Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, New Jersey
Review by Andy Jansons
This summer the heavy metal world was rattled by news that two longtime band members of genre heavyweights Machine Head would be departing the band. Guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClain will no longer be with the band following the ongoing US winter tour. So this tour, in support of their latest album “Catharsis”, has become a sort of farewell tour, with an uncertain future for the band!
Enthusiasm from the fans to see the band has not subsided. This performance at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey was at near capacity. On this tour Machine Head are performing without support bands and have scheduled more than twenty songs in their set. Their performance took around three hours! That’s three hours of relentless and powerful blasts of heavy metal. Nobody showed any sign of fatigue, neither the band, nor the fans. Only a select few can deliver such a performance and Machine Head are one of them.
This ongoing ‘Freaks & Zeroes’ tour includes all the fan favourites, with the most represented albums being “Catharsis” and “The Blackening” which had four songs each. Every song was delivered with fury. Robb Flynn sang with huge emotion, Dave never showed any fatigue or missed a beat at the drums, Jared McEachern and Phil were simply amazing at bass and guitar. For me, and I noticed for a lot of other attendees, the peak of the show was the song Davidian from their debut album “Burn My Eyes”. It was the first Machine Head song I heard and remains a perfect definition of who the band is. After an extensive encore performance the band closed their set with Halo from “The Blackening” album.
According to the only remaining founding member and driving force of the band Robb Flynn, this is not the end. How things will be shaped in the future we will know soon, but there is still time to catch band on this US tour until the end of the month!
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