GIG REVIEW: Skindred, Hed PE, Soil & Media Solution Live At The Machine Shop, Michigan
September 29th 2016 was a night to be remembered by metal music fans as Skindred, Hed PE, Soil and Media Solution played to a packed crowd at The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan. Kicking off the show was Media Solution, a five member group that delivered a tight, hard-hitting set of heavy metal music as fans arrived. It was impressive musicianship and vocals from this band, and a treat for those who arrived early to catch them.
With the venue stuffed full of metalheads, Soil embraced the stage for some energetic rock n roll with an eight song set -far too short of a set for this band who have built a following over their almost-20-year existence. Ryan McCombs has vocal talents to cover a wide range of styles, from soothing to rapid-fire, and the crowd was hooked to whatever he sang. McCombs even ventured out into the crowd to sing a song surrounded by delighted and polite fans as the band belted out the music. With songs like “Halo”, “Unreal” and “Breaking Me Down”, Soil has strong material and if you have a chance to see them, do it.
With the crowd amped up, Hed PE took to the stage with fervor and just as soon as they began playing, the moshing began. Hed PE has some hardcore fans who seem to have just one rule -‘mosh the entire time Hed PE plays’. It makes for an intense show and rightfully so as Hed PE’s music entices the crowd to head bang, pump fist and yes, mosh. The energy from the band, especially drummer Jeremiah Stratton aka Trauma and Greg Harrison aka Gregzilla is infectious as they whip their hair and thrash around with wild facial expressions. You can definitely see they are having fun jamming out and the crowd feeds off that. Lead singer Jared was in command as he delivered their 40-minute set of heavy, punk, rap fusion metal. Yet another band where 40 minutes just wasn’t long enough, but with four bands on the bill, a shorter set was in order. Still a much enjoyed and battle-scarring time for fans and moshers.
Headlining the night, out of the United Kingdom, was Skindred. Playing a mix of heavy metal, punk, and reggae, it was a continuation from what Hed PE was dishing out. The crowd thinned out a little after Hed PE’s set, but the place still held a lot of eager fans ready to feast on more metal music. Lead singer Benji Webbe, who sports some wicked sunglasses that have spikes on them, had control of the crowd the moment he stepped on stage. With styles varying from heavy metal on one song to reggae on the next, it was quite an eclectic set and a change of pace. But that didn’t sway the moshers from doing their thing when the music picked up. Many interludes were played before they dove into their own material, many were heavy metal songs of Pantera and others, which pumped up the crowd even more. With fans singing along and bobbing to the beat, especially on the song “Kill The Power”, Skindred gave the fans what they came for.
All four bands delivered great performances and the fans had an awesome time. The lineup offered a nice variety of music styles to keep things interesting and fun. Always a good time when you can enjoy live music at its finest!