Two seminal heavy metal bands played Monday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
Yes, it was loud.
The event was the Gigantour-headlined by Megadeth, organized by that band's frontman, Dave Mustaine, and featuring Motorhead on the undercard.
For metal fans, this is a big deal. At noon, on Monday, I called my long-haired friend in Vernon to ask him if he could join me at the show and lend his expertise.
He had seen Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue and even Megadeth before. But not Motorhead and its legendary frontman, Lemmy. Within two hours, my friend had ditched work and was on the highway, icy roads and work be damned.
After Lacuna Coil and Volbeat warmed up the three-quarters-full AESC, Motorhead arrived on stage and launched into their set. Lemmy, clad in black and wearing his trademarks boots, didn't move much. But then, the 66-year-old didn't need to. The guy has presence. He stands, he plays his bass, he "sings" and occasionally he speaks in an accent similar-perhaps unsurprisingly, given their respective drug use and Northern England upbringings-to that of Osbourne.
Motorhead's set took off at a rocket's pace following a minutes-long solo by drummer Mikkey Dee punctuated by smoke and a machine that sent drum sticks rocketing skyward. Hits "Killed by Death," and "Ace of Spades," followed, whipping the mostly male crowd into a frenzy.
Did I mention it was loud? It was very, very loud.
With his fans in a fit, Lemmy stepped up to the mic, announced he would play one more song, and told the crowd "Don't forget us boys and girls. We are Motorhead, and we play rock and roll."
The band then blasted through "Overkill," set their instruments aside, took a bow and left to a standing ovation.
It was a formidable act for Megadeth to follow. And for all their virtuosity, I don't think they quite pulled it off.
The band was tight, the crowd was enthusiastic and the stage was pristine.
The 1986 classic "Peace Sells.... But Who's Buying," got the loudest reception. Another high point came when Mustaine invited Lacuna Coil singer Cristina Scabbia on stage to sing the soaring "A Tout le Monde," a reworked version of the band's 1995 single.
But for the majority of the show, Mustaine and company relied on newer, less familiar material that lacked the hooks of the band's fist-punching anthems of the 80s and early-90s.
That's not to say many left disappointed, myself included. Megadeth brought the rock. But Motorhead brought, well, Lemmy. And on Monday, that was enough to win the night.
All vendors save one were doing brisk business. The two people manning the cupcake stand were the only vendors with time on their hands, although a very nice woman did claim that, yes, they had sold many cupcakes. For the record, I didn't see anyone openly eating said cupcake.
Quote of the night, via a rare woman overheard in the concourse: "There are a few normal ones."