It takes a lot of guts to leave the party while it's still hoppin', but that's exactly what Hate Machine did Friday night at Montage Music Hall to a rabid -- albeit bummed -- crowd. Early in the set singer Jed Seaver stopped between songs to explain. "We've hit the plateau and have nowhere else to go," he said. I can totally dig this; bowing out before you undo your cool, before fans start referring to your old material as your best.
Still, it was a shame to see the band go (unless this is a break-up a la The Who and KISS and countless other "retirees" who get back together whenever their kids need braces or the alimony gets a little steep). So far this was a farewell in style, with a brilliant, thundering, and exuberant set of heavy and hard from the band and a volatile mix of flying elbows, pumping fists, and general mayhem in the crowd. I suppose you could call it a love machine for Hate Machine. RIP.
Absolution Project offered heavy absolution prior to The Hate Machine send off as I shuffled into the packed house. In the same vein and strain as Hate Machine, AP punctuates its punches with patches of melodic free-fall. Consequently, when the pounding returns it takes your breath away.