Gig Review: Volbeat @ Sound Academy

As I got to the Sound Academy for the SOLD OUT Volbeat show on April 7th, main support for the tour Danko Jones were on stage amping the crowd up.

Danko Jones talks too much. From praising the T&T supermarket for being in business and selling PC water to giving oral sex to females for hours on end… Fans wanted him to simply shut up and play.

Danko Jones’ set was quite similar to a Nickleback show but with no budget. By this I mean it appeared to be a love hate relationship with the fans. They were either screaming, “fuck off and be done already”, or singing and jumping to every song they played.

There also was an enormous amount of people sucking face in the crowd and I actually saw one older woman caressing a bald mans head as if he was Buddha.

All in all, the majority of the audience wanted to only see Volbeat. But, when Danko Jones was playing and not talking, they did a good job of easing the wait with some decent tunes.

Watching Volbeats sound check was a pleasure in itself. It gave you a treat before the gig, showcasing the amazing sound and tone that Volbeats guitars/drums were about to give us all.

The show started on time – if you call turning the lights off and then playing an entire song to kill more time, “starting” on time. The anticipation was killing all of their fans but once their drummer Jon Larsen stood up on the large podium where his drum kit was, that’s all it took for fans to forget about the wait. They played three explosive songs to open up the set and quickly introduced brand new guitarist Rob Caggiano (formerly of Anthrax) to the audience, which evoked massive screams.

From Johnny Cash tributes to their unmatchable mash-up of rockabilly, country and metal – every toothless, shirtless, intoxicated fan was certifiably insane showing their Volbeat pride. Volbeat front man Michael Poulsen interacted great with the crowd and seemed genuinely thrilled with the fan support and how insanely rammed the venue was.

Halfway through the set, they asked every guy to ask the ladies to dance “even the ugly ones”, as they whipped into their song “16 Dollars”. They paused throughout to encourage fans to hoist their ladies onto their shoulders, counting more than 12 chicks on shoulders. I’m sure he was hoping for some flashing but that never happened.

Nearing the end of Volbeat’s set, Danko Jones hit the stage to play with them, which lead into another cover, and then Volbeat closed out the show. They left the crowd telling everyone, “if you cheer loud enough maybe well come back”, which is always more than a little lame. Regardless, Volbeat showed some great musicianship, great stage presence and proved that having Rob Caggiano join the band is a definite plus.

Imagine a Danish Billie Joe mixed with some Elvis and James Hetfield… Thats how diverse Volbeat sounds and they do it well live.


Props to Volbeat for busting out Slayers “Reign in Blood”.

Words by: Steve St. Jean