January 19, 2024
Photos by Raymond Ahner
Long running Bay Area metallers Machine Head recently announced the first let of their Slaughter the Martour with industrial metal stalwarts Fear Factory and Sweden’s Orbit Culture, and kicked it all off with a hometown show at the historic Warfield Theater in San Francisco last week. Judging from all the head-banging and bodies flying over the barricade, the entire tour will be a huge success.
As the lights dimmed and the signature “Diary of a Madman” played over the PA, every metalhead on the packed floor braced themselves for what was about to go down. As the band walked out onto the stage with Machine Head mastermind and frontman Robb Flynn arriving last, the foursome wasted no time, jumping into the fire with “Imperium.” Flynn’s commanding presence took over, as he and his band ripped through “Ten Ton Hammer,” “Locust,” and “Now We Die.” The setlist was a perfect mix of old and new, highlighted by a full screen LED video wall, and constant strobe lights.
After churning out song after song, Machine Head brought out former drummer and lifetime Bay Area punk Chris Kontos, and he joined in on pounding on the skins for “Davidian,” re-energizing the bodies on the floor. After wrapping up the evening with “Halo,” Machine Head had clearly regained their status as metal titans, although they had never really lost it.
Providing direct support on the Slaughter the Martour tour are long time industrial-metallists Fear Factory. With “new” vocalist Milo Silvestro now settled into the band, Fear Factory can once again focus on the present, and they did just that, while playing a career spanning 40 minute setlist. Highlights included “Demanufacture,” “Powershifter,” and “Fuel Injected Suicide Machine.” By the time the wrapped up their set with “Martyr,” it was clear that Silestro has brought a new energy to the band, and that they are back.
Before Fear Factory hit the stage, Sweden’s Orbit Culture brought the crowd out of the cold and rain and into the venue, warming them up for the headliners.
Here’s a slideshow with lots of photos of all three bands by Raymond Ahner: