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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews


Live in Chicago February, 2011

Review by Greg Olma

Motorhead is more than just a heavy metal band.  After recording and touring for over three decades, it’s safe to say that they are an institution.  I first saw the band back on their 10th Anniversary Tour and I can’t believe that, even though it has been 25 years, Motorhead shows no signs of slowing down.  If anything, they seem to be kicking it up a notch.  Lemmy and company started the show with “We Are Motohead” and, although that is the title of the song, it is also the mission statement for the band.  They “are” Motorhead and that is all they know how to be.  Like AC/DC, Motorhead is the kind of band that you pretty much know what you are going to get whether live or on record.  That’s not to say that it is boring or holds no surprises, quite the opposite in fact, but they are going to give you what you want.

Motorhead has toured often but they still manage to pull a set list that holds some surprises.  One of my all time favorite records is Another Perfect Day so when they launched into “I Got Mine,” I was surprised and ecstatic at the same time.  It is the most over-looked album in their whole catalogue.  Even though this tour was in promotion of The World Is Yours, they only played “Get Back In Line” and “I Know How To Die” from that release leaving plenty of room for other tunes from newer releases.  “One Night Stand,” “In The Name Of Tragedy” and pair from Motorizer (“Rock Out” and “The Thousand Names Of God”) were sprinkled in among the older classics.  The classics came early and often with songs like “Stay Clean,” “Metropolis,” “The Chase Is Better Than The Catch”, and set closer “Ace Of Spades.”  There are so many tunes in the Motorhead catalogue that I would have a hard time coming up with a realistic set list, yet Lemmy and the guys managed to put one together for this tour that not only celebrates the newer material but also keeps the older fans happy.

Greg Olma
Greg Olma

Many of you have probably seen the latest Lemmy documentary, and I have to admit that the man is a legend.  He commands the stage like a true rock-n-roller and his presence is felt from the moment he walks on to the second he departs.  But Motorhead is not just Lemmy.  Phil Campbell has been a constant in the Motorhead line-up since 1984 and Mikkey Dee joined 1992.  Both of them have helped gel Motorhead into on fierce beast.  Dee attacks his drums like a musician half his age and Campbell pulls out riff after riff in a wall of heavy metal noise that only he can deliver.  As a band, Motorhead seems to be getting better with age.  I’m sure everyone at the sold out show I attended would agree.  I recommend you go see them when they come to your neck of the woods and be sure to buy tickets early because (if these recent shows are any indication), they are selling out and you don’t want to be left out in the cold.

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Gary Hill
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 2 at
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