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SHOW REVIEW: MOTORHEAD, CLUTCH, VALIENT THORR, The Fillmore Charlotte, NC 2010-03-05

by on Mar.10, 2011, under news


The Fillmore
Charlotte, NC

Do you know how long it has been since Motorhead played in the South? Longer than I’ve lived here I’m fairly certain. I know this because I had to travel to NYC to see them a few years ago. It has something to do with the fact that Motorhead plays to tens of thousands in Europe and just thousands here and apparently less in the South. Lemmy is not willing to take a hit to the wallet to play to smaller crowds so they don’t tour the South, or so I am told.

Well, hell must have frozen over, pigs have grown wings, Democrats are in the White House, or Elvis rose from the dead. Whatever the reason, the South got a couple of Motorhead shows finally.

The Fillmore in Charlotte is a nice venue, it’s been open a year I believe and the décor and layout is nice. The bar staff have received numerous complaints I’ve heard since day one about being slow. This was my first experience at the venue and I am sad to say that the reports of slow bar staff are not exaggerated. There is a bar in the back corner that had a line ALL THE WAY ALONG THE BACK WALL OF THE VENUE. No lie, the line stretched the length of the venue! The bar I was at had four lines for two bartenders and took me 30 minutes for a bottle of water. So, if you do go to the Fillmore in Charlotte North Carolina be sure to get your drink and hydration on before you get there.

The opening act is a band you have hopefully heard of already, VALIENT THORR. If not, please, do yourself a favor and go pick up a CD or two of theirs and familiarize yourself with one of the best balls out Rock & Roll bands slugging it out on the road today. I could spend the majority of this review on Valient Thorr’s set alone. It was that strong. When was the last time you saw an opening act jump into the pit to get the audience to get down on their knees with him and ‘throw their energy at the stage’? Hell when was the last time you saw a Motorhead crowd be won over by an opening act? Sure Charlotte was almost like a home town show for the boys who crash landed in Chapel Hill North Carolina, but this was a Motorhead crowd first and foremost and a Clutch crowd second. Based on the response from the crowd when the band took the stage, third place was far behind second by at least a thousand people. But come the end of their set and damned if the boys in VT didn’t have the crowd screaming along with them and howling their appreciation at them.

I thought CLUTCH was kind of an odd support act for Motorhead. Known for their stoner rock style jams and sometimes semi laid back sound I wasn’t sure they’d come across well to a Motorhead crowd. I figured if anything the Clutch guys would pull out their hardest, fastest, and heaviest tunes to try and ‘keep up’. Well, silly me, Clutch is Clutch. And Clutch will do what Clutch will do. And not only did they NOT play their hardest, fastest material, just to prove me wrong they grooved for most of their set. And from what I could tell the crowd didn’t mind at all and rocked the hell right out with them, I’m not sure because it was the first Clutch show I’ve seen in a long time that I could really enjoy without distraction as I was not working. So I was up in that shit and loving it.

Jesus, what can you say about a Motorhead show? I mean if you’ve never been, then you must be strongly cautioned to bring hearing protection. Not that it helps. I had professional plugs in, and it STILL HURT to be in front of the PA, and I was at the sound booth with at least 1,000 people between me and the PA!
I wrote a review of the first time I saw them 6 years ago in NYC, and said then that while I was never a big fan, I enjoyed their music at times. I just never got that whole ‘Lemmy is God’ thing. Until they took the stage, and Lemmy grunted out the opening to every Motorhead show for who knows how many years now, ‘We’re Motorhead, and we play Rock & Roll!’ The band launches into the opening song and your jaw hits the floor. Just as your ears begin to bleed from the insanity inducing pummeling they’re taking from the loudness of the PA. Motorhead gives you everything you could want in their set. They play the standards, the hits (well maybe not hits per se, but the most famous and popular Motorhead songs), and a dose of the latest album they are touring for. And you’d think that with the volume being so loud that you wouldn’t be able to tell what the hell song it was so who cares what they are playing, well, you’d be wrong. Considering that the sound level had to be that of 2 jets taking off in close quarters simultaneously (or LOUDER!), you could hear Lemmy over the roar crystal clear. Ok, so as crystal clear as Lemmy ever is. His voice is there laying on top of it all, even if you aren’t sure what he is saying to begin with.

Like I said, you get everything you could hope for from a Motorhead show. Ace of Spades, Killed by Death, The Chase Is Better than the Catch, and Overkill, along with the new stuff off Motorizer and The World Is Yours. You get one of the legendary frontmen of all times, the savagely underrated guitar work of Phil Campbell, and the Animal antics and brutal drum sound of Mikkey Dee. And even if you DO use hearing protection, you still walk away with just a little less than you had when you came in. But, that’s a Motorhead show, it is LOUDER THAN EVERYTHING ELSE, it is the loudest spectacle in Rock & Roll. And hopefully it will be returning to the South again very soon.

Pictures used courtesy of Stageshotz Photography
For more VALIENT THORR click here.
For more CLUTCH click here.
For more MOTORHEAD click here.

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LEMMY documentary official trailer now online

by on Oct.01, 2010, under news

A new trailer for “Lemmy“, the long-awaited documentary examining the life and career of MOTÖRHEAD frontman and rock icon Lemmy Kilmister, can be viewed below.

Lemmy” premiered in March 2010 during the South by Southwest at the historic Paramount Theatre in Austin.

Lemmy” directors/producers Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski spent three years following Kilmister around the globe — from his Hollywood home to the hockey arenas of Russia.

Lemmy” features appearances by such high-profile Kilmister friends/peers as METALLICA, Dave Grohl, Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, Billy Bob Thornton and pro wrestler Triple H.

Hailed as a godfather of heavy metal, 64-year-old Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister has established himself as the living embodiment of rock and roll over the past four decades. After stints with popular Mersey beat band THE ROCKIN’ VICKERS and influential psychedelic rockers HAWKWIND, and even a brief time spent as a member of Jimi Hendrix‘s road crew, Lemmy formed MOTÖRHEAD in 1975.

Going on to record such influential metal classics as “Overkill“, “Ace of Spades” and “Bomber“, the Grammy Award-winning MOTÖRHEAD and Kilmister‘s fusion of punk and metal registered a major influence on such bands as METALLICA, GUNS N’ ROSES and NIRVANA.

2010 marks the 35th anniversary of the birth of MOTÖRHEAD, which features Kilmister, guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee.

For more MOTORHEAD click here.

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