Motörhead – Helsinki Ice Hall, Finland, on December 16th, 2008
Review and live pictures by Luxi Lahtinen
The legendary Motörhead, coming from London, England, doesn´t need any introductions whatsover. The band has become an institution itself of everything louder, everything heavier and everything dirtier. After several studio and live albums, numerous tours, consumed bottles of whiskey, years of rock´n roll live style spent on the road, Motörhead still keeps their motorized heart strongly pumping an elixir of life throughout decades – from one generation to another.
These British heavy rock legends, the loudest band on the face of the earth, finished their recent Europan tour in Helsinki on December 16th. They performed at the Helsinki Ice Hall in front of an almost sold-out crowd. Swedish doomesters Witchcraft and the ever-popular Finnish Viikate warmed up the audience for Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey.
Witchcraft was supposed to start their set at 7.30 as it was officially announced everwhere, but when yours respectively arrived to the venue, having a determinated intention to see them for the first time in my life, they were already finishing their own set. At that moment I was just thinking: “Fine… I wouldn´t have wanted to see them after all…”. B****hit! Needless to say I was somewhat pissed off (to say the at least) for missing their show. A big minus for the organizer for re-scheduling Witchcraft to start the set a half hour early. I´m sure many of the attendants felt a tiny stab of disappointment in their hearts.
As for Viikate, the band´s melancholic, Finnish-sung metal hasn´t ever turned my ears to their stuff – don´t know why? Maybe one Finnish-singing metal band is enough for me; others are just cheap copies of that ´one band´. While Viikate were playing, I thought this was a perfect moment to spend some time with an old friend of mine – bullshitting a little bit to each other, a cold beer providing some comany, too. We couldn´t help notice that at least 90% of all people that had arrived to see Motörhead at that night, were men. Many of them looked like they would have a membership in some infamous motorcycle club or something, and were actually much uglier than Lemmy himself, ha-ha! ;o)
Motörhead released their 20th studio album this year, so it was also locigally yet rightfully expected that at least a couple of songs from their latest album´s songs would also appear in this trio´s live set at that night. Well, they did only “Rock Out” off of MOTÖRIZER, which you can hear to be played in every more rock-orientated radio channel here in Finland all the time. MOTÖRIZER is overall a strong package of that familiar and yet very safe Motörhead style that we have used to hear from this legendary trio over the many years – much like from AC/DC. Both bands are known for their relatively simple, but very recognizable styles to play their loud rock´n´ roll music – yet these two bands have a very impressive back catalogue of studio albums, which partly obviously make it a bit harder for them to build up a set list for tours. Too many good albums and even more better songs to choose from, create quite a positive dilemma, I believe.
When Motörhead starts off their live show with “Iron Fist”, which surely is one of those most evergreen classic numbers ever, how could one possibly expect a bad show from them? Or maybe a better question might be: “Have you ever witnessed a bad show from Motörhead?” Well, neither have I. Motörhead have made about 30 concerts in Finland altogether, so they can really be considered as a pretty regular visitor amongst the drunken Finnish Motörhead fans. Surprise or not, this time didn´t make any exception either; Many Finns that had arrived to see their favorite British heavily rocking combo in action in Helsinki, seemed to be in a good spirit before the actual gig, by the power of alcohol, of course. If “Iron Fist” already set the mood of the night for a killer Motörhead show – and the next song “Stay Clean”, blew the audience into an absolutely right spirit to welcome loudly their British heroes to Finland. One couldn´t say aging would somehow have made these British grand old heavy rock icons to look lazier, or more tired in a live situation. With Lemmy´s whole charisma to take his audience, Mikkey´s merciless, nonstop beating behind his huge drum set and Phil´s easy-looking guitar mastering, they all provided a beautiful framework for a night to remember for. The band´s pure energy – and sort of ´we-don´t-give-a-fuck´ attitude, added with their generations uniting power of heavy rock sound, is quite an unbeatable match all in all.
Song by song, Lemmy and co. churned out such a memorable set of Motörhead tracks to the hungry Motörhead audience that simply no one could say afterwards the show Motörhead delivered at that night, wasn´t worth their every hard-earned cent. Such Motörhead plain mandatory classics as “Killed by Death”, “I Got Mine”, “The Chase Is Better than the Catch”, “Bomber” – and especially “Ace of Spades” and “Overkill” as the last two encores, pretty much summed up why some bands are just capable of keeping their motors going on for so many years – from one generation to another – while some others already get their engines coughing slime and blood in the middle of halfway ´til they are comletely finished. It´s actually easier to count on Motörhead´s never-failing charm of satisfying their fans than, let´s say, expect bands like Slipknot, or just any of these newer ´metal´ acts – especially loved by ´new age metal kids´, do the same for us, from one generation to the next one. Dads and their kids cannot be wrong as far as the greatness of Motörhead in general is concerned – just ask them!
Motörhead rocked our world splendidly again in Helsinki on December 16th 2008 – and ending the tour particularly to Helsinki, made the night even more special for us Finnish Motörhead fans. When Lemmy himself even threw a couple of words of praise and honor toward their Finnish Motörhead fans by saying: “What could be a better place to finish this tour than do it here in Helsinki because it´s always nice to visit to Finland and play for all of you crazy motherfuckers out there…” (well, perhaps not the exact right words what Lemmy said, but surely almost), how could possibly one argue about Lemmy´s skills about a true showman to make sure everyone leaves a Motörhead show a wide grin in his/her face. What a gentleman Lemmy truly is, too.
01. Iron Fist
02. Stay Clean
03. Be My Baby
04. Rock Out
06. Another Perfect Day
07. Over the Top
08. One Night Stand
09. I Got Mine
10. Guitar solo/1000 Names of God
11. The Chase Is Better Than the Catch
12. In the Name of/drum solo/Tragedy
13. Just ‘cos You Got the Power
14. Going to Brazil
15. Killed by Death
17. Whorehouse Blues
18. Ace of Spades
More pictures taken from Motörhead´s Helsinki show in December 18th 2008…