By: Bryan Everson
Danish rockers Volbeat brought the energy several times over with their their high-powered act that fuses rockabilly and metal. They also exhibited why they’ve been garnering solid reviews amongst the company of some of hard rock and metal’s better acts, as they did last month in Columbus for Rock on the Range, arguably North America’s biggest hard rock/metal festival.
It’s also partially attributed to singer Michael Poulsen’s distinct, and sometimes syncopated, vocal delivery, from the opening phrase of, “Let’s get ready to rumble!” The line opens the band’s customary opener, “A Warrior’s Call,” written for highly-ranked boxer Mikkel Kessler (a Copenhagen native, where the band was formed). The previously released track was included on the band’s latest album, Beyond Hell / Above Heaven, and partially thanks to its success on radio stateside, has made for an ideal pace-setter live.
The quartet followed that up with the title track from their previous release, “Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood,” and played one more before displaying some of their versatility with “Sad Man’s Tongue,” app
ropriately ripe with Johnny Cash references. Not long into their set, Volbeat make it transparent live why they’re easily accessible to a wide variety of rock listeners in many of the same facets as they are on their records. Combining Poulsen’s delivery an
d pulse-pounding tempo with an arsenal of catchy riffs, the band delivers through relatable themes, like in “Fallen,” its lead single from the latest album. Poulsen dedicated the song to his father, and invited the crowd to do the same for anyone who’d lost someone.
The band powered through fifteen tracks, including “Sweet Unicorns,” a potential track off their next release, then exited temporarily prior to an equally riveting four-song encore. Poulsen announced, “Then the fight came,” and hammered through the rest of the highly-addictive chorus from “Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza” that kept the pits still circling within the floor crowd.
Closing things out with their newest single, “Still Counting,” the band wrapped up a show preceded by metal supergroup Hellyeah that had a varied crowd engaged and headbanging at rapid frequency. If Tuesday’s show proved anything, it’s that Volbeat can score knockout performances akin to their friend Kessler. As they grow and continue to do so, the similarly grandiose stages that their fellow Dane performs upon will suit their energy just fine.