Getting the chance to support a major act like Volbeat on a tour isn’t always the guilt-edged opportunity it might seem. Canadian rocker Danko Jones comes out on stage at the early hour of 6.30pm with the hall still slowly filling and with a tiny space at the front for him and his two bandmates to get things going in.
Words: Ian Sutherland
Pictures: Ya Cheng
Pushing out their hard rock with a modern twist, they make a damn good fist of it, appropriately getting the audience to warm to them during ‘Fists Up High’. A solid set to start the evening but maybe having the band logo up on the stage somewhere might help make the crowd more familiar with them.
Southern US rockers Baroness are similarly reluctant to brandish their name in front of the audience apparently, but they’re a band who rely on their music to make an impact anyway. There’s the odd cheery word from singer/guitarist John Baizley, but the focus is on playing their melody tinged progressive Metal tunes as intensely as they can manage.
The sound doesn’t do them any favours with a muddy mix but the large number of friends they have in the hall let’s them overcome any issues to receive a good response.
Both warm up acts have done their job it seems as the Academy is a hot, humid, airless place by the time Volbeat hit the stage. The Danish veterans have kept their rockabilly meets Metal vibe gong on latest album, ‘Rewind Replay Rebound’, while adding more elements to their sound from Slayer inspired riffing to layers of harmonies.
Live, the sound is filled by the bottom end bass supplied by Kaspar Boye Larsen and expanded by the riffing guitars of Michael Poulsen and Rob Caggiano. The accent is still on the Metal in this environment and Poulsen’s, big strong voice is relied on to add the melody.
This is only their second headline show since releasing the latest album and it still seemed that they were working out how to fit loads of new material into the set. ‘Rewind The Exit’ got its first live airing and the Elvis leanings of ‘Pelvis On Fire’, the rifftastic ‘Cheapside Sloggers’ and many more were included. Mostly they were extremely well received by a crowd who were most certainly up for a party, but the pace of the set seemed to lag now and again.
However this is a band with a back catalogue most can only dream of so when you can just drop ‘Lola Montez’ or ‘Sad Man’s Tongue’ or ‘Dead But Rising’ into the set, it’s seemingly easy to pick things right up again.
Glasgow danced and sang and shouted the place down throughout the show, right through to a final blast of ‘Still Counting’ which rounded off an enthralling one hundered minutes of action in fine style.
The O2 Academy was packed to the rafters for this show and despite their already storied career, it looks like Volbeat are still a band on the up. I expect I’ll see them headlining an arena next time around.