British band Heart of a Coward were first up – going on stage just a couple of minutes after the doors opened, so very few fans were there at the start of the set, and since their set was a ridiculously short 15-20 minutes, the venue wasnt exactly busy by the end of the set. Happily they didnt let that bother them and concentrated on blasting out the four songs they had time for and doing their best to impress the fans that were there. I have to say they did a great job, and although there’s a bit too much of a hardcore sound to their music for my taste, the other influences did keep it enjoyable. A damn good heavy set to start the night off well.
Heart of a coward setlist:
Darkest Hour came next and turned up the volume and power as they put in a solid heavy and totally unmemorable performance. They really did fail to impress me I’m afraid – I think Heart of A Coward should have swapped places with them as Darkest Hour simply weren’t as enjoyable in my opinion.
Finally it was time for Machine Head. I’d heard reports from friends who attended the previous night’s show that they’re on fire at the moment and they certainly weren’t wrong there. Holy shit they were good tonight. Impressively they’re not doing the same set every night of the tour, so fans who attended both nights at the Roundhouse got to see a different set each time.
They kicked off with “Imperium” and for the first part of the set, pretty much stormed through song after song, and it was only after “Night of the long knives” that there was much talking, as Rob Flynn gave a long talk to the crowd with the occasional guitar strum between sentences while the rest of the band had a five minute break.
With it being a day short of four years since the death of Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell, tonight we were treated to a Pantera tribute. Mike Carrigan from Darkest Hour joined them on guitar for “Fucking Hostile” before they moved on to a medley of a number of Pantera tracks which included “Cowboys from hell” and “Walk” amongst others. It was one of those moments in a gig you’re grateful to have witnessed – absolutely superb stuff.
As at any Machine Head gig, there were regular chants of “Machine Fucking Head” from the crowd before the band came on, and occasionally during the set in any gaps. Large circle pits are pretty inevitable too, and we got plenty of those tonight as the crowd absolutely loved the gig.
If you get chance to go and see Machine Head on this tour, do it – they are in superb form at the moment and it’ll be a gig well worth watching. I thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s set, and having seen the setlist for the previous night, would love to have done both gigs, but with the way they’re playing at the moment it doesnt matter where you see them or what they play, you’re in for a great night.
Machine Head setlist:
Now We Die
Bite the Bullet
From This Day
Ten Ton Hammer
Night of Long Knives
Killers & Kings
Sail Into the Black
Struck a Nerve
A New Level / Primal Concrete Sledge / I’m Broken / Mouth for War / Cowboys from Hell / Domination / Walk
Aesthetics of Hate