Live: Motörhead @ Roseland Ballroom, 9/20

Music Reviews Motörhead
Live: Motörhead @ Roseland Ballroom, 9/20

“We are Motörhead, boys and girls. And we play rock ‘n’ roll.” With this simple statement of fact, fabled frontman Lemmy Kilmister opened the legendary British rock band’s set at the Roseland Ballroom, launching into a high-speed rendition of “Dr. Rock” that kicked off a night of fist-pumping, pretension-free thrash.

In their 45+ minute set, the British heavy metal band ran through almost all of the fan favorites including “Metropolis,” “Killed By Death” and “Overkill,” as well as the obligatory rendition of “Ace of Spades.” They even dusted off their acoustic guitars for an encore performance of “Whorehouse Blues.” And though Lemmy and the band seemed a little older and a little more sedate than their Overkill years, the night’s message was clear: No frills, no bullshit.

Well, maybe one frill: Before taking the stage, the band was introduced by Paul Michael Levesque, better known as the WWE’s Triple H. Walking on stage to his official entrance music (appropriately, Motörhead’s “The Game”), the reigning WWE champion declared that “In the world of heavy metal, there are legends, there are icons and then there are gods. Get ready to see the gods of heavy metal… fuckin’ Motörhead.” For a band that deals in excessive over-the-top rock ‘n’ roll swagger, Triple H’s appearance and introduction  more than lived up to the Motörhead legacy.


[Above: Phil Campbell and Lemmy Kilmister]

As Jeff Tweedy lamented earlier this summer, New York City crowds can be unenthusiastic and distant at times, victims of the New York too-cool mentality. But it wasn’t so last Saturday at Roseland. The drunken punks, drug-addled metalheads, and the dregs of society proudly crawled out of their holes (Jersey?) for The ‘Head and made their presence known. And as one concertgoer noted, this was one of the smelliest concerts in the history of smelly concerts. The usual suspects were in attendance: There were more than a couple Metal Dads at the show, with little decked-out Metal Toddlers perched on their shoulders with Motörhead and Misfits t-shirts. And of course, there was the drunken chain smoker, who took particular pleasure in punching the nearest hapless blogger in the chest for no discernible reason. All in a day’s work at a Motörhead concert.


[Above: Phil Campbell]

Related links:

Feature: Metal of Honor: Mastodon and Saosin
Motorhead – “Whorehouse Blues” on You Tube

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