at Murat Theater, Indianapolis, IN, USA, September 9, 2015

Fans of the Circle City were served a true treat on the night of September 9th, 2015 in form of Motörhead, Saxon, and Crobot, who all came to violate an otherwise peaceful Midwestern summer evening with an immense Metal wall of sound. You’d be hard pressed to recall the last time Saxon came through town, and perhaps even harder pressed to name the last time Motörhead actually head-lined a show in Indianapolis. But, hell has been known to freeze over occasionally, and this (bad) magical evening certainly may have been one of them. Lemmy, known lately to have a few health-related setbacks, had to cancel several recent stops of the Bad Magic tour, but wisely chose to rest up to ensure Motörhead was able to fulfill the “obligations” of this Indianapolis stop, because the crowd was strong both in numbers and in spirit.

First up was the band Crobot out of Pennsylvania, USA … formed just 3 years prior, they provided the “youthful flare” to this otherwise veteran line-up. Headed up by Brandon Yeagley, Crobot played an outstanding 30-minute set of Hard Rock with a ‘70s and slightly Alternative groove. Yeagley showed immense passion for Crobot’s trade and was successful in engaging the audience – many of whom were old enough to be the band’s parents. Most of the fans clearly knew nothing about Crobot when they walked through the door, but undoubtedly many will be searching the internet to learn more about this band in the weeks to come. Overall, a very impressive, enjoyable set by an up-and-comer in the Hard Rock playing field.

Next up were Traditional Metal legends Saxon, headed up (of course) by Biff Byford, who are out on the road in advance of their soon-to-be-released album entitled Battering Ram. Playing louder than hell, Saxon hit the stage with “Motorcycle Man” to a roar from the crowd and devilhorns raised with vigor. Byford, glowing in his gray-haired glory, bellowed out lyrics from start to finish and pranced around the stage while taking control of their hour-long set like an alpha lion keeping his pride in check. Having so much Metal material to choose from, Saxon played a set split between their best known hits along with lesser known gems. The crowd seemed to appreciate the classics, and being that Saxon visits so seldom to Indianapolis, they may have been better off to have focused more on those classics on this stop. But, nonetheless, the crowd clearly appreciated their efforts, and as Byford said in his closing remarks before the band rolled into the band’s most notable classic, “Denim And Leather” … “It’s not about the fanfare or the money or the fame … what we do and the reason you’re all here is because of the PASSION that’s behind the music and the passion behind what we do.” Very insightful, true, and genuine … just like Saxon’s performance on this night.

After a short half-hour break, the lights were suddenly shut off, and the audience was able to spot Lemmy lurking curiously behind the stage-left amplifiers. As he emerged with the rest of the band, the audience went berserk. Before a note was played, Lemmy went to the microphone, and in his raspy, thick British accent announced, “We are Motörhead, and we play ROCK AND ROLL!!!” The crowd roared again, and the band kicked it in with the apropos song “Damage Case” … a great choice to kick things off. Lemmy looked noticeably frail and didn’t ambulate around the stage much, but he was still able to beat the crap out of his bass, and his voice sounded “normal” albeit a bit hidden in the background of Motörhead’s wall of sound. Phil Campbell performed admirably on guitar throughout the hour-long set, and even addressed the crowd a handful of times. Mikkey Dee pounded the bejesus out of his drum kit throughout the show with immense passion and energy, often getting much-deserved ovations from the appreciative crowd after several thunder-pounding combos and especially his exhaustive drum solo that should be made into a high impact exercise video. Having upwards of 25 studio albums, Lemmy has so much material to choose from for a “mere” 60-minute set, so it’s impossible not to leave out some of the true classics that fans may have expected to hear, but nonetheless the audience seemed well-satisfied just to still have Lemmy and his boys performing live and touring to support yet another new release.

Yes indeed, there was “magic” in the air throughout the theater … nothing “bad” to be sure … it was all indeed “good” and a special treat for the faithful of Indianapolis – a city that time and time again shows its support for Hard Rock and Metal bands, both veterans and those soon-to-emerge. Long live Crobot! Long live Saxon! And especially, LONG LIVE Motörhead!!!


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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