Mid way through their 40 year Anniversary tour, Motörhead, along with supporting tour mates Anthrax and Crobot, made the only New England appearance in Wallingford, Connecticut. I don’t very often go to shows in CT because there aren’t many shows there or at least not ones that I have an interest in. Since the now well publicized health issues of the one and only Lemmy, there wasn’t much of a chance that I was going to miss an opportunity to see the band on what could be, I hate to say, their last run.
Pennsylvania’s Crobot, opened up the evening and hit the stage at 7:30, much earlier than the venues stated start time of 8pm. Playing their brand of retro styled rock for a quick thirty minutes, they went through about half of their new album ‘Something Supernatural’ and was mostly received well.
After a relatively quick stage change, the legendary Anthrax was up next. For the most part their set hasn’t drastically changed in years and their “party time” thrash always goes over well with a crowd. The only surprise on the set list was Black Sabbath’s tune ‘Neon Nights’ which they covered on the tribute album, Ronnie James Dio – This is Your Life. Quite honestly I wasn’t sure how it would sound live but they pulled it off perfectly. Joey Belladonna sounds just as good as he did 30 years ago. Maybe he made a deal with the devil but he, and the entire band actually, sounded better than any of the times I have seen them in the last five years. After the Sabbath song, they changed out the banners which would now adorn the faces of Ronnie James Dio on one side of the stage and Dimebag Darrell on the other for ‘In the End,’ which was dedicated to them both. The banners changed back for the anthemic ‘Indians,’ which was to be the finale. Joey said they will have a new record out in 2016 so I’m sure Anthrax fans will be eager to get their hands on that.
After much anticipation, and maybe some trepidation, Mikkey Dee, Phil Campbell and Lemmy Kilmister walked onto the stage to screams and chants from the crowd. With the famous quote from Lemmy, “We are Motörhead and we play rock n’ roll,” they went right into ‘No Class.’ The support from the crowd was palpable as Lemmy did his damnedest to power through a set full of classics like ‘Ace of Spades,’ ‘Bomber,’ ‘Metropolis,’ and ‘Stay Clean,’ to name a few. Different from previous shows of theirs Phil Campbell was very talkative, taking to the mic between songs, and very animated during them as if he was doing everything he could to amp up the crowd. Each tune was noticeably slower and in the beginning it seemed that Lemmy was having a hard time keeping up. That was heartbreaking. His voice was clearly weak. As the set progressed things fell more closely into place though. That being said, with the health issues he is obviously fighting and the all too recent show in Austin, Texas where he had to stop playing altogether, I would have to say I was surprised how well he did. Lemmy really is a fighter and it is clear he is not slowing down. If it was anyone else I’m sure they would have given up and crawled into some hole instead of going on tour. Not Lemmy. He needs the crowd maybe as much and they need him. Maybe more. His tenacity proves he is in it for the long haul and is in it until the end. I truly hope he regains some strength back and that the end is far in the future. In any case, the crowd supported him through all of it. Motörhead fans are tenacious as well and won’t likely give up on Lemmy. They will, and should, go to their shows and support everything they do. I mean, it’s Motörhead. That’s what you do.