Volbeat @ House of Blues Lake Buena Vista, Florida 05/29/12
With Eye Empire and Gorillafight
Words by Ronman
Up until just several weeks ago, I had no idea who Volbeat was. No clue. A friend of mine turned me onto this Danish Metal act. This friend of mine has been absolutely geeking out on this band, so I had to give them a listen. As it turned out, their song, “Warrior’s Call”, has been getting some serious air time on WJRR, our local rock station. I had heard the song, just had no idea who it was.
With the crowd warmed up after sets by Gorillafight and Eye Empire, the packed HOB exploded when Guitarist/Lead Vocalist Michael Poulsen stepped up to the mic and shouted the words made famous by ring announcer Michael Buffer, “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!” How ballsy is that? To open your set with the song everyone in the place knows you for instead of saving it for an encore, like most bands would. “Warriors Call” started what would be a blistering 90 minutes of what I can only describe as Johnny Cash meets Elvis meets Metallica on steroids.
I wish I could tell you their set list, but I don’t know any of the song titles. I can tell you that they really don’t have a “new” album they’re touring for. Beyond Hell/Above Heaven, is their latest and was released in 2010. I guess with their star just now rising, they don’t really need to release anything new just yet. They have 4 albums of material in which to choose songs from. They did a ripping cover of Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Want To Be With You.” I was just standing there with my jaw on the floor.
Volbeat’s entire set was nonstop action. The floor was a working mosh pit, which surprised me. When I saw Anthrax w/Testament at HOB back in November ’11, that behavior was not tolerated. At one point, Poulsen stage dived and surfed the crowd. It was a raucous and very appreciative crowd. They were eating it up. Michael Poulsen’s voice was strong. Not very many singers sound like their records, live. He does! The drummer, Jon Larsen is incredible. Bassist, Anders Kjølholm was all over the stage. The lead guitarist is a fill in, as their main lead player left the band late last year. The fill in Lead guitar player is none other than Hank Shermann from Danish rockers Mercyful Fate, King Diamond’s band.
HOB was the second to the last stop on the current leg of this tour. They are in Ft. Lauderdale tonight. They take a few weeks off and then they are back on the road for another North American tour. Look them up, check them out. I don’t often give recommendations. I hate most new/current bands. These guys kick ass!