Concert review: Machine Head


The Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, OH – February 7, 2015

Machine Head roared out of the San Francisco Bay Area in 1994 riding a wave of institutional hype that, properly harnessed, could fell a great elk, and possessed of enough obvious, fiery musical potential to roast the sucker on the spot. The institution in question – post-boom, once again underground heavy metal – was a minor one, granted, but the hype, for an ostensibly lucky sub-subset of genre over-enthusiasts like us, was very real, and, in its reach and fervor, inescapable (and, eventually, fairly persuasive). I remember seeing banner ads and full page spreads touting Machine Head’s debut Burn My Eyes in relatively niche publications like Metal Maniacs*, while a younger friend of mine confirmed he first learned of the album’s existence in the pages of Guitar World. First listens, improbably, almost justified the hype. MH frontman/figurehead Robb Flynn cut his teeth as a guitarist in ‘80s thrash cult underdog Vio-Lence, but had an altogether grander plan for his new band, which, ideally, would combine the complexity and musicality of prime Metallica with the muscular groove and seething aggression of Pantera. Continue reading “Concert review: Machine Head”