Three words to sum up Motörhead’s last Montreal Metropolis show: Loud. Loud. LOUD.
Notorious for having the loudest shows in rock’n’roll, I was well prepared! With my high db ear plugs snuggly lodged in my ears to protect what remains of my hearing, I began to make my way into the press-pit to snap a few shots.
The air was electric. The audience was on its feet and the excitement was palpable as Motörhead ripped through their first song. Did I mention that it was loud? As I walked past the PA the sheer volume blew my left earplugs clean out of my head. I laughed to myself, NOW it’s a Motörhead show, I thought.
One might expect that such extreme volume would compromise the quality or clarity of sound. I, myself thought that it would likely sound muddy at times, but was thrilled to be proven wrong. I don’t know how they did it, but they managed to separate and define each instrument so well that we could hear everything. It was a modern-day audio-miracle!
The band was tight, and the set flowed from one song into the next. There wasn’t a whole lot of dialogue. Lemmy addressed the audience cordially a couple of times, but the focus was definitely on playing as many songs as they could cram into that 100 minutes!
Lemmy’s performance was spot-on, and seemed almost effortless, like he could do it in his sleep. Through my zoom lens, I could really see into his eyes and I wondered what was on his mind. It seemed to me, for moments at time, Lemmy was a million miles away….but you’d never know it!
I knew that their bus had been delayed in their drive from Toronto because the highway was closed due to a fatal accident. They arrived at the venue hours later than they were supposed to. Maybe he was stressed and feeling a little road-weary? Whatever it was, it certainly didn’t hamper his performance or the show.
Mikkey was a blast to watch! He’s a powerhouse of a drummer who showed no signs of getting tired as the show pressed on. Mikkey is a true entertainer and it’s joyful to watch him play since he seems like he is truly enjoying every glorious minute of it! The show included a killer drum solo which highlighted just how articulate and skillful a player he is. If that wasn’t impressive enough, he later came out and played an acoustic guitar & high hats…I think Mikkey probably bleeds music notes. He brings an enthusiastic, playful energy to the band.
Phil couldn’t hit a bad note if he’d tried. He was so on, so in the pocket! His sound was clear and cutting and, quite simply he shone.
This trio of hardcore long-time musicians, promises a show that won’t disappoint! Together, they produce a torrent of contagious energy, and balls-out, ear crunching, in-your-face music…that you just LOVE to get carried away by.
Let’s hope they never stop!
Photo comments: You know it must have been one hell of a show when the debris includes several lost shoes, t-shirts and even someone’s PANTS!!!
-Review by Pamela Ashton