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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Machine Head

Live in Rosemont, IL, May, 2007

Review by Greg Olma

My first live Machine Head experience was in a small theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (reviewed last issue) so I was curious to see how their music would translate to an arena setting. Not only was it an arena but they had to play to a different type of audience. I was sure that the Lamb of God crowd would be open to Machine Head but I didn’t know how the Heaven and Hell (basically Black Sabbath mkII) crowd would react. Although it was mainly an older audience, there were quite a few younger people in attendance who would have known who Machine Head were. Either way, I don’t think it mattered what age you were, Robb Flynn and company pulled off a short set that definitely won them over a few new fans.
The set opened with “Imperium” off of the Through The Ashes Of Empires album. I was afraid that the sound wouldn’t translate well in an arena (especially the Allstate Arena) but I was pleasantly surprised at how powerful and clean it was. Each instrument could be heard and Robb Flynn’s vocals were not lost in the mix. “Now I Lay Thee Down” was next and it showcased the light and dark of the new CD The Blackening. It’s hard to pick my favorite off the disc but Machine Head definitely picked out a cut that would appeal to the older, more traditional metal crowd. The other new track that was played was “Aesthetics Of Hate” and it was preceded with a little background to its origins. The song deals with an article about Dimebag from Pantera and his fans (the article was brutal and for lack of better words “full of hate”). Needless to say, this tune went down a storm and I’m sure it will be in the set list for years to come.
They ended their set with what seems to be their signature song “Davidian.” The reaction from the crowd leads me to believe that quite a few people knew this particular tune. The short set didn’t give the guys too much time but what they did get, they used wisely. They tailored the set to fit the audience and it seemed to have paid off. They got a great reception from people who were not familiar with their songs. I recommend catching them next time they come to your town. I for one am waiting for them to make a headlining trek so that I can see their full show.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 3 at
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