Machine Head have gotten to the point in their career that they are able to do things their own way. Touring under the banner of 'An Evening With Machine Head', the heavy metal icons are more than capable of smashing out a 3 hour set not only of their newest songs, but also taking fans back to the era of 'Burn My Eyes'. Tonight's show will not be forgotten any time soon.
Each Machine Head album unmistakably has its own personality and has helped pushed the metal genre in some ways over the years, sometimes uniting their fans while other times challenging them.
One thing is for sure their journey is that of legend.
Tonight’s show at Eaton’s Hill has brought every type of Machine Head fan together under one roof to celebrate as one, it is also interesting to see how each fan reacts to certain songs from the different eras of the bands career.
Due to peak hour traffic and the bands early start time, we walk in just in time for 'Beautiful Mourning' from ‘The Blackening’ album which is still one of their best records.
'The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears', 'Kaleidoscope' and 'Clenching the Fist of Dissent' follow before the band take a short break and let guitarist Phil Demmel take center stage to show off his shredding skills and amp the fans up even more.
Even after all these years Robb Flynn’s voice is still phenomenal and powerful live and his crowd interaction doesn’t feel forced or rehearsed as he spends time between some of the songs telling stories about how drunk they have gotten here and how 23 years later they still love touring Australia.
There is even a touching moment at the end of 'Darkness Within' where the crowd is singing the melody and Robb seems genuinely moved by it.
‘Phil is gonna take you back to 1999’ Robb screams before ripping into the mega hit ‘From this Day’ from The Burning Red which seems to set the place on fire.
At the time that album really challenged the fan base due to the nu metal influences but many years later it’s evident that it’s become more accepted and even loved going by how nuts people go for that material live.
The band then follow that up with the classic 'Ten Ton Hammer' and by that time there are just bodies being thrown about everywhere and the gig seems to really hit into high gear.
‘Is There Anybody Out There’ from the new album Catharsis also fits perfectly in with the old material and hearing other songs from the album like ‘Beyond the ‘Pale and ‘Triple Beam’ live really seemed to impress some that weren’t a fan of the record and its direction, those tracks sounded massive!
At some point during the show someone throws a shoe which hits the roof and stays there for the rest of the gig while the circle pit below is going insane, even for a Wednesday night people are giving it their all and I’m sure there would be more than a few bruises and bumps the next morning, but that’s what it’s about right?
The bands most well known song ‘Davidian’ sends the room berserk and you have to admit it never gets old hearing a couple of thousand people scream ‘Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast’ in unison, it just sounds brutal!
Usually this would mark the end of the gig but the band take a short intermission before returning to the stage with ‘Descend the Shades of Night’ and ‘None but My Own’ before wrapping up the show with ‘Game Over’, ‘Old’ and ‘Halo’.
The only criticism is I felt that the band could have taken a couple of tracks off the list to help the night flow a bit better as by the 2 and a half hour mark you could tell that some people were getting a bit restless especially during the quieter moments with many going outside for a smoke or heading to the bar.
In saying that fans definitely got more than their money’s worth and Machine Head delivered a diverse mix of material to satisfy the masses of fans who had showed up on a school night blow off some steam.
One thing is for sure there is only one Machine Fucking Head and they know how to throw one hell of a party every time they come to town. One of the best gigs of the year hands down!
Photo credits : Luca Starace and Terri Hill