Photos by: Dhruv Kumar
Words by: Kunal Singh
Long Island, NY. It’s All Hallows Eve in Huntington Village and the night is ripe for a high octane blast of energy, on this most celebratory of nights. The Paramount, home to so many shows from all over the world, from pop to rock, to comedy and soul. But on this night, it is the home of Machine Head. Hardcore, intense, heavy freakin’ metal. No opening acts, no warm-up bands, no, and no distractions. This stage was to belong to one band, and that band is Machine Head.
The final tour with Phil Demmel and Dave McClain made it stops in Huntington to put on a three-hour juggernaut of metal. The California natives started off with Diary of Madman played on the house PA, into Imperium. The band was out in full force and in full costume. Lead vocalist Robb Flynn came out in a red dress and was easily the focal point of the show. This, even considering on drums, Dave was wearing a banana suit. It was fantastic! Directly from there, the band smashed the audience with Volatile, as the crowd had their fists in the air. It was going to be a long night of brutal, unforgiving, straight ahead metal.
Machine Head would go ahead for 14 more songs in a row, to the absolute delight of their dedicated fan base. Circle pits, crowd surfing, and screaming along the whole way. There were times when Flynn would address the audience and the fans roared back in approval. The only part of this show that was a little taxing was the lighting. It made for some blinding sensations, and not in the “good” way. It did not detract from the music, however, as the band did not slow down and neither did the audience. There was a highlight with the aforementioned lighting, and that was the monster drum feature/solo for Dave McClain. Chants of “thank you Dave!” and “thank you Phil!” adorned the night. The gratitude for their years of work was a staple of this local crowd.
I say, local crowd, as The Paramount is a venue that celebrates its intimacy and close proximity from the audience to stage. The best bands always seem to bring out the best is such settings, and Machine Head was right there on top. This was never truer than when the last songs of the set Davidian, and Descend the Shades of Night hit. The audience demanded more, “Machine Head,” “We Want Head,” and “One more song,” drowned out the cheers. It was truly a landmark moment of the show. Machine Head then came out to thunderous applause and adulation with a four-song encore, ending with Halo, as their 20th song of the night!
This was an absolute treat to anyone who was a dedicated fan, and from the unmistakable looks on the faces of Rob, Phil, Jared (MacEachern), and Dave, just as much a treat for them as well, this Halloween night.