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MOTORHEAD Gets North American Tour Off To Rocking Start

By Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal

My rating points:

Related: Lemmy interview | Picture Gallery | Lemmy movie review | The World Is Yours album review

January 25th 2011, House Of Blues, Anaheim CA: With a new studio album to go along with a rockumentary based on the much celebrated frontman's life, the timing for Motorhead to embark on a North American tour couldn't have been better. Tonight was the first night of the tour, at a sold out House Of Blues in Downtown Disney. Motorhead is definitely the loudest live band on the planet, and I expected nothing less than a memorably deafening rock 'n roll show from them tonight.

Valient Thorr started things off with a 40-minute set of what I would describe as stoner rock with a punk edge, certainly the kind of music Lemmy is a huge fan of, and it came as no surprise to me that Valient Thorr found themselves on another Motorhead tour. The crowd though didn't quite appreciate their music, which isn't a true reflection of the band's performance because LA crowds can be really narrow-minded when it comes to opening bands. In fact, there was this one dude who was standing very close to the front, raising his middle finger for the entire time and even throwing stuff on stage. The band's frontman "Valient Himself" got quite irritated and warned him to back off. I for one would have been happy if Valient had ended up diving into the crowd and beating the shit out of him, because the guy was literally asking for it. Anyway, I enjoyed Valient Thorr's set. Their music and on-stage energy was great, and Valient Himself's interactions with the crowd were really funny. A worthy opener, without a doubt.

So then, it was Motorhead's turn to hit the stage. Here's a band that always does things its own way. It's quite clear that they've never believed in bombastic curtain-raising intros, as they quietly walked on to the stage, and after Lemmy delivered his most epic one liner, "We are Motorhead, and we play rock 'n roll!" they went straight into "We Are Motorhead", very aptly chosen as the first song of the set. The ever-amazing "Stay Clean" was up next, during which the band started facing some technical problems on stage, specially on Lemmy's side. Having witnessed what they were talking about during soundcheck, I can tell you that the reason for these problems was that they had brand new gear for the start of the tour, and as a result it wasn't quite "tuned in". The band actually went off stage for a few minutes, while the problem was being fixed. During this time Slayer/Philm drummer Dave Lombardo made a quick appearance on stage just to say hello to everyone, and I thought to myself, "That guy is literally everywhere!" Soon after, the band reappeared among loud cheers and belted out "Metropolis".

After a couple more enjoyable tunes in the form of "Over The Top" and "One Night Stand", a huge roar went up as Lemmy said, "The next song is called Rock Out With Your Cock Out". It turned out to be one of the best songs of the night and I feel there isn't another song that better typifies Motorhead. Phil Campbell's guitar solo came as a great follow-up to the song. Another tune from Motorizer, "The Thousand Names Of God", came next and they switched things up excellently with "I Got Mine" from the Another Perfect Day album.

A brand new song from The World Is Yours album, "I Know How To Die", was up next. It was a good representative of the album as a whole, and proved the fact that the album shows more of Motorhead's rock 'n roll side. I was glad to see a song from the Ace Of Spades album that's almost never in the set, "The Chase Is Better Than The Catch". Even though the set was missing tunes like "Iron Fist", "Bomber" and "Whorehouse Blues", it was good to see them change it up and include some rarities instead. The rest of the set had its moments as well, with the Mikkey Dee drum solo and some amazing staples "Just 'Cos You Got The Power", "Going To Brazil", "Ace Of Spades", and of course "Overkill" to bring an end to the night.

Due to the delays caused by technical problems, they had to cut the set short by two songs, so people going to any of the remaining shows on the tour can expect an even longer and better Motorhead set. In terms of the crowd here, even though it was sold out and packed, the crowd volume was really poor, and it didn't feel like anywhere close to being a packed crowd. I just don't know what the deal with LA crowds is, it's like people pay money to just stand there and do nothing except for taking bathroom breaks and going to the bar. If I were up on that stage and saw people constantly drifting in and out, I would be pretty fucking offended. But oh well, as long as the shows are getting sold out, I'm happy for the bands that they are making their money.

I love Motorhead to death, and it actually saddens me to see them play such small venues. I mean, they should easily be selling out venues like the Hollywood Palladium. But that's the great thing about Motorhead, the fact that nothing stops them from doing their thing, being the loudest band on the planet.

In customary style, Lemmy said, "Don't forget us, we are Motorhead. We play rock 'n roll". Judging by the show tonight, on this North American tour they'll not only ensure that no one forgets them, but will also spread blissful deafness across the country.

A terrific, ear-shattering night of rock 'n roll.

Here's their complete set list:

We Are Motorhead
Stay Clean
Over The Top
One Night Stand
Rock Out
Guitar Solo
The Thousand Names Of God
I Got Mine
I Know How To Die
The Chase Is Better Than The Catch
In The Name Of Tragedy
Drum Solo
Just 'Cos You Got The Power
Going To Brazil
Killed By Death
Ace Of Spades

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