Motorhead - Stage Fright DVD - SPV Records 2006
2 DVD Set
Running Time: 245 Minutes

How exactly does one go about reviewing the Motorhead live experience? This band above all others in the hard rock/metal genre built their reputation on the energy and volatility of their live performance back in the day, and has spent the past thirty years chiselling their name into the stone engraven with the Ten Commandments Of Metal. The first commandment on that tablet reads "Thou shalt have no other gods before Motorhead.", and (with the release of Stage Fright) now those of us who've never had the good fortune to see Lemmy and the boys bring the rock can see what we've been missing.

Recorded in Dusseldorf, Germany at the cavermous Phillipshalle in December of 2004, the Stage Fright setlist is a beer-swilling, distortion-fuelled journey through the past three decades of Motorhead. For many fans, it's also very much a journey through the past three decades of their lives, to which the time-worn tuneage of Motorhead has undoubtedly provided the soundtrack. The first time I heard anything from Lemmy, it was in the form of Hawkwind's landmark Hall Of The Mountain Grill. It was shortly after this psyche/spacerock freakout that Mr. Kilmister descended from the mountain, charged with the (un)holy mission of spreading the gospel of booze, blues, and tattoos to a scene drenched in patchouli and attire more geared towards Renaissance faires than Rock And Roll. Thank the gods of Metal he did, too, because the larger portion of material aired at Phillipshalle have become veritable hymns of the faith in the First  Church Of The Hessian. Highlights include the blues-drenched swagger of 'Dr. Rock', a damn near orgasmic rendition of 'Killers', and the full-on metallic assault of new setlist mainstay 'In The Name Of Tragedy'. 2004 brought the loss of yet another punk legend, thus the resurrected tribute 'R.A.M.O.N.E.S.'. A scathing 'Just 'Cos You Got The Power', and the New Orleans swampstomp of 'Whorehouse Blues' prepare us for the end we all know is coming by now. The one-two punch of 'Ace Of Spades' and 'Overkill' shall forevermore remain the dual National Anthem of Metal, and - when you consider that Motorhead and Stones are part of the same age group - the fire with which Lemmy, Phil, and Mikkey deliver rather puts the coreographed seizures of Messers Jagger and Richards to even more shame than they currently do on their own.

Disc number two of Stage Fright is replete with more bonus footage than you could cram into a B-52, only slipping once in the yawn-inspiring LA Special, where the collective penis of Motorhead is fellated to extreme degree by such metal notables as wrestling's Triple H and various members of Murderdolls. We know you're amazing, guys, and we don't need anyone's approval. The LA Special is mercifully brief, though, so in short order we're treated to the Motorhead version of Behind The Music. Footage of fans and the Making Of sections are all well and good, but it's the We Are The Road Crew segment that sets this DVD apart. We Are The Road Crew offers a truly behind the scenes look into the inner workings of a true touring machine, complete with testimonials from the crew themselves, much of whom have been with Motorhead for at least half of their lives. It's a working organism, it's a rolling circus, but more than that, it's a family. From Ian's claim to the coining of the "Everything Louder Than Everything Else" motto to the rundown of the members' dietary preferences, it's all here and then some.

At the end of the day, though, this is about the two hours that the band spends on stage. And it's during that time that the other twenty-two hours of the day come together, giving birth to yet another night that will likely burn itself into the brain of everyone in attendance as "The Night I Saw Motorhead". And it all boils down to the nine words that will be engraved on the tombstone of the next trend when all is said and done. "We are Motorhead, and we play rock and roll.".

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