There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Lemmy. After being down and out for a bit, Lemmy and Motörhead made their return to St. Louis without nearly a hitch. Now that we know that Lemmy is alive and well, let’s do a review of the show, shall we? While the boys in Motörhead have certainly had some longevity in the rock and roll business, 40+ years to be exact, they are not afraid to introduce the world to some up and coming talent. Crobot, a four-piece band from Pennsylvania, made their presence known with the first, opening slot of the evening. Due to a late arrival by this journalist there are no pics of the band but I will tell you these youngsters did their job properly. Crobot has the energy and sound of a young Rage Against the Machine with a touch of blues thrown in for good measure. Give their song “Chupacabra” and tell me you don’t hear a touch of Rage and I’ll call you a liar.
After giving the youngsters in Crobot a seven-song set, it was time for the OG’s of metal to take the stage. A large banner behind the stage proclaims "Saxon - Warriors of the Road", whoever named this tour certainly got it right. Just a mere 39 years old (nearly 80 in band years), Saxon continues to deliver a strong and satisfying product. Band founder, Biff Byford, still has the polished vocal cords and a band that thumps just as hard as they did in 1976. Songs like “Denim & Leather”, “Princess of the Night”, and “Never Surrender”, are some of the first metal songs I heard and still show up from time to time in rotation on my music devices. Personnel changes are eminent in a long career on the road but Saxon has made the adjustments and persevered as warriors of the road do!
An extended set by Saxon had the Motörhead faithful a touch worried that Lemmy might have fallen ill again, as the band has had to cancel a few shows due to some health concerns surrounding the 69-year old frontman. But have no fear, like a cat with nine lives, plus a few in reserve, Lemmy put his lips to his downward pointed microphone and unleashed these welcomed words, “How are you St. Louis? We are Motörhead, and we play rock and roll”. The true definition of a hard living, hard rocking, rock and roll bad ass, Lemmy has barely slowed down when most have fallen by the wayside. In a recent interview, he proclaims a switch from Jack & Coke to Vodka & OJ, you know to slow the progression of his diabetes, as I said, rock and roll bad ass! As well as Motörhead started off the evening, you could tell Lemmy was still in the recovery stage as he barely moved from his microphone but he still gave it all he had to make it through the hour and ten-minute set. Classics like “Damage Case”, “Metropolis”, and “Dr. Rock” found their way into the setlist. Strangely enough, no songs from their 22nd studio album, Bad Magic, were performed. I suppose we’ll catch those songs in ten years when they celebrate their 50th anniversary! Strong support from Lemmy’s long-time, right-hand men Phil Campbell on guitar and Mikkey Dee on drums (Dee’s drum solo is a thing of beauty), gave their aging leader the backing he needed. Just after “Ace of Spades” and before their encore of “Overkill”, Motörhead took an extremely long pause. This pause planted some seeds in my mind, 'Had Lemmy succumbed to the rigors of illness mixed with rock and roll? Were they encoring at all? Will this be the last Motörhead show?' What the hell was I thinking?!? It’s Lemmy for God sakes, and he plays rock and roll!
Thanks to Motörhead’s management for having us out and to The Pageant letting us in! Photos of the show are below:
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Motörhead / Saxon / Crobot @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 1:00:00 PM Rating: