I remember seeing Motorhead live at (of all places) Bumbershoot in Seattle about ten years ago. Unlike pure music fests such as Coachella or Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot has always been marketed as “family friendly,” with plenty of attractions for kids. Motorhead played in Memorial Stadium, which was a place a lot of weary people just went into to find a place to sit down and catch their breath. Whoever booked the show clearly had no idea of who they were dealing with, as the set began at noon. When Motorhead hit the stage, it was pretty clear that they had not even slept, and the first words out of Lemmy’s mouth were “Good morning, motherfuckers!”
It was hilarious watching all the good and proper Seattleites run for the exits, but Motorhead did not seem to notice. Or if they did, they probably thought it was as funny as the rest of us did. In any case, we settled in for 90 minutes of some of the finest and fastest rock and roll ever. Although this was over a decade ago, I swear that in watching the performances captured on the new The World is Ours - Vol 2 - Anyplace Crazy as Anywhere Else, Lemmy has not aged a day.
This set is the follow-up to The World is Ours - Vol 1 - Everywhere Further than Everywhere Else which was released in 2011. Both volumes contain live material from Motorhead’s 2011 “The World is Yours” tour.
Lemmy has been involved in music practically his entire life. His first gig was as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix back in the late ‘60s. He went on to join Hawkwind, but was kicked out later for (as he says) “Doing the wrong kind of drugs.” The term “motorhead” was English slang for what we call “tweakers” today, or “speed freaks.” Most of Hawkwind were into psychedelics, but Lemmy was into speed. His predilection showed in the music of Motorhead, fast and furious.
Even though the band predated the rise of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, they were often considered to be part of that movement. They were probably the first group to be embraced by both the punks and metalheads of the day. Although Lemmy refuses to lump Motorhead in with any genre, it is telling that he wrote a song titled “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.” for the 1916 album.
One does not really need to know the history of the group to enjoy them though. As the opening chords rang out at Bumbershoot that day, it was clear to all what Motorhead were about. Stripped down, raw rock and roll, sung by the greatest sandpaper voice in the business.
The main attraction of The World is Ours - Vol 2 is Motorhead’s appearance at the 2011 Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany. Since 1990, Wacken has been one of the premiere metal-fests in the world, and in 2011 Motorhead were the headliners. They open with “Iron Fist,” and this ultimate power trio play at warp speed all the way through their 17-song set. Other highlights include such classics as “Killed by Death,” “Bomber,” “Ace of Spades,” and the closing “Overkill.”
Rounding out the collection are highlights from two other 2011 appearances. The excerpts include six songs performed at the Sonisphere Festival in the UK, and five from Rock in Rio in Brazil. All 11 of these songs had been performed at the Wacken concert, so there are no surprises, but only “Killed by Death” is featured in all three.
There are five different formats in which the set is available. The one I am reviewing contains the DVD plus two CDs. For those who just want the music, the concerts are available in a double-CD package, or a double-LP (which only contains the Wacken show). The material is also available on Blu-ray. Finally, there is a direct-to-consumer box with the CDs, the DVD, the Blu-ray, and a special commemorative book. That last one sounds pretty cool, but I cannot comment on the book as I have not seen it.
No matter what format you choose though, Motorhead kill it onstage, every time. Although the CD format is the least expensive, I really recommend getting the full package, because watching this band (especially Lemmy) perform is exciting as hell. It is hard to believe that he is pushing 70, because he rocks harder than ever. The guy is indestructible, and is deservedly a legend. Check out these concerts if you have any doubt.