Man can’t live on electronic music alone. On Saturday we checked out Motörhead at Roseland here in NYC. This review is to be read only by the headstrong!
English rock legend Lemmy Kilmister founded Motörhead in 1975 and remains a triple threat, even as he approaches his 63rd birthday in December. He can still sing (mostly), play a nasty fuzzed-out bass and rock a trademark moustache. Saturday’s show at Roseland was in support of the band’s twentieth studio album, Motörizer. But let’s be honest: nearly everyone was there to bear witness to one of the forefathers of heavy metal, not listen to songs from the new album.
Motörhead lived up to its reputation as one of the loudest, heaviest bands on the planet. For much of the show Lemmy stood stoically in front of his mic, attacking his bass with a pick as he belched out song after song (some were hardly four minutes long). Meanwhile, guitarist Phil Campbell continuously prowled the stage, while drummer Mikkey Dee pumped out beats that would make Animal from The Muppets blush.
When the new songs were met by polite applause from the audience, Lemmy chastised the crowd: “Don’t think you’re too cool, New York!” But it was all part of Lemmy’s masterplan, because the trio soon launched into classics “Killed By Death” and “Overkill.” Even the politically charged “Just ‘Cos You Got The Power (That Don’t Mean You Got the Right)” sounded fresh and relevant. The classic songs sent a mix of older rockers and younger fans into head-banging mode and bodies were flying in the air. All hell had broken loose!
The encore, the acoustic number “Whorehouse Blues,” was soon countered by a ferocious rendition of “Ace of Spades,” which nearly sent Roseland off its foundation. Just before the threesome launched into the final song, Lemmy addressed the crowd with his famous closing line: “Don’t forget us New York. We are Motörhead, and we play rock ‘n’ roll!” When the song was done, Lemmy propped up his bass against his amp stack so it could let out a ferocious din of feedback and exited the stage. He’ll do it all over again tomorrow night, just like he’s done for the last three decades. Could rock ‘n’ roll be a fountain of youth?
Words & images: Darren Ressler
Special thanks to Andrew and Eddie for the photo pass!