Machine Head Betzefer Show Tel Aviv March 10 Quintessential metal act Machine Head focuses on technical skill, brutal groove and raw emotion. Frontman Robert Flynn writes his lyrics with an open heart and tortured soul. All this is likely why the band merited such an outstanding reception at the Theatre Club on Sderot Yerushalayim in Tel Aviv/Jaffa on March 10. Jeremy Nakache of Anthem Productions, the international booking agency that brought Machine Head here, placed the audience head count at 1000, and tickets sold out several days before the show at NIS 200 each. Israel's own Betzefer played the first set with their earthy brand of groove metal. Betzefer's months-long touring stints in Europe have honed their performance to a professional caliber worthy of any international act. Soon after, Machine Head mounted the stage, the initially red stage lights casting a Faustian effect on Robert Flynn's bearded profile. The band tore heatedly through many of their classics, with much of the crowd screaming the words in unison. Between songs, Flynn was drinking and shouting "L'chaim!," pronouncing it correctly, and even growled a death-metal l'chaim to the delight of the crowd. During one particularly intense song, Flynn looked up, taken aback by the fervent response of the audience. He yelled "Tel Aviv, you're f***n incredible!" and burst into the next refrain. Before the two last songs, fans passed an Israeli flag to drummer David McLaine, whose techs hung it over the bass drum. If a show like this could sell out 1000 tickets in Israel (and leave many complaining fans unable to attend), it may be time that the heavy metal subculture here receive proper treatment in the mainstream.