It had been a couple years since I’ve seen Powerman 5000 but when I saw that they were making a stop at the world-famous Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan on November 10th, 2017 as part of their New Wave tour, I just had to get in to cover this show. Memories of my first time seeing Powerman 5000 two years ago are of lots of high energy fun and good times, Powerman 5000 continues to delivery that high energy fun.
Before Powerman 5000 hit the stage, it was time for the first support act to get the crowd warmed up. Out of Los Angeles, California was Vyces, a four man group whose wardrobe immediately sets the tone of their music. The heavy denim and leather straps on their clothes got you prepared for hard hitting rocking action. Lead singer Dave Naruszewicz, guitarist Shawn Patterson, Bass guitarist Andrew Trujillo and drummer Russell Ray have developed a nice chemistry over the few years this band has been around. You can see the fun these guys have while jamming together, they got the show kicked off on a great note with their hard rocking and intense beats and vocals.
Following up next was Rachel Lorin who hails out of New York City, New York. With plenty of sex appeal, she had the audience’s attention. Backed up by some stellar musicians Frankie Wheeler on bass guitar, Jason Harrison on drums and Angelo Fariello on guitar this group had the crowd rocking along. With a touch of sweetness and a hint of bad girl, Rachel Lorin rocked the mic like a pro and had the fans rocking along.
With a slight delay as we all waited in anticipation for Powerman 5000 to appear, the energy picked up once the band members made their way out. Immediately the crowd was into it when the classic Powerman 5000 song, “Nobody’s Real” was played. Lead singer, Spider One, had the crowd jumping from start to finish. Powerman 5000 has one of the best energetic shows around. Spider surrounds himself with extraordinary talent. Dj Rattan on drums, Murv Douglas on bass, Ty Oliver on lead guitar and Ryan Hernandez on rhythm guitar had the music pumping through that sound system to make the crowd bounce and head bang. Murv has the best hair of any bass player out there, it’s like something out of a Dragon Ball Z comic book, it’s unreal how he can shape his hair. And the lasers the band members point out towards the audience add another element of that playfulness. Powerman 5000 is all about fun.
But don’t think Powerman 5000 is resting on their laurels, because they’ve recently released a new album titled ‘New Wave’. They played one song off the new album, “Cult Leader”. It was quick to see that fans liked it and I wish we could’ve gotten more new material this night, Ty told me that they’ve cut back on the new material lately due to Spider’s voice not holding up to the workload. But we did get the other staple of hits “Bombshell” and “When World’s Collide” to go with many other body moving tunes.
On a personal note, it was great to meet Ty Oliver, he’s been supporting my photography on Instagram for nearly two years. I was excited seeing that Powerman 5000 was playing The Machine Shop. And come to find out, Ty was excited to be finally playing The Machine Shop. I have seen and heard so many musicians say how great and special The Machine Shop is and I asked Ty if it was all that and a bag of chips, he said, “yes!”. I further inquired on what makes The Machine Shop special. Ty said the great staff, the décor and the fans, all those elements make for one special place. Spider even spoke during the show about how lucky we are to have a place like The Machine Shop. To have quality bands play an intimate venue really is special. So many other venues you go to, you pay more, driver further, and unless you pay for a meet and greet, you’re not going to get the chance to mingle with the bands afterwards like you do at The Machine Shop.
With fans packed inside The Machine Shop to enjoy another show, Powerman 5000 gave an impressive performance that’ll have us looking forward to the next time they come back.
– Mike Shaler
Photos courtesy of © 2017 Mike Shaler.