Machine Head

Gig Review: Machine Head, SECC, Glasgow, December 5th 2011

Since June of this year, Machine Heads return to the UK has been one of the most hotly anticipated tours. The Eighth Plague tour finally came to Glasgow, Scotland for what has to the bands biggest Scottish show to date.

If you were one of the few who made it to the SECC early enough to catch Darkest Hour [7] I hope you’ll agree that they put on one hell of a show. The venue was pretty empty when they took to the stage but this didn’t seem to faze them as front-man John Henry bounded around the stage for their entire half hour slot. There may not have been many sing-a-longs but that didn’t stop a strong set from a good band.

Limited in the amount of stage space that they had to use, this felt like a bit of a static performance from DevilDriver [7]. Having seen Dez and co. tear Glasgow apart a few times in recent years, their performance did seem a bit on the stale side. While the band remained static throughout their performance it did not stop the crowd from going absolutely insane. With a massive circle pit forming for Clouds Over California, I think DevilDriver will have left Glasgow feeling that their job was done.

I have to say, I’m not going to write too much here about the performance as I might be unfair even by my standards. I gave Bring Me The Horizon [3] a chance on this tour, not to make me like them but to show me why they deserved to be playing with bands like Machine Head. Sadly Oli Skyes and co. did nothing to even slightly change my opinions. No I don’t agree with bottles and shoes being thrown at them, but at the same time I did not agree with their reaction of abusing the rest of the people at the show. It was an error to bring BMTH out on this tour, in my opinion anyway, and based on the crowd size I wouldn’t be shocked if it did affect ticket sales.

Just after 9pm it was finally time for the main act and the sense of excitement that filled the air was very apparent. As the haunting opening bars to ‘I Am Hell’ blasted through the aren,a the excitement changed to outright insanity as only a Machine Head [9.5] crowd can provide. As soon as Robb, Phil, Adam and Dave hit the stage and started their assault on Glasgow there was just a frenzy of activity from the centre of the hall as everyone got moving.

It was the old tracks that sparked the wildest celebrations though, with the near poetic scream of “fuck you all” opening ‘Beautiful Mourning,’ inciting a massive circle pit and a fitting tribute to Dimebag Darrell following a few tracks later in ‘Aesthetics of Hate.’ It showed that even with a new album Machine Head have a catalogue of hits they can call upon, and that’s just from the last two albums before we even mention tracks like ‘Imperium’ and ‘The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears’ which all went down a storm with the audience.

While the old material went down well with the audience, their latest material received more of a reaction from the crowd. ‘Locust’ sent the crowd insane and the opening one-two of ‘I Am Hell’ and ‘Be Still and Know’ had the crowd quickly moving. From ‘Unto The Locust,’ the night belonged to ‘Darkness Within’. With a haunting intro, excellent lyrical content and an outro that the entire crowd just hummed back to the band, it is very difficult to see how this won’t be a staple of every Machine Head set for the rest of their career.

After a final blast with ‘Halo’ and ever-favourite ‘Davidian,’ Machine Head brought a close their first headline show at the SECC. Yes it hadn’t sold out, yes you could maybe have dropped a band from the bill and made an even better tour but one thing is for sure, Machine Head loved their time up on that stage, and if they get their way they will be back.


About Scott

I'm a fun-loving 18 year old Student from the sunny shores of Scotland! I love almost all kinds of metal and rock and always looking for new bands. A website designer as well as wanting to do journalism, I can be contacted about anything and everything on either Twitter or by Email.

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