Jan. 25, 2011
House of Blues, Anaheim
Challenging Keith Richards for the title of hardest-partying rock star alive, Lemmy Kilmister continues to tour and rock audiences across the world. Motörhead show no signs of slowing down or lowering the volume. They are touring behind their 20th studio album, The World Is Yours, which follows their patented hard-and-fast formula.
With his microphone characteristically angled nearly above his head, Kilmister unleashed his trademark gravelly vocals for the fury of “We Are Motörhead.” Just like a classic muscle car, Motörhead were slightly rusty, but they warmed up quickly to top speed. The rust included some technical difficulties with Kilmister's bass, but all were quickly remedied by the third song of the set.
The molten sonic sludge of “Metropolis” poured over the crowd at punishing volume, with Kilmister's Rickenbacker booming bass backed by Phil Campbell's screeching guitar leads. Since it was the beginning of the tour, Kilmister quipped that his voice might last the whole show; he then launched into “Over the Top.” The crowd didn't need any inspiration to mosh during “Rock Out,” and the security guards had to step in to snatch up crowd-surfers.
Summoning up a concert mainstay from the '80s, a spotlight shined on Campbell as he ripped into an extended guitar solo. Dipping back to their prior album, Motorizer, “The Thousand Names of God” barreled along like a runaway freight train. Kilmister was in a good mood, jokingly introducing “I Got Mine” as a song from 1983, which predates the birthdays of a good percentage of the audience members.
“In the Name of Tragedy” was classic Motörhead, as it blended elements of punk, thrash, metal and rock seemlessly into one dynamic punch in the face, with Mikkey Dee bashing away at his drums. Worthy of the price of admission alone, “Ace of Spades” was flawless and nearly burned down the house. Angry mob chants brought out the beloved rock idols for an encore of “Overkill” that Kilmister prefaced by stating “Don't forget us. We're Motörhead, and we play rock & roll.” A band like Motörhead will not be forgotten.
Opening for Motörhead is no easy task. It helps immensely if you rock as hard as Valient Thorr. The North Carolina natives joined Motörhead on their last tour and are no strangers to their feisty fans. Lead singer Valient Himself was a Tasmanian devil of energy buzzing around the stage and tearing through numbers such as “Sleeper Awakes” and “Habituary.” Valient Thorr had a lot of local support from their Costa Mesa-based record label Volcom. Make sure to get to the show early to see them shred.
Personal Bias: If I played bass, it would be a Rickenbacker.
Crowd: Tons of black shirts and a multitude of Motörhead ones.
Overheard In the Crowd: “I can't believe they didn't play 'Sacrifice' during the encore!”
Random Notebook Dump: Kilmister probably went directly back to the Rainbow Bar and Grill in Hollywood after the show.
“We Are Motörhead”
“Over the Top”
“One Night Stand”
“The Thousand Names of God”
“I Got Mine”
“I Know How to Die”
“The Chase Is Better Than the Catch”
“In the Name of Tragedy”
“Just 'Cos You Got the Power”
“Going to Brazil”
“Killed By Death”
“Ace of Spades”