From Aural Innovations #20 (July 2002)
"Hatred is purity, weakness is disease"
After the band ended their set, I bought their latest CD and a European '97 tour shirt off the drummer, album artist and Voivod main man, Away (Michael Langevin) after the show, who otherwise proved to be quite talkative. Some local blackmetal band had opened the show, they were okay I guess, a crowd of very 'gothic' looking fans from outside the city had attended the spectacle just for them, but Voivod were completely insane and obviously the main attraction despite a very small stage for a band of their reputation. It's not too often you see so many mohawks pogoing or dreads popping up amongst your otherwise typically long-haired metal crowd, though a freak speed/thrashmetal act like Voivod more or less crossing over into hardcore or punk under the lack of anything else is more than obvious anyway. It was a great fucking night overall, and I didn't get too hammered, anyway.
More or less driven by that current superfast and pumped-up robotic bleach-blonde Swedish barbarian drummer who hammers through Motörhead's reportoire these days, their live energy today as ever probably being only comparable only to such latter day metal explosions like Bathory's "Armageddon" as a blistering tribute to a Motörhead classics like "Bomber", or the brutally breakneck-speed hardcore of early Discharge or the punk debauchery of Chaos UK owing some debt to Motörhead's "Overkill", a brand of heavy metal only to be belted out and equalled by someone like Judas Priest in their prime, a leather and spikes S&M metal-garage aesthetic forged with Larry Wallis' mid-70's Pink Fairies stint previous to Motörhead forming from the ashes of the Fairies and the remnants of Hawkwind in 1975. The band live today, as always exploding in a blitzkrieg of purely distilled rock'n'roll from the first moment Lemmy strums his bass to the very end of the usual two hour shows, Motörhead ultimately defining the pinnacle of classic British heavy metal, as dedicated headbangers are continuously being baptized in their shimmering and immortal rock'n'roll pyrotechnics and blistering white noise. Truly, Motörhead remain without a single doubt an essential band to experience live, regardless of whenever they next invade your area.
Out of all the supporting acts, of which there must have been 5 or 6, I only seem to recall the pleasant psychedelia of Finally Balanced to be quite nice, while the awfully symphonic disaster idiot-progrock theatrics of Braindance was quite unbearably dreadful. However, after several Hawkwind classics like the rocked-out and radical garage-punk of "Urban Guerilla", the classic space-boogie of their massive '72 hit single "Silver Machine", their extended tranceout ode to hash and hashishins, "Assasins Of Allah", or the industrial drone and SF lyrics of "Robot", while at the very end, Hawkwind closed with a massive extended jam freakout, the soaring psychedelic instrumental "LSD" off 1992's "Electric Tepee" CD, proving that yet another mindblowing experience had been excercised on the mind, quite flawlessly too. Hawkwind always seem to have a great lightshow no matter what, in spite of limiting venue sizes, and it was nice seeing them in full blown action and performing at such a large venue for so many people. In fact, not having seen the Hawks play since Oslo, Norway, '91, it was quite a personal "return to form" on a Deadhead-type level, having also since acquired an excellent tape of the Limelight '95 show as well.
Anyway, I eventually got to stand way up front with my beer so I could zone out to the fantastic lightshow. Some guy was filming the gig there, bathing in all the colors. The barefooted mainman, Edward Ka-Spel's feet really stunk, unless it was just his body odor, as he was really sweating out the lyrics in the blistering heat of the strobe and swirling kaleidoscope of lights. I didn't know any of the songs at the time, but it kicked ass nonetheless, Ka-Spel sometimes sauntering over to twiddle a second synthesizer facing Silverman's keyboard, the generally playful and mystical psychedelia building to a sinister climax or extending into longer spacerock jams. The band had an excellent sax player as well, casting himself as a similar figure to someone like Nik Turner. The high point of the night had to be the song about Y2K which was very theatrically performed, at the end everything violently crashed into a blistering chaos of electronic and metallic noise, gradually dissolving into stray blips and random signals seemingly flung into space after the band had left the stage.
Indeed, not forgetting, the opening one-man band featuring the Canadian drummer Ryan Moore was so over-the-top bizarre I almost had multiple acid flashbacks, the guy sounding like an improvised dub-reggae butchery of The Ozric Tentacles as conducted by a mad drummer fronting as a comedian of sorts, playing with these maddening noise gadgets and strutting about in a red feather boa.
Eventually, after The Legendary Pink Dots had shadowly sauntered off the stage in a mist of smoke and lights, I had my last beer of the night, sticking around for abit to watch the crowds and browse some merchandise, despite being completely broke, having only enough for the bus fare home. I was quite shockingly very surprised to see a colleague of mine from work there, revealing himself as a diehard The Legendary Pink Dots fan of many years. It was a bit strange that I didn't already know he was a fan, as I would have asked him about the band or about going to the show, had I thought of asking him at work earlier the same day, but he was there with his girlfriend, carrying out some kind of survey or something for the band's mailing list. I eventually left the venue in a very unnatural, though comfortably elated haze, and have since become something of a fan, I suppose.
Reviewed by Charlie Yuga