they didn't play "Orgasmatron" or "Killed by Death", but it didn't matter. At least this time I wasn't so wrecked to fixate on what they didn't play and appreciated what a great show Lemmy and the boys put on. And while this time I don't have any shiners to explain at work the next day, just once I'd like to walk out of a Motorhead show without getting injured. Damn, it feels like just yesterday I was on the floor of the New York New York delivering a successful marriage proposal to a woman I'd never met. Wait a minute, actually it was...



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