Lunatic's Serenade

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House of Blues, Las Vegas
August 21, 2015

What a glorious evening to be tossed into a melting pot of heavy metal. An evening so loud and so brutal that I left the show battered and bruised. The night consisted of metal veterans Motörhead and Saxon burning up the stage with high energy and old favorites.

For over 40 years Lemmy and the boys have been lighting up stages all over the world. Saxon are no slackers either holding their own all these years and still going strong. Tonight at the House Of Blues in Las Vegas, Motorhead and Saxon bring along Crobot to rock the place and I am joined by my brothers Art, Steve and my good friend Adrian to get in on all the action!

Crobot, a band from Pottsville, PA, opened the show. They had fire, spunk, and were armed with a sound like Led Zeppelin on steroids mixed with grunge and jazz. The jazziness stemmed from the bassist plucking the strings at the bridge position to get more depth in the tone. The only other bassist I have seen do that was the late great Jaco Pastorius (Weather Report) also from PA. It was electrifying watching frontman Brandon Yeagley strut like the singer from The Black Crows hitting notes like Robert Plant and Bishop, the axe slinger, with a six beer grin enjoying the feedback of the crowd. Jake Figueroa, the bass player, hammering nails with head in his own world, and drummer, Paul Figueroa laying down some John Bonham beats. They had everyone in the palm of their hot hands by the second song of their eight song set. For a taste, check out their video for “Nowhere to Hide”.

Back in 1984 a friend of mine turned me on to this great metal band called Saxon. He played the cassette of their new record Crusader as he treated me to my very first few hits off a water bong. He gave me that cassette and I never stopped listening to them. I soon had a collection of Saxon’s music in my arsenal and was in seventh heaven when after 31 years I was finally front and stage left from a band I have waited so long to see.

They opened their set with the new song ”Battering Ram” and continued to slay the crowd with classics like, “This Town Rocks”, “Power and the Glory”, and “Wheels of Steel”. Biff Byford sounded just like he did 30 years ago on that warm September morning before school. This was my first time hearing these classics live and I hope it won’t be my last. The real kicker for me was the outrageous performance of my personal fave, the title track to the cassette I told you about, Crusader. This tune and all the others were flawless and the guitar solos were plentiful. Founding members Nigel Glockler pounded the skins, and Paul Quinn was on target with his solos. Newest member, Nibbs Carter nailed the bass parts to perfection. Said it before, and I’ll say it again, old dudes still know how to rock!

“We are Motörhead and we play Rock N’ Roll!!”

Speaking of rockers, our main man Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister turns 70 this year and he shreds on that custom Rickenbacker bass. As always, the first thing Lemmy says before playing one note is, “We are Motörhead and we play Rock N’ Roll!!” You could barely hear them for the shouting as they tore up the stage with the songs “Overkill”, “Metropolis”, and the heavy staple that put them on the metal map, “Ace of Spades”. It’s hard to believe Lemmy is 69 years old as he slams and gets down just as hard, fast, and better than some of the kids today. Together with the amazing guitar work from Phil Campbell (who has been with the band for over 30 years) and the insane drumming of Mikkey Dee, Motörhead speed-bagged the populace of the venue. Only once did they slow things down for a bluesy tune, after that it was back to the hardcore, dirty, in your face slug fest. The room was packed, the balcony was full, and the cheers from the many voices could probably be heard above the noise of the casino outside the venue.

During the last song I had enough of standing still and made my way to the pit. There I was, clutching my camera bag running the circle like some 20 year old kid. Lucky for me, the kids in the pit were pretty much spent it was a slow moving mosh.

Bad Magic, Motörhead’s new record, comes out August 28th, so save your tuppence and grab another installment of metal history in the making. Until then check out their new video (shown above).

Special thanks once again to Lola Rose for her support and to Mr. Lonn Friend for encouragement, enlightenment, and for simply taking time to hang out.

Tim Duran, HMS

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