With the ‘An Evening with…’ tour passing through Greece, we were blessed with a unique opportunity: Enjoy a retrospective look at the career and impressive discography of a group that, at the moment, as far as tight performances go, can take on any other metal band in the world. 2-hour show, over 20 songs, no support bands, great sound, appropriate closed venues, musicians at hand’s reach. In a few words, we got to see a huge band in her prime, without having to stand for 5 hours at some foreign festival.
In the past, Robb Flynn had expressed some complaints about the crowd’s reaction to Machine Head when they last headlined Thessaloniki, 11 years ago. The fans that were at Fix Factory Friday night had no problem to reverse his opinion, cheering along and following the band on a journey of 21 years of quality heavy metal music. The whole show was an endless highlight, but I do want to mention ‘None but My Own’ (!), mine and McClain’s favorite song ‘This Is the End’, as well as ‘From This Day’, ‘The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears’, ‘Crashing Around You’ (!) and ‘Bulldozer’ from the band’s least appreciated period.
I was having a tough time imagining how the Thessaloniki show could be topped, but Machine (fucking) Head found a way. Their show on September 26th will go down in history as one of the best heavy metal performances ever in Greece. The band was once again on amazing form, spoiling us with a few welcomed surprises: What can I say about ‘Clenching the Fists of Dissent’, the opening track of the best metal album of the 00s, or about ‘Take Me Through the Fire’?
Flynn said it all in his speech before ‘Darkness Within’, and the crowd’s singing at the end of the song created an amazing moment that lifted the experience to a whole other level.
To summarize: A (vulgar) display of power.
Thessaloniki Setlist: Imperium, Beautiful Mourning, Now We Die, Bite the Bullet, Locust, From This Day, Ten Ton Hammer, This Is the End, The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears, None but My Own, Crashing Around You, Darkness Within, Bulldozer, Killers & Kings, Davidian, Descend the Shades of Night, Now I Lay Thee Down, Aesthetics of Hate, Game Over, Old, Halo
Athens Setlist: Imperium, Beautiful Mourning, Now We Die, Bite the Bullet, Locust, From This Day, Ten Ton Hammer, Clenching the Fists of Dissent, All Falls Down, The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears, Crashing Around You, Darkness Within, Bulldozer, Killers & Kings, Davidian, Descend the Shades of Night, Now I Lay Thee Down, Take Me Through the Fire, Aesthetics of Hate, Game Over, Supercharger, Halo
Photos taken from Machine Head’s Facebook page.