London party

Volbeat – Review Live from London – May 2022

Festival season is fast approaching. Overall, we saw more bands wanting to play warm-up shows before hitting those bigger stages. With a Sunday slot on Download’s main stage awaiting them, VOLBEAT stopped by the o2 Academy in Islington on their Servant Of The Road tour.

It may seem strange to put a death metal band on the same bill as Volbeat. An idea that escaped many people. The jam-packed Academy gave Birmingham BLESSING (6) a warm welcome nonetheless, ready for some good old fashioned carnage.

Although Benediction had been an active unit since 1989, there were many faces in the crowd that didn’t know what to expect. “We are about to ruin the evening” says the gruff voice of the singer David Ingram. What the crowd encountered was a wall of vicious growls and riffs to the face. Although some of the crowd surprised, there was a fair amount of headbanging and cheering.

Going through material from their three-decade discography, Benediction needed to keep the audience’s attention. With songs beginning to sound alike, the crowd’s interest had begun to wane. The lyrics to their recently released album of the same name managed to bring some back into the fold. However, once the interest waned, it was difficult to regain it. Even with jokes on songs that sound a bit like a car accident.

Ultimately, being put on the same bill as Volbeat was a double-edged sword for BLESSING. Death metal legends were being exposed to a new and ever-expanding audience. In doing so though, it seemed like an odd move considering who the headliner was.

The joy of a pre-show playlist is that the audience can have their enthusiasm fueled during the time when there is no action on stage. With AC/DC’s Highway To Hell and Motorhead’s Born To Raise Hell blasting through the PA system, the party was well and truly underway.

VOLBEAT (8) took the stage with an imposing presence. Michael Poulsen (vocals) stood behind his mic stand with guitar in hand and led the crowd in The Devil’s Bleeding Crown. It hadn’t taken long for the mosh pits to open and start bouncing to bands like Pelvis On Fire and Sad Man’s Tongue inspired country. The way they sped up the songs did them a bit of a disservice, but there were no complaints from the crowd wanting to hear more, including Johnny Cash’s fast-paced rendition of Ring Of Fire. .

Although it’s not all circular pits and jostling of unsuspecting strangers. Poulsen led the charge as the crowd sang I Only Wanna Be With You and Last Day Under The Sun with utter euphoria. As the audience ate from the palm of their hands, the joy on the face of Rob Caggiano (lead guitar) was undeniable. The thrilling chug of Seal The Deal followed by the exuberant heaviness of The Devil Rages On kept the audience spellbound. The ability to go from one ton of pace to another with no start-up issues proved the team to Jon Larsen (battery) and Kaspar Boye Larsen (bass) to be one of the first rhythm sections in modern music.

In the past, Volbeat have been described as one of the funnest live bands on the active circuit. This guess turned out to be correct as the crowd was encouraged to leave their troubles at the door and enjoy the rockabilly-infused heavy metal. Leaving the night to the monolithic Still Counting, Volbeat gave the audience everything they wanted and more. Spilling into the sticky night, conversations quickly turned to the band’s download set. Judging by this whole event, Volbeat’s visit to Castle Donington should be one to remember.