Motörhead

support Jorn
author MST date 02/12/11 venue Skråen, Aalborg, DEN

After a couple of shows in Copenhagen it was finally time to attend a gig in good old Jutland. And who would be better suited for a relaxed evening than good ol' Motörhead! We did still have to venture north towards Aalborg though, but it's much closer to our location than Copenhagen. Earplugs in hand (Motörhead are famous for playing very, very loud) we entered Skråen in Aalborg, an old power plant that proved to be an ideal setting for a show like this. The sound was crisp, the size of the venue was very appropriate and the ride turned out to be way beyond worth it.

Jorn

Motörhead had brought the Norwegian heavy metal band Jorn with them on their The Wörld Is Yours 2011 tour, and although Jorn's power metal-esque sound is somewhat different from what the headliners play it seemed a good choice for a supporting act. The band is named after the frontman Jørn Lande, an extremely charismatic man who clearly loves playing his music. He would wander about on the stage with the microphone stand, making sure to reach every single person in the venue, and sing in a very distinct epic manner reminiscent of power metal singers. But it was very clear that Jørn Lande IS Jorn, because the rest of the band did next to nothing other than play the music. The bassist headbanged once in a while and at least moved his torso, but the guitarists stood almost completely still, and both the guitarists and bassist were entirely stationary throughout the set. Luckily Lande made sure that there was always something happening on stage, and since the frontman seems to be all this band is about I'm sure the fans were more than satisfied, because even those of us who didn't know the band beforehand were succesfully warmed up for Motörhead.

7

Motörhead

This December gig wasn't my first Motörhead experience; the trio played Wacken Open Air in 2009 and 2011, and I was there. But this was my first "intimate" Motörhead experience, if a 1400 people-gig can be called intimate. I wasn't expecting a lot though, I thought that Motörhead were the kind of band who give everything they've got at festivals and just let the routine take care of the tour shows. But I was very positively surprised. Opening with "Bomber" from 1979, the Englishmen kicked the doors open to one hell of an old school night.

The three members in Motörhead all perform in very different manners. Drummer Mikkey Dee is all over the place, his blond hair whirling in a constant headbang; guitarist Phil Campbell is chilling around the stage, walking all over his half of the stage but taking his time to get there while playing his groovy riffs; last but not least, mister Lemmy Kilmister on bass and vocals is the least active in the band. Lemmy is the living incarnation of the spirit of rock'n'roll, and by watching him you imagine the 35 years of drinking and rocking that has made him a tired 65-year-old. Standing under his signature raised microphone stand, he slaps out line after line on his groovy bass, but once in a while he ventures away from the stand to play next to Campbell. Between songs Lemmy would tell us things like: "You may be the smallest crowd on the tour, but you're definitely not the quietest" and "If you want us to play louder, raise your arms in the air". The crowd was partying hard and seemed to agree with me that what we were witnessing was pure and unadulterated rock'n'roll that you simply have to be an absolute pessimist not to enjoy. Campbell switched guitars a couple of times, the first time being right before "Metropolis". A couple of songs after the comment about playing louder, Lemmy dedicated "Over the Top" to the noisy ones in the audience, and to himself, a move that naturally had a positive impact on the crowd.

Halfway through the set the lights were dimmed, and Lemmy and Campbell left the stage so that Campbell could return wearing a hockey mask to play a solo as an intro to a song. But even after the solo, the song wasn't allowed to just finish because Mikkey Dee had something to prove as well and therefore he played a nice drum solo. After that song, the modern Motörhead logo which was hanging behind the stage suddenly fell down, revealing another banner behind it with the original Motörhead logo. Lemmy then announces that the following song will be the last, but ends by saying that we just have to shout to bring them back. During that song, "Killed by Death", Mikkey Dee put on an extra show as he threw around 15 drum sticks in the air one by one each time he hit the snare drum. After a few minutes of chanting "Motörhead! Motörhead!" it was time to slow things down with "Whorehouse Blues", during which Campbell and Dee both played acoustic guitars while Lemmy stood at the center of the stage singing the bluesy track and occasionally playing some harmonica. "Ace of Spades" started the party in the crowd again, and "Overkill" proved to be the ultimate final song to end the night. The last part of the song was played three times to prolong the party slightly, but alas, the party had to end at some point. My third Motörhead experience was definitely the best, but whether it was because Motörhead are simply better in a smaller venue or because this time I was able to get much closer than I was at the 40.000 man festival shows, Motörhead rocked ridiculously hard in Aalborg, and I'm sure the other 1400 Danish fans felt exactly the same.

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