Metal Jerry would have been proud.
Metal Jerry is a guy that used to frequent Co-Op Records, the little indie record shop I worked at for several years. He was what I consider to be the quintessential heavy metal fan — it is ALL about the music to him. He would come to the store with his little rough Satan-goatee, leather jacket and black heavy metal t-shirts and order up some of the most obscure, scary cover-having, unpronouncablely-named stuff you can imagine. If it was a good day, you might get to see the tattoo on his arm. Homemade for sure, its tattoo-blue letters about 1″ high said simply one thing in a totally in-ornate script: METAL. Below it was an upside-down cross. That pretty well sums up the attitude.
I must say that the crowd was just as I thought they would be. Hardcore heavy-metal fans. Beards, black metal band t-shirts, leather jackets. No poseurs that I could see. 95% males. A few homemade tattoos on arms and you get the picture.
There were three opening bands. The first of which was Slunt, a NY based 4 piece with two ladies. They indeed rocked hard, especially with their cover of Romeo Void’s “Never Say Never.” (Memories of rewinding my family’s dubbed copy of the movie Reckless to hear that song over and over came back to me all at once.) The guitars were Gibson SGs, so a favorable nod is definitely in order. Apparently the orginal bass player quit — the new player, Ilse, had been in the band for all of two weeks. I bought their EP.
Then there was Zeke, a thrash-metal band of a certain intensity; they did a Minor Threat cover and generally tore shit up.
Corrosion of Conformity followed–their new vocalist was not like the COC I loved. I used to be a big COC fan, but this new dude just makes them like yet another Sabbath cover band.
Some other bands were playing in the 7th Street Entry, so I was able to escape the main-stage pain to see the Twin City Howlers. I know a guy in the band, and they kicked a great bit more ass than COC could think of doing. Stripped down 4 on the floor rock. Loved it.
I went back into the First Ave mainroom and in about two minutes Motörhead came on and taught everyone a fucking lesson. It was a sight to behold. Mikkey Dee, the drummer had some serious rock chops for sure. At one point Lemmy says to the audience “This is from our new album. Have any of you bought it?” Shouts from the audience were affirmative, but Lemmy says “Well, not fucking enough of you have. Go and fucking steal it, I don’t care. I just want you to hear the music.”
They played “Love You Like a Reptile” and “Fast and Loose” from the renowned “Ace of Spades” album, plus the crowd pleaser of “Ramones.” Many other tunes that I am not familiar with were pounded out with a steeled rock fury that had to be witnessed to be believed. When Lemmy indicated that it was their last song, the crowd booed; he responded by saying, “Well, it isn’t really the last song. We will leave the stage and you will make a bunch of noise and we will come back and play some more, alright?”
The three tune encore opened with Mikkey Dee joining the guitarist, both with acoustics in hand to perform “Whorehouse Blues.” Lemmy even played some harp. Before they tore into the second tune, Lemmy sez “Are you ready? Well, here it comes.” Everyone was waiting, and the time had come. “Ace of Spades!” As heavy and powerful as I had hoped.
Los Lobos played a show at a theatre on the same block as this club, and they came in after a while; they stood watching from the side. I thought “Shit, is that Los Lobos?” It was. I went up and said to Cesar Rosas, “Los Lobos at a Motörhead concert. Cool.”