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The Palace, Hollywood; 05/11/99

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It was a Tuesday night but the crowd at the Palace in Hollywood that evening just didn't give a damn. They were there to party.

A stunning mixture of leather-clad heavy metal fans and pink-haired punk rockers gathered to pay homage to one of rock's greatest all-time bands: Motorhead. But they got more than their money's worth (tickets were only $16.50) with a mostly terrific collection of opening acts.

The doors opened late and that meant the show started late. For openers SKARHEAD that was a good thing. The Palace was fuller than it might have been for the first of four bands. Skarhead played a terrific set of their New York hardcore that got the crowd moshing early. The band was lively and intense and their onstage persona - which mixed ska, rap, reggae and heavy metal - was irresistible. Their CD, "Kings At Crime" is in stores now (read our review by clicking here).

Next up was the much ballyhooed HATEBREED. Hatebreed played with brutal intensity, blasting forth demon-growl vocals and explosive guitars and drums. The band was fast, lean and mean. But - despite the fact the lead vocalist kept saying "This next song is about. . ." we couldn't tell where one song ended and the next began. The audience didn't seem to mind. They became a moshing porridge during the Hatebreed set and over half of them offered up the sign of the devil when Hatebreed screamed "Show me the horns!" Of course, half of them didn't. Hatebreed's set wasn't really much more than a brutal celebration of rage.

Although Motorhead has often been called a punk rock band in the popular press, it only took a few moments of the DROPKICK MURPHYS' performance to figure out who the punk rockers in the audience were here to see. The Dropkick Murphys delivered a devastating wall of punk rock fury - a cross between the Ramones and the Sex Pistols with a little Sinhead O'Connor thrown in for good measure. The band was awesome and the crowd writhed beneath them like worms thrown in a hot skillet.

Finally, just after 11:00PM, Motorhead took the stage. What can we say? We've seen Motorhead live maybe a dozen times and they have yet to disappoint. Blasting through a set of songs - most of which appear on their new live album, "Everything Louder Than Everything Else" (click here to read our review) - Motorhead once again proved why they survive where others have not. Each and every tune - including stuff as new as "Love for Sale" from "Snakebite Love" to stuff as old as "Ace of Spades" was played with typical Motorhead overdrive and the band was tighter than hell. Unfortunately, the band didn't think the audience was "up" enough for the performance and often said so. But the reason wasn't that the audience wasn't into Motorhead's performance, it was that they were drained from the three opening acts before. Regardless, that didn't stop the mosh pit from exploding into its most furious rage of the entire evening during the band's trademark "Ace of Spades" encore.

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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Oct 2019 11:48:57 -0400.