Great music knows no borders. As we continue to spread out and diversify our content with events from places all over the world, this time we got something from our Scandinavian neighbors in Norway. VOLBEAT‘s latest gig at Sentrum Scene in Oslo was brought into the limelight. Unfortunately, due to a camera incident, we were unable to retrieve the photos from this particular show.
The Danish band VOLBEAT was established in Copenhagen in 2001 by the vocalist Michael Paulsen. The band consists of Jon Larsen on drums, Anders Kjølhol on bass, and Thomas Bredahl on guitar. By mixing different kinds of genres like rockabilly, metal, and rock, this band has obviously found their recipe for success. VOLBEAT’s fanbase has grown tremendously over a short period of time, and the fact that James Hetfield himself asked the band to be METALLICA’s support act during their North American tour hasn’t exactly made the Danes any less popular. In 2010, VOLBEAT had released their fourth studio album, “Beyond Hell/Above Heaven.”
This night was my first encounter with VOLBEAT live and they had none other than THE KANDIDATE and ENTOMBED as their opening acts. Yours truly missed out on THE KANDIDATE but arrived at the venue just in time to see ENTOMBED, who are one of Scandinavia’s biggest death metal bands. I’ll have to admit that I don’t personally listen to them, but I was impressed by the energy the guys had on stage. ENTOMBED started out with the song “Crawl,” which was a great choice to begin the show. They continued the set with the songs “To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth” and “I for an Eye.” The venue was still pretty empty at this point, but the few people who where there were ecstatic. ENTOMBED put on a good show and I laughed a few times at how funny the vocalist Lars Gøran Petro was being while he was performing. And when he wasn’t, he was busy spitting water on people. Good intro, good music, good energy.
After ENTOMBED‘s set, a huge flag with VOLBEAT’s logo came down from the ceiling, covering the stage. People knew that it wasn’t going to be long before the band “everybody” came to see was going to entertain us, but no. We had to wait another 30 minutes with the crew members running around like headless chickens, trying to prepare the stage, and an annoying guy “sound checking” the microphone with some lousy noise that started resembling a bad rap. While this was going on, the room started filling up and people were getting impatient. A whole orchestra of chanting and feet stomping drowned out everything else.
VOLBEAT took the stage and were welcomed with jumping applauding people. They started the show with “The Mirror and the Ripper” from their latest album. Songs like “A Better Believer” and Elvis-inspired “16 Dollars” were also played. The guys were everywhere, running up and down the ramps and enjoying themselves. