Only disappointing thing here was their position
It is a shame that Machine Head were only assigned forty minutes of playing time today, as they clearly deserved a lot more. Perhaps they should have been swapped with the Distillers or Iggy and the Stooges, as these guys performed much better than, if not both, then the Distillers, at least. The reason why they didn't get much more time, and were given such an early spot on the roster today is that Machine Head are currently making a comeback - going through a revival, if you will - as opposed to being world-renowned.
Despite their latest album, 'Through The Ashes Of Empires' being a nice metal feast, Machine Head's previous album, 'Burning Red', was a flop, and as such their fanbase has dropped out a bit since they first crashed into the alternative metal scene back in 1994 with the album 'Burn My Eyes'. Perhaps this is why they were in the first position, despite being around for longer and being far superior to the Distillers.
Machine Head wisely opened with their single track, 'Imperium', hoping to squash all the niggling memories of that failure of an album from the past. Thankfully, it worked, and the crowd actually started to get into the music, only a few minutes into the show. Making plenty of small talk between songs, Robb Flynn (vocals, guitar) hit the nail on the head by thanking the crowd for being so great and energetic despite their weak spot in the Download Scotland roster.
Armed with Flying V model guitars, Robb - and second guitarist, Logan Mader - also scorched through 'The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears' and 'Bloodrush' - both songs which pretty much described the action in the pits today. For their fifth number, Robb was presented with an acoustic guitar - an unusual sight considering the genre here - to perform 'The Shades of Night Descends', which started off nicely with just Robb singing to his guitar for a few minutes, until the song exploded into a great second half. This song, among others, also showed off Robb's excellent ability to swap between screaming and more traditional singing, although sometimes this was marred by the bassist's inability to harmonise when providing backing vocals. Ouch.
Machine Head were also the first band to have a circle pit going, and although it wasn't asked for by Robb initially, he did comment on them, and dedicated the final song of Machine Head's short set, 'Bulldozer' to the circle pits. Finishing with some kind of solo celtic chant, Machine Head left the stage and left the crowd chanting, "We Want Head", although they didn't get any more today. Well, they might have gotten some later, but that's none of my business, to be honest.