Reviewing a Motorhead show is like writing an analysis of the Earth's rotation around the Sun. No matter what, it's gonna go down the exact same way every time. There are few surprises. As the world turns, so does the rock 'n' roll wheel that relies on Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister and crew to deliver their relentlessly driving three-chord rock 'n' roll sans frills.
Such was the case with this evening at Toronto's cavernous Sound Academy. Packed to the gills at the ripe hour of 8 p.m. so that all could be in attendance for Motorhead understudies Nashville Pussy and psychobilly stalwarts Reverend Horton Heat, the audience was appreciative yet clearly going through the motions while waiting for the MotorCrew to hit the stage.
And when they did, it was reliably unsurprising: Kilmister's stoic stance and gravely voice belted out a solid mixture of fan favourites such as Over The Top, Metropolis and set opener Iron Fist, wrangled around the occasional new tune from latest effort Motorizer for good measure. Of course, after that, it was back to the bread 'n' butter rounding out with the inevitable Ace Of Spades.
Still, the band took a few tunes to truly find their groove, starting off in a low 'n' slow gear before warming up to the aggressive pace they are renowned for. Furthermore, all the while, Lemmy was of few words, allowing guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee to take over banter duties. His tongue-in-cheek wit was sorely missed, replaced by goof-ball antics such as appealing to fans that they raise their hands in protest to raise the volume and Dee's oddball chicken dance.
Dead air aside though, the trio rocked out as masters should, barrelling through tunes, never looking back and deafening all in the process. Sure it was a healthy does of same old, same old but that's what's kept them going for almost 35 years in an age of disposability. And as one colleague keenly put it to a fan whining about retread, “It's Motorhead... are you stupid?”