Machine Fucking Head blasted into New York City on the first night of February, and laid waste to Webster Hall with an epic performance of Burn My Eyes plus two hours of MH classics and covers.
Despite a ridiculously early 7pm start time, Webster Hall was packed to the brim for a solo Machine Head concert. Robb Flynn has refused to tour with other bands for years now, and Saturday’s full floor proved he’s earned that right. He and the newest iteration of his band ripped through a dozen Machine Head thrashers like “Imperium,” “Beautiful Mourning,” and Dimebag tribute “Aesthetics of Hate” while fans drank, smoked, and bashed around the circle pit to the grinding guitars and hate-filled vocals.
But the vibe jumped from 9 to a million when the opening notes of “Hallowed Be Thy Name” rang out and the band unleashed their epic Iron Maiden cover. The pot smoke grew thicker for follow-up “Halo,” building to a crushing climax before giving fans a 10-minute break to catch their breath.
The night’s second set was Burn My Eyes, and goddamn did it deliver. Original members Logan Mader (guitar) and Chris Kontos (drums) joined Robb to celebrate their debut album, and ripped into a “Davidian” that sounded as fresh and brutal as it did back in 1994. “Old” and “A Thousand Lies” brought the album to life in all its post-thrash, slowed down glory, track by fiery track.
The band took an unexpected detour after fan-favorite “I’m Your God Now,” re-energizing the crowd with a Metallica run through: “Sanitarium,” “One,” and “Creeping Death,” and topping the un-toppable with “South of Heaven” and “Raining Blood.” After that mind-blowing detour into Slayer-land, album closer “Block” almost felt out of place.
Not many bands can pull off “An Evening With,” but with a discography as deep as Machine Head‘s and not one but two badass backing bands, Robb and his boys were more than worth three hours of headbanging, horn-throwing, whiskey-pounding time.
Machine Head‘s Burn My Eyes 25th anniversary tour runs through the end of February. All remaining dates are here.
Check out our gallery from the show below
All photos by Elliot Levin