By Jason McIver
Artist: Machine Head
Date / Venue: Thursday June 18th, 2015 - The Studio, Auckland
Finally after seven years and a cancelled 2012 tour, Machine Head made it back to NZ shores for 2 shows, nicely fitting in Christchurch as well as Auckland.
As we rounded the corner onto Auckland's K' Road, we were greeted by a line already half way down the block with 30 minutes remaining until the doors opened, though the energy was clearly mounting towards a great night of music. Looking around, it was a very mixed crowd of metal lovers that had eagerly congregated at Studio bar to experience 2 hours of punishing American metal spanning an impressive 22 years of the band's history.
Unfortunately for the venue it seemed maybe 100 fans were stuck in the foyer trying to catch a glimpse, I'd like to see a smaller capacity so everyone that pays can get a good shows worth.
Admittedly I am pretty new to Machine Head, I've heard The Blackening maybe once and a couple of singles but all in all I was excited to see this testament to heavy metal, a band that over 22 years has seen line up changes and scene changes yet they still sell out venues and demolish any band they play with. Funnily enough "An Evening With Machine Head" meant there was no opening act rather 19 career spanning tracks, being a noob the track I recognised was their recent single Now We Die and comparing to the album version it was just as tight and polished as I had hoped.
As the night went on the crowd kept the intensity on ten with frontman Robb Flynn making regular comments of how impressed he was with our stamina and eventually inciting a couple of pretty decent circle pits, lead guitarist Phil Demmel brought beautiful complimentary playing along side Flynn's huge riffing and acoustic guitar parts... I really wish I could comment on individual songs but being so fresh to the band it makes it hard, if the crowd is anything to go by though I get the feeling the show was pretty spot on and even though some fans were stuck out the back I'm sure they don't regret being a part of any of it.
Machine Head are as tight and fierce as hell and showing no sign of slowing down, it seems metal is aging well and Machine Head are the proof in the pudding.