Motorhead, Saxon & Crobot Concert Review, Austin, TX, September 1, 2015
“Heart of a lion fight to the end
Run like the wind
Champions of champions, best in the land, you always win
Don’t fade away, don’t fade away
Run with your dream right to the end
Your spirit flies on eagle’s wings
Never coming down”
– Fallen Heroes by A.S.A.P. (Adrian Smith)
Since last night this verse has been running in my head.
We all know the story by now that Motorhead stopped during their 3rd song, Metropolis, and that was it.
I’ve seen them 7 times in the last 12 years and each has been just a little more depressing than the previous. I noticed in 2003 that his hand was shaking when not holding a jack and coke or playing his guitar. It was more than just the shakes. It looked like Parkinson’s disease to me, not that I can diagnose anything on anyone. Lemmy’s health in recent years has been spoken of often…pacemaker, diabetes, altitude sickness, etc. He has looked awful and in the last 5 years has gotten so skinny and more frail than ever.
There was tension in the air before the came on stage. Anticipation of what was coming next based on recent events with the band in Salt Lake and Denver.
The band hits the stage and Lemmy gingerly walks on stage playing a few notes…”Alright?” The crowd is excited…”We are Motorhead…” Roars from the crowd. “…and we play rock and roll!” He sounded so weak…and old. He’s 69 and looks every bit of it and more.
And then they went in to Damage Case. It was slow. So slow. Lem’s voice was quiet. He was barely playing the chords. Stiff. He looked like he was in pain. They played Stay Clean next. Phil and Mikkey more animated than normal, likely trying to draw attention from the elephant in the room. Both songs were about 20% slower than recorded.
Then Lemmy is announcing Metropolis. He mentions that he’s been sick. Before the second verse started, Lemmy stops playing and says, “I can’t do it” and the band quickly exits the stage.
There were cheers for the band but there was also a hush over the crowd. Chants of “Lemmy” and “We love you” were started. A few minutes later, Lemmy comes out and says, “You are one of the best gigs in America, and I would love to play for you, but I can’t… So please accept my apologies. Next time, all right?” Class act all the way.
Until next time is right, Lem. Hopefully Saturday in Houston.
By the way, Crobot and Saxon also played.