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MACHINE HEAD, FEAR FACTORY, WE THE HOLLOW: Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane, 12/03/24

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Words by Jimmy Glinster

Pix by McBrad Media

*No photos of We The Hollow Due To GPS Failure*

I don’t how many of you all have been to Eatons Hill Hotel, but it’s very rare that a show piques my interest enough to drag me out to the middle of buttfuck nowhere. Well, that may be a little bit of an over exageration because it’s just a little north of Brisbane in a place called Moreton Bay “Regional” Council. But hey, never let the truth get in the way of good yarn, aye.

Coincidently enough though, one of my last visits here was to see Machine Head on their last tour, so having them here again with one of my other favourite 90s metal bands Fear Factory was a must attend for me. It’s probably worth a mention that these two bands include two of my biggest metal and guitar playing influences, Robb Flynn and Dino Cazares.

16-year-old me is losing my shit right now as I walk down the street and into the venue, and 40 something year old me is losing my shit laughing as I look at the crowd lined up all the way down the street, even though there is no line. It’s just like at Mudvayne & Coal Chamber the other week where they were lined up halfway over to the airport at Eagle Farm. That may also be an exaggeration.

Anyway, the crowd don’t fuck around making their way in, and the venue fills up very quickly for We The Hollow. The local lads enter stage masked and suited up in white, ready to take on Eatons, and the world. A short intro gives them a chance to steady themselves before they bust into some heavy grooves with a track called The Dark In Me. It’s a tight setup for them, with both Machine Head and Fear Factory’s gear onstage limiting their stage space.

You would think that this would be a hard crowd to win over when they are waiting for two of metal’s biggest icons to take the stage, but heads are already bobbing to the beat and people are starting to get it. When the song ends, a massive applause from the crowd shows their very quickly developed appreciation of the band. Their second track Lie To Me is a little heavier than their first, and as it rocks away the head bobbing is starting to turn into a bit of a sway through the crowd as bodies start to move around in the pit.

They throw down a couple of more heavy bangers before reaching the controversial fan favourite Hypocrite. (Editors note: best song of the night.) I won’t go into the controversy around this track because I’ve been there before, and it really doesn’t deserve any more airtime, nor does the diskusting subject matter. And it doesn’t matter anyway, all that matters is the fact that We The Hollow take the award for first circle pit of the night, right in the middle of the song and just before the fans join in for the song’s punchline at the bridge. Killer set to open the show!

I just had to make a quick run to the car to grab my glasses because I couldn’t see my note-pad (iPhone) and I only just made it back in time to catch Fear Factory half-way through their set opener Shock. First thing I notice is how much the new vocalist Milo Slivestro is killing it with massive screams and on point cleans. This motherfucker has some big shoes to fill, and on first impressions he seems to have at least reached the toes.

And fuck me does it sound good in here, and the weight of the Edgecrusher was, well, crushing. It’s fucking ridiculously packed right now, and I’m struggling to get in a position where I can see the stage, so I try upstairs, but again with no luck. As I finally kind of find a spot, the band kicks into PowerShifter and those unmistakable double kick rhythms are absolutely fucking pumping. It’s just one banger after another in here right now and Dino and Tony Campos are standing staunch onstage delivering tight heavy riff after tight heavy riff.

This place is absolutely packed and absolutely pumping. The sound and lights are on point and the production team is killing it. It’s literally the biggest crowd that I’ve ever seen here, but this isn’t my first sold out show so not sure what’s happening there. Even the outside smoking area is packed, so fuck knows what will happen when they all head inside for Machine Head.

I’ll let you all take a guess at what the final song was, but I’ve got no more goddam regrets … that’s for sure! Oh wait, that was a fake last song, there is one more left. And you’ve got zero chance of guessing that unless someone gives you a signal. But wait, there’s more. How more banger can Fear Factory punch out? Just this next one apparently, so the crowd gets a practice run of I Don’t Want To Live This Way before the band kicks into Replica.

