red lights


A different kind of rust

The Rave
Milwaukee, WI
Mar. 20, 2005
Motorhead Motorhead

Story and Photos by Matt Schwenke

Marking the thirtieth year of touring with their time-tested no-frills rock sound, Motorhead took the stage at the Rave and continued that tradition. Playing with all the lovely grit and rusted metal that has set them apart from the glam rockers who shouldn't be playing anymore, the members of Motorhead weren't wearing makeup, didn't dance around under fancy light set-ups, and most importantly didn't sound pathetic.
Motorhead The signs of aging were apparent on the faces of bassist and ront-man Lemmy Kilmister, guitarist Philip Campbell, and drummer Mikkey Dee, but close your eyes and the sound still screamed of a youthful energy. The set-list for the night didn't dwell on the popular songs of their past and even seemed to reflect the mix of people in the crowd-- a good mix of old and young. "Killers," off of the 2004 release Inferno, had a more modern rock sound that kids at the show cheered to, while songs like "Metropolis" and "Over the Top" gave the parents a chance to sing along and cheer to an old favorite.
Lemmy displayed an interesting quality as the front-man-- intimidating yet endearing. While in the middle of a heavier section of song, Lemmy often held a cold stare with an intense look that would make anyone get out of his way, but in the catchier parts of song, Lemmy would just smile and sort of bounce to the rhythm with Campbell roaming about the stage. Thanking the crowd numerous times for being lively and rowdy, Lemny gave off the impression that even if Motorhead were not together, you would be able to find him in some band, somewhere, playing his bass and singing his songs. Forget writing these guys off as the latest group of has-beens trying to make money off of one more tour, Motorhead made it this far by focusing on their trademark sound and not a trademark look (the trademark mole may have helped a little), and that has made all the difference. Just plain rock fits Motorhead like a glove, and the masters of rock looked comfortable in their attire and stage persona that did not include a pair of leather pants that just don't fit anymore.


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