(The Fillmore, Detroit, MI - September 12th, 2015)
In Rock & Roll, you do not get to be a continual recording and touring success, nay behemoth, by sheer luck! So, having been an original recording artist for 40 years, one that spans a staggering five decades, the fact that Motorhead are still treading the boards, and in support of a brand new album, should not shock anybody.
Motorhead, for those uninitiated, are an English rock band formed in 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian Fraser Kilmister, professionally known by his stage name Lemmy.
Indeed, it is Lemmy who has remained the sole constant member of the band, which is something I myself did not even know before writing this review; even though both Phil Wizz Campbell (guitars) and Mikkey Dee (drums) have collectively been in the band now for 54 years!
Moving on, and the band are often considered a precursor to, or one of the earliest members of, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, which re-energized heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Despite this, or maybe simply because of this, Lemmy has hence forth always dubbed their music as simply Rock N Roll.
And so here tonight in Detroit, in support of their brand new 22nd studio album, Bad Magic, Motorhead entered into the final few shows on their tour of North America.
Having been opened by both Crobot and Anthrax, come the witching hour, the lights go off, the yells (along with clenched fists) go up, and Motorhead take to the stage.
With their slogan being Everything Louder Than Everything Else, you already know what kind of a night you are in for. But to experience it live, standing by the stage taking photographs, by all those speakers, well, WOW ... it was unbelievably, nay, terrifyingly loud tonight!
Anyway, with the three guys now in place, Lemmy announces the band: We are Motorhead. We play rock n roll, and with that, the opening chords of Damage Case are struck up and the night has begun.
Next comes Stay Clean and before Metropolis, Lenny speaks to the crowd again: It is great to be back in Detroit. Then peering into the crowd he adds, A Full house, I see. Then guitarist Campbell asks for the house lights to be turned on before both he and Lemmy ask the crowd to scream as loud as they can.
Which they do, but it is not loud enough for Motorhead! That is not f@cking good enough, Lemmy warns them. So they try again, and then once more, the last one seemingly just what the band wanted to hear. Much better. Now you sound like you are from Detroit, Lemmy praises.
After Over The Top we get a rather tuneful guitar solo from Campbell, before The Chase Is Better Than the Catch and Rock It are unleashed. Has anyone bought our new album, Bad Magic? Lemmy inquires. It is the last album we will make for a long, long time, but if you do not like it, you do not like it, he admits, shrugging his shoulders. This is a song about some Lost Woman Blues, he adds, as the band set off into that very same-named track.
Thank you very much, Lemmy acknowledges the baying crowd afterwards. Do you remember when we used to play at Harpos, he further asks them. Our feet used to stick to the carpet, he gently smiles, before setting the rabid fans up for a rousing, highly-extended version of Doctor Rock.
Complete with a massive drum solo, that itself featured eerie yellow lights beaming down upon a drum set that seemed to be smoking, it was easily one of the stand out highlights of the night.
On the drums, Mickky Dee, Campbell announces, before Lemmy takes over, informing everyone about the true meaning to the next song: This song is about businessmen and politicians and all those c@nts. It is called Just Cos You Got the Power that dont mean you got the right to use it.
As the song ends, and with Lemmy always watchful of Campbells guitar bringing a song to a close, he then verbally stumbles slightly. Thanks. This is gonna be our last song tonight ..., but Campbell quickly intercedes: No, it is not! Oh, thats right," Lemmy corrects himself, It is not! We have put in another golden oldie for you! And with that, Motorhead launch into a cut from their Ace Of Spades album (from 1980!), the western-themed Shoot You in the Back.
Okay, THIS is really the last song, Lemmy gently smiles, unless you clap loud enough afterwards and we might come back, he slyly adds. It is the one song of ours that everyone knows. You can all sing along, but I will not be able to hear you, he personally admits, and with that they bring forth the monster that everyone has indeed been awaiting, Ace Of Spades.
The song (...thats the way I like it baby, I dont wanna live forever) might not have the same depth, the same brutal smash-your-face-in vocal power that it once did, but with Lemmys distinctive deep growl driving it home, it still resonates a huge sonic memory punch, that is for sure.
Leaving the stage, the crowd baying as hard as they can for the return of the magnificent three, Motorhead stroll back out; as promised. I cannot hear you. I am deaf! Lemmy truthfully informs them, as the crowd then turn their vocal love up a notch.
This will be the last song tonight, but before it I am gonna introduce the band for the first time tonight. After he has put both Campbell and Dee under the spotlight, the former then introduces us to Mr. Lemmy Kilmister.
So, even though Detroit is in a state of redecoration, Lemmy continues, I still love the old Detroit. You are still very good to us, he beams. Thank you very much for all your support over the years. Do not forget us. We love you. We are Motorhead and we play rock n fucking roll, he adds, as the band then bring forth the beloved Overkill.
Complete with flashing lights, both on Campbells guitar and from revolving spots encompassing the stage, Lemmy aims his guitar at the crowd like a long-necked machine gun. Once finished, the band come stage front to collectively bow, wave, and throw guitar pics and drum sticks into the front few rows.
Lemmy leaves his bass propped up against the still-live speaker, the gentle feedback hum the last sounds that the band will make tonight.
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk