An Evening With Machine Head – Show Review, Tokyo, Japan

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It was An Evening With Machine Head.  I think this is the fifth time I have seen An Evening With (insert band name here) and it is well worth it.  Why?  Because you get to see, Machine Head in this case, play an assortment of songs they would never have time to play during a normal 75-90 minute set on any other headlining or festival tour.  The only problem with a tour like this is that you really have to like the band a lot to want to go see just them.  Sometimes a strong headlining act supported by decent bands is a nice package that makes the trip worth it.  Machine Head proved plenty capable of going it alone.  They rocked Tokyo’s Club O-East in the Shibuya district on 6 July 2015 for 2 ½ hours.

Surprisingly, Flynn and Co. did not open the set with a song from Bloodstone & Diamonds.  I kind of expected Now We die to start the show.  It seems the song was built for that with its intro and thrashy cadence.  I mean, they are supporting their new album; it makes sense to kick things off with a new song.  Instead, they began the night with Imperium, which worked out quite well.  It wasn’t until the third song we were treated to new material in the form of Now We Die…another crowd pleaser. 

Speaking of crowd pleasers; I was absolutely blown away by the audience’s reaction to Davidian, when they sang in unison and very loudly “let freedom ring with a shotgun blast!” It gave me chills!  It’s amazing how metal is really a universal language, a culture in and of itself.  Anything played from Burn My Eyes went over very well with the crowd and this old thrash metal guy.  And, for old thrash guys like me, Burn My Eyes was well-represented with three killer tracks.  Davidian was probably the moment of the night just with that one line alone.

The stage set up was pretty basic with some active lighting and red banners featuring the band’s logo.  No fire, no bombs, no dragons and shit like that.  While those things are fun, Machine Head just brought themselves and what seemed like 120 decibels of pure energy.  My ears were ringing by the second song and still now…three days later.  I am glad I brought ear plugs this time.  McLain was perched up higher than the rest so everyone could see him tear up the drum kit.

The venue had a capacity of 1,300 with a small balcony.  It was a wide open floor space which meant anyone in the house had a more intimate experience.  Again, the Japanese do things very orderly; calling in people by their ticket number.  It keeps from bottlenecks at the door.  There were coin-operated lockers inside as well which, if you ask me, is better than a cloakroom and should be a feature at every concert venue.  It’s nice to not have to hold on to my raincoat or the ¥3,500 shirt I bought on the way in.  After the show, I didn’t have to wait in line for the cloakroom.  Just use my key, grab and go.  Very efficient.

As the show raged on; crowd jumping, surfing, signing, screaming, and thrashing about; Machine Head played song after song covering their discography pretty well.  Flynn didn’t spend too much time talking to the crowd.  There were one or two speeches or stories, but for the most part, there weren’t too many breaks for the band; no encore.  This is the complete set list with the corresponding album.

Imperium – Through the Ashes of Empires

Beautiful Mourning – The Blackening

Now We Die – Bloodstone & Diamonds

Bite the Bullet – Through The Ashes of Empires

Locust – Unto the Locust

From This Day – The Burning Red

Ten Ton Hammer – The More Things Change…

This is the End – Unto the Locust

Beneath the Silt – Bloodstone & Diamonds

The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears – The Burning Red

A Thousand Lies – Burn My Eyes

Darkness Within – Unto The Locust

Bulldozer – Supercharger

Killers & Kings – Bloodstone & Diamonds

Davidian – Burn My Eyes

Descend the Shades of Night – Through the Ashes of Empires

Now I lay Thee Down – The Blackening

Aesthetics of Hate – The Blackening

Game Over – Bloodstone & Diamonds

Block – Burn My Eyes

Halo – The Blackening

Overall, it was a good representation of their material. The More Things Change was a bit under represented with just one song, albeit a great song.  I do love Take My Scars, Violate, and The Frontlines, but Ten Ton Hammer is killer live.  Supercharger was in the same boat with only one song, Bulldozer.  The focus was mainly on albums since Through the Ashes of Empires and also including their debut album Burn My Eyes.  Descend the Shades of Night and Darkness Within were nice breaks in the otherwise adrenaline rush that is a Machine Head show.  21 songs/2 ½ hours…An Evening With Machine Head will go down is a highly memorable experience.

For Gee Whiz info, the other “evening with” shows I have seen are Metallica (twice), Opeth, and Dream Theater.

Below is the after-show picture from Machine Head’s facebook page.

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About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on July 9, 2015, in Concert Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hands down, Machine Head are one of the best and most consistent live acts in all of metal. They’re doing an evening with show in a couple months in my neck of the woods, I don’t think I’ll be missing that.
    Great review and awesome you had a great time!!!!!

  2. MH still rocking for a long time. They produce a metal that everybody loves!
    Our bands needs to follow. They need to learn from them!!
    \m/

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