Machine Head At The Olympia Theatre – Review
An Evening with Machine Head at The Olympia Theatre – 6 March 2016
When one imagines ‘An Evening with’, it is easy to assume that it is going to be a sophisticated evening and that it’s going to be an intimate, headlining show: only one of the two are true. Machine Head and sophisticated are not two things you associate with one another, but tonight most certainly is ‘An Evening with Machine Head’, with no support and simply two and a half hours of heavy metal at its best. After completely ‘destroying’ the Academy in December 2014, they’ve upgraded to the Olympia Theatre; a venue of sophistication and class that is about to be turned on its head.
Tonight’s opening track comes in the form of ‘Clenching the Fist of Descent’, which automatically means it’s time to go absolutely mental. Machine Head are a band who always gives what they receive, and judging on the pure insane energy in the Olympia tonight, this is one for the history books. They are also a band whose career spans over twenty years (with their first show outside of America being here supporting Slayer in 1994, believe it or not), so it is no surprise that they’re super excited to be back and that their set list is super versatile and spans their entire career. They break into a fantastic set list including the likes of ‘Beautiful Mourning’, ‘Now We Die’, ‘Locust’, ‘The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears’, ‘Bulldozer’, ‘Killers and Kings’ and ‘Davidian’. Along with these fan favourites are ‘Exhale the Vile’ and ‘Block’, making their first live appearance in Ireland in far too long. With the infamous “Machine F*****g Head” chant overpowering the entire theatre and with bodies thrashing about in all different directions. The set not only included some serious tunes, but also some serious solos from none other than guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClain. Demmel’s solo was definitely something to behold and can only be described as phenomenally deafening in all the right ways, playing as though no one were watching and blowing everyone away. The exact same can be said for McClain, whose style of drumming cannot be compared to anyone within the metal scene: it’s clean, crisp and characteristic.
Anyone that knows Machine Head will know that frontman Robb Flynn is passionate to the bone; whether you look at songwriting, his live performances, his blogs or just his general opinions. Robb Flynn is an artist who gives 110% in everything he does, with tonight’s performance being no exception. Flynn’s passion during ‘Darkness Within’ cannot be compared to anything: it’s pure heavy metal at its best, which is the perfect way of describing this band as a whole. They close the show with ‘Imperium’, quickly returning for not one, but two fantastic encores. The first comprising of ‘Aesthetics of Hate’, ‘Game Over’ and ‘Block’, and the second (of course) being ‘Halo’ which even gets those sitting upstairs out of their seats.
There was confetti, smoke machines, old tunes, new tunes, calm, chaos and everything in between. When Machine Head promise an evening with them, they do not disappoint. They always return here sounding bigger and better than the last time, and tonight is no different. The metal veterans returned and blew us all away once again: Machine F*****g Head can do no wrong, and their next Dublin show is already highly anticipated.
Review by Shauna Collins