There are a few bruised and darkened souls in here that are going to need a Resurrection after all these last songs. Eventually the set finishes to a massive applause and some Terminator sound effects, leaving us all hanging for more. That’s it though, and in a nice show of respect the band exit stage left, make their way through the outside smoking area and plant themselves at the merch desk to spend some time with the crowd, sign some autographs, have a chat and of course sell some of their killer new merch!

After fucking around trying to do some shitty reels, I realised I only had about 15% charge left on my phone, so I had to switch to pleb mode as the clean strums of the Imperium intro ring out, which builds an immense tension in the absolutely packed room. Very quickly Machine Head blast into full flight. It’s riffuckingtastic and the crowd explodes into an energetic frenzy. It’s not too long until a circle pit opens up on Robb’s command. What a fucking opener!

Nah-nah nah-nah-nah-nah nah-nah nah-nah. Yeah, you know the one, it’s like a Ten Ton Hammer, son. This band sure know how to deliver some serious impact straight from the get- go, and the crowd are loving it, but how long will they last once Robb demands their attention for a fast one, Choke on The Ashes. Never mind the ashes, I’m more concerned about choking on the lack of oxygen in this room right now. And speaking of choking, touring guitarist Reece Scruggs of Havok shares lead guitar duties with Robb as they both choke some ripping solos out of their axes. There is so much shred happening right now.

A short break in songs brings on a Machine Fucking Head chant as the background LED display changes to read exactly that. The band then jumps back to The Blackening with Aesthetics of Hate. And then there’s that one called Old, and yes we are all old, and we all know the words to that song from 1994.

Things then slow down a bit with a nice little clap along after Robb asks the crowd to raise their hands in the air. Well, the kicks don’t slow down as they roll along doubling up on themselves in the Locust intro. The crowd are really getting into it and participating in the Woah oh woah oh oh sing alongs and at every momentary break in the set that Machine Fucking Head chant rings out again.

Eventually, after a couple more songs, Robb gets to show off his clean vocals in Slaughter the Martyr and the crowd again starts another clap along. Then we get a song from Supercharger, but I’m not gonna give you the whole set list cause that might spoil your fun at one of the upcoming shows. I’ll tell you this though, the changing visuals at the back of the stage are a nice added touch. They aren’t anything like Tool visuals, but they don’t need to be because Machine Head are not as boring as watching paint dry like that other band I just mentioned.

Unfortunately, we don’t get an appearance of Robb’s red jumpsuit this time around, but it is time to see, believe this in me, and that little song from The Burning Red still delivers. Even all the nu-metal haters in the crowd still seem to love it, as much as they used to hate it. And we all knew it was coming at some point. Someone was eventually going to Let Freedom Ring With a Shotgun Blast, but this time around it was the whole crowd. And just like a shotgun blast, the PA very suddenly drops out mid solo and everyone freaks the fuck out. Luckily though, it quickly returns to bring us through to that epic outro breakdown. You know the one, that classic Machine Head ending that every hardcore band ever has tried and failed to recreate mid-song and call it a breakdown. Yeah, that one!

And now it’s encore time, a call to arms if you must, but not before Robb starts an Aussie Aussie Aussie chant and of course the crowd joins in for the Oi Oi Oi’s. Apart from a few punters bailing out before the encore, their loss and not ours, the crowd stayed strong until the very end of the show. And just as well, becuase Robb asked for all the girls to jump on their man’s shoulders and for everyone else to throw their horns in the air. He then compliments Australia on our great “titties” before the band gets together, bows out, and he announces “We are Machine Fucking Head … Goodnight”!

What a show, unfuckingbelievable! With Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland still to come, you have no excuse to miss this show!

But before I go, I should mention that Black Rheno has a show coming up on the 25th of May at Tomcat in Brisbane with FUC, PistonFist, Snake Mountain and Odius. And why does this get my attention, and a mention, you ask? Well, I just happened to get handed a flyer on the way out by PistonFist frontman Geoffro O’Leary. Who does that anymore, I mean hand out flyers?

Well, Geoffro does, and so should you if you’d actually like to get some punters attention outside of social media. Try it sometime, and if ya hand me one, I might even come to your show!

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