Motorhead all business in Vancouver


photo by rebecca blissett


I should have known that I’d run into Metal Ron—the long-time cohost of CiTR Radio’s popular heavy-metal show Powerchord—at Motorhead on Monday (February 7). I should have also known that he’d still be reeling from the shocking news of Irish guitar hero Gary Moore‘s death the day before. Metal Ron was as big a Moore fan as they come, second only to me, and we agreed that it would be apt if Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister acknowledged the passing of his fellow hard-rock road warrior at some point during the show.

That didn’t happen, proof perhaps that Kilmister isn’t the most sensitive soul on the planet. Instead, one of rock ’n’ roll’s most famous bad-asses was more concerned with getting directly down to business, as has been his way for the last 36 years or so. The metal legend just strolled out on-stage, proclaimed “We are Motorhead, we play rock ’n’ roll,” and launched right into the first of roughly 20 rapid-fire blasts of punishing boogie-thrash. The trio also played one slower song.

To be honest—and when you’re reviewing a band as sacred as Motorhead, you’d best not fuck with the truth—I don’t know the titles of all their songs. But I do know the ones that really count, like “Ace of Spades”, “Killed by Death”, and “Iron Fist”, two of which they saved for the end. Before that, Motorhead rolled out some choice numbers as well, especially the scorching “Get Back in Line”, off the new The World Is Yours release.

After the raging “Metropolis”, a track from the band’s 1979 Overkill disc, guitarist Phil Campbell incited the sold-out crowd to scream as loud as possible, then Lemmy dedicated the next song to those who “made all the fucking noise,” which seemed only fair. “This one is from Motorizer, our previous album,” croaked Kilmister. “It’s called ‘Rock Out With Your Cock Out’.” It’s actually just called “Rock Out”, but Lemmy gets to call it what he wants.

They say that a rock band is only as great as its drummer—and if they don’t say that, they should. Motorhead’s Mikkey Dee is the type of powerhouse skinbasher who gives his all on every song, and he pulled off an extended solo that could only be described as Peart-worthy. So what if Dee—to his own dismay—missed catching his flicked drumstick at the very end of it? Everything before that fuck-up was fine.

“This is a song from 1983, before you were born!” bellowed Lemmy while introducing “I Got Mine”, a track from arguably the best Motorhead album, Another Perfect Day. That disc boasted the six-string talents of Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson, whose position was filled in ’84 by Campbell and co-guitarist Wurzel, whose umlaut was added for heavy-metal effect at Lemmy’s insistence. (Man, that guy really gets his way!)

After the aforementioned showstoppers, 1984’s “Killed by Death” and 1980’s “Ace of Spades”, the trio was called back, and encored with their closing staple, “Overkill”. “Don’t forget us, all right?,” hollered Kilmister as the last strains of feedback faded away. “We are fucking Motorhead!”

Yes, yes, we know who you are Lemmy.

We’re deaf now, thanks to you, not dumb.

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