When Motorhead Played Their Final Concert
Motorhead's Dec. 11, 2015 stop in Berlin took on historic proportions when frontman Lemmy Kilmister died just days later. As grieving fans passed around links to online videos and bootleg recordings, something important quickly became clear: Whatever his ailments, Lemmy kept rocking almost until the end.
The concert found Motorhead running through a 16-song set that blended fan favorites like "Bomber," "Stay Clean" and "Metropolis" with newer numbers like "When the Sky Comes Looking for You" – a track from Motorhead's most recent studio LP, 2015's Bad Magic. The final number of the encore was the classic title track from 1979's Overkill.
The Berlin show came before a holiday break for the band, but it wasn't supposed to be a permanent one: Motorhead's always-busy touring schedule had them traveling through Europe until late February of next year, a show of dogged determination in the face of multiple health-related postponements and cancellations that kept the group from living up to their usual rock-steady standards. Lemmy had personally dealt with surgery and illness while on the road in recent months, but apparently remained in high spirits: He even joked that he was "still indestructible."
Sadly, however, Lemmy soon succumbed to cancer, dying on Dec. 28, 2015. Still, he was right in one important sense: As demonstrated by the fact that they were in the midst of a 40th anniversary tour, Motorhead's signature brand of rock remained in high demand at the time of Lemmy's passing – and echoes of its influence will continue to reverberate through modern music for decades to come.
Two sold-out shows held a few days before the Berlin concert, on Nov. 20-21 2015 at the Zenith in Munich, Germany, later formed the basis for a well-received posthumous concert recording titled Clean Your Clock.
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