I have been a fan of Machine Head since before the ” Burning Red ” album was released. That CD release show was one of the first shows I have ever attended at Pop’s Concert and Nightclub in beautiful, sunny Sauget, IL. Its hard to believe its been over 10 years since that day or summer. A lot has changed, new albums, new haircuts, new groupies and a lot has stayed the same. Hard fucking music brought to you as only Machine Head can. Brutal, unforgiving and in your face. When Robb Flynn and Co. decided to bring a winter tour to St. Louis and I couldn’t help but go. Oh the memories.
A show prior to this my car battery died completely, oh well thats what happens when you drive, shit breaks. So with my battery being shot, I decided to call and try and find a ride. It wasn’t hard, one of my good friends and die hard St. Louis Metal fan Matt decided to be nice enough to give me a ride to the show. Before heading out we grabbed a few Schlafly Pale Ale’s as a gift for the band Darkest Hour. Schlafly is a great St. Louis brewer and they make exceptional beer, they also sponsor great music and events. After grabbing a few beers myself we rolled towards Pop’s in search of good times, strippers and music.
We found all 3 numerous times upon entering Pop’s glorious parking lot. After finding a spot next to the buses we had to wait a whole 5 minutes before Lonestar from Darkest Hour came outside. My friend Matt and him chatted about the weather, beer, and music in a 3 minute chat. They kept it brief as Darkest Hour was to hit the stage in less than an hour and it was 22 degrees in St. Louis with a breeze that kills. I had killed a few beers by this time and I was hoping I could have a couple more inside. Well the math wasn’t right, I had 23 dollars the show was $22 day of show. Then someone asked me the magic question. Do you need a ticket they asked? ” Yeah how much ? ” I replied. When he told me 10 dollars I was super excited. Just what I needed more alcohol, and we were in.
It was your typical metal show, lots of black shirts featuring the words fuck and bitch. I made my way to the floor to watch Darkest Hour. They hail from Washington D.C and bring the metal all over this globe. They took the stage on time and wasted no time in putting on a show that sent those in attendance to see them to go crazy, my friend Matt included.
He hyped this band up quite a bit and they did not let down. They played ” The World Engulfed In Flames ” to open their set and played it with a raw intensity. It was a great start to what would turn out to be a great show.
Singer John Henry was very into his job at vocals working both sides of the stage, and never letting the shows energy to slip back down. He was a great front man to watch work the stage.
Darkest Hour has recorded 7 albums in the past 10 years and paid a lot of dues across America among other countries. They played a variety of songs off of their collection of albums. One that stood out in my mind being the first time seeing them live was, ” A Thousand Words To Say But One ” off of the 2005 release ” Undoing Ruin “. This song really showed how together these guys are as a group.
They played a incredible set, I really enjoy these guys and look forward to seeing them back in the future. On the way down to the show Matt told me the song ” Doomsayer ” changed the way he viewed music. I respect Matt’s opinion very much and that is a major statement. So we sat on the way to the show and listened to that song twice, and it was only right they would end with ” Doomsayer ” and left the crowd charged and waiting more.
After the brief set change, the lights went dark and the crowd once again rushed the floor. Up next from Southern California was Suicide Silence. A lot of people have negative things to say about this band. The handful of times I have met them or seen them live they have always rocked and treated me and other fans with respect. They brought a sizeable chunk of the crowd that night and the floor got crazy when they started off the set with ” You Only Live Once ” which is off of their latest release ” The Black Crown “.
After first seeing them in 2008 at some local club that was packed to the walls, I have seen them countless other times over the years. They always put on a great show and take performing seriously. Lead singer Mitch Lucker loves his circle pits and would call for one almost every song to which the crowd was happy to help. It was great seeing half the crowd try for the circle pit and the other half sit there and wonder whats going on?
They had a good variety of songs during thier 40 minute set. Such as songs from the 2007 debut release ” The Cleansing ” such as the fan favorite ” No Pity For A Coward “. That got the hardcore Suicide fans revved up in a frenzy. They encouraged the crowd surfers that were flying over the barricade almost faster than security could catch them.
Towards the end of the set they still had the crowd eating out of their hands. After playing ” Smoke ” off of 2009’s ” No Time To Bleed ” album it was time for the metal show staple ” The Wall of Death “. It went over great as it normally does at Pop’s the crowd loved it and it got them to go even crazier than they were already. They followed that up with ” Disengage ” which is the last song on the ” No Time To Bleed ” album.
After Suicide finished their set, the anticipation grew as we waited for Machine Head to take the stage. The crowd chanted ” Machine Fuckin’ Head ” as the lights went out. They came out and rocked the song ” I AM HELL ” for the St. Louis crowd, red lights lit the stage giving even more feeling to the song. It was a great song to open with and people wasted no time in showing everyone else what Machine Head shows are all about.
” I Am Hell ” is a single off of the album ” Unto The Locust ” which was released in 2011. They continued the destruction with ” Imperium ” off of 2004’s ” Through The Ashes Of Empires ” which the crowd went crazy for screaming the chorus as loud as they possibly could. It seemed to get louder and louder and the show progressed.
This show reminded me of all the other great Machine Head shows I had seen here over the past decade or so. At one point frontman Robb Flynn told the crowd about the first time he came to Pop’s and how much he loved playing here, then he asked ” How many of you crazy motherfuckers are going to be here next time? ” It was obvious that they hadn’t lost any steps and that they will have a crowd in St. Louis for a long time to come.
I enjoyed the intro Robb did for the song ” Locust ” off of their latest effort ” Unto The Locust ” and they rocked it. The crowd was very into it and let them know it. During the next song ” This Is The End ” crowd surfers were flying everywhere.
After a Cheers with the crowd and waking the crowd up. Robb Dedicated ” Aesthetics Of Hate ” to Dimebag. It was a fitting tribute for a metal legend that deserves to remembered as much as possible.
The Drums were on point, Phil Demmel was ripping up some crazy solo’s on lead guitar. They had a great setlist featuring songs we have grew to expect at a Machine Head show.
“10 Ton Hammer” and ” Bulldozer ” got the great response that each should. Lot’s of bodies flying and slamming into each other, in the crazy pit that grew with each song.
Machine Head left the stage briefly after 60 minutes and 13 songs. They came back out to rock the crowd with ” Halo ” off of 2008’s album ” The Blackening ” and closed the set with ” Davidian” off of 2005’s album ” Elegies “. It was a great performance from a band that always delivers. MACHINE FUCKIN’ HEAD tore it down once again.
After Machine Head’s set, I sat and chatted about concerts, touring and life as of late with Mitch from Suicide Silence, he was just chillen, enjoying a Coor’s Light and the crowds company. He took time to sign autographs and take pictures with all of his fans left in attendance. It is cool to see people so eager to meet their fans. This show has a great lineup, each band has a great set and it is a great time. I walked out of Pop’s slightly drunk and ears ringing and headed straight to White Castle as I do after most shows. Go see this show, go support these bands and pick up some albums. ‘
Darkest Hour has ” The Human Romance ” and 6 other albums instores
Suicide Silence has ” The Black Crown ” and 2 other albums instores
Machine Head has ” Unto The Locust ” and 6 other albums instores
DARKEST HOUR SET LIST 01.17.2012 SAUGET, IL POP’S
The World Engulfed in Flames
Savor the Kill
With a Thousand Words to Say but One
Violent by Nature
Love as a Weapon
Your Everyday Disaster
Doomsayer (The Beginning of the End)
SUICIDE SILENCE SET LIST 01.17.2012 SAUGET, IL POP’S
You Only Live Once
Slaves to Substance
No Pity for a Coward
MACHINE HEAD SETLIST 01.17.2012 SAUGET, IL POP’S
I Am Hell (Sonata in C#)
Be Still and Know
The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears
This Is the End
Aesthetics of Hate
Ten Ton Hammer
Who We Are
Till Next Time.