Concert Review with PHOTOS - Machine Head


By Mark Derricutt

Artist: Machine Head

Date / Venue: Saturday July 14th, 2018 - The Powerstation, Auckland

"Is there anybody out there?" - frontman Robb Flynn screams out as the band launches into the 2016 album-less single. And by the sound of the surrounding crowd there most certainly was - with no short measure of letting Machine Head aware of the fact.

Starting at 8pm, Machine Head filled the following 3 hours with nothing but intense, thunderous, epic metal spanning their 27 year career.

With the mixed, lukewarm reception of the band's latest release Catharsis - I was curious how much material from the album would feature amongst their extensive back catalogue of "MUST PLAY" songs. So including 4 songs was more than acceptable, although swapping out Triple Beam for any other track would have been preferable. Whilst I don't think Catharsis is the band's best work, with elements harkening back to Supercharger/The Burning Red era nu-metal, the album still remains one of my top played of the year.

Amongst the relentless metal we were treated to the now customary drum and guitar solo slots, and whilst both Phil Demmel (guitars) and Dave McClain (drums) offered impressive proficient solos (complete with a cowbell), I found them lacking something and used the time to refresh a cup, and await the next song.

26 songs, 3 hours, pure (&#)()# metal. Say what you will about Catharsis as an album, but don't let that turn you away from catching Machine Head on the rest of this tour - this show is intense, and unrelenting from start to finish - except for those solos and a heart wrenching rendition of Darkness Within.

From an "angry white dude" to a bunch of "angry white dudes" on stage - I salute you!

Set List:

1.     Imperium

2.     Volatile

3.     Now We Die

4.     Beautiful Mourning

5.     The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears

6.     Crashing Around You

7.     Guitar Solo

8.     Darkness Within

9.     Catharsis

10.  From This Day

11.  Ten Ton Hammer

12.  Is There Anybody Out There?

13.  Locust

14.  Beyond the Pale

15.  Drum Solo

16.  Bulldozer

17.  Killers & Kings

18.  Davidian

19.  Descend the Shades of Night

20.  None but My Own

21.  Triple Beam

22.  (Partial) cover of Alice in Chains "Would"

23.  Aesthetics of Hate

24.  Game Over

25.  Blood for blood.

26.  Halo