Splice Magazine

Licensed Publication of Splice Media Group

Machine Head

Tampa, Florida (November 14, 2018)

When California based metal stalwarts Machine Head announced a tour supporting their latest release Catharsis, excitedly fans knew a tour would follow. Then they let the world know that this would be their last tour with the current line-up. So, fans knew that this would be an event not to be missed. Their stop at The Ritz in the Ybor city section of Tampa FL. was like the rest of their tours, packed to hilt with passionate fans.
Walking into the venue, the first thing that stood out was the stage setup. With no curtain in place it was obvious there would be no supporting acts for the night as Machine Heads drum kit was setup high on a riser and their backdrops were set in place. The tour is billed as an “Freaks & Zeroes Tour An evening with Machine Head”. For the band, they eschew the usual package tours and support bands. They want an evening with just them and the fans. With a career that has spanned for 27 years they certainly have the catalog to pull off not only being the only band on the bill for the night, but also playing a show that runs anywhere between two and a half hours to three hours. As the fans poured in and grabbed the coveted spots at the rail, they were getting anxious for the show to begin and chants of “Machine Head” reverberated around the theater. When the lights dimmed, the crowd erupted in cheers as the band took to the stage. As they played the first few chords of “Imperium” all the fans knew this would be a great night for sure. As the set progressed, they played “Volatile”, “Now We Die”, “Beautiful Mourning”, “The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears”, “Take My Scars” and “Clenching The Fists Of Dissent”. As lead singer and guitarist Phil Dremmel was introducing “Darkness Within” he talked about how music joins us all and that singing a three-hour set can be hard on his voice. So, he asked the audience to help out with the whoa-whoa part at the end. When it came to that part of the song, on cue the audience took over brilliantly and Phil leaned back, taking it all in and beamed proudly. The night continued with Phil exhorting the crowd to make a giant circle pit, and the crowd gladly obliged. Everyone in the venue was loving the show Machine Head was delivering. Of course, they played favorites such as “Ten Ton Hammer”, “Is There Anybody Out There?”, “Locust”, “Davidian”, and “Aesthetics Of Hate”. From Phil Dremmel’s blistering guitar solo, to Dave Mclain’s thunderous drum solo, the band was firing on all cylinders while delivering a monstrous 23 song set from albums such as The Blackening, Bloodstone & Diamonds, and their latest release Catharsis. The final song of the night was one of their greatest “Halo”.
What a great night everyone had hearing some of Machine Heads finest material. While this may be their last tour together with this line up, they didn’t coast for a second and blew the roof of the place. Anyone that is lucky enough to catch this tour will definitely have some great memories of it. Be smart and if this tour stops anywhere near you take the drive to catch it before this opportunity is gone for good.

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Machine Head:

The Ritz Ybor:

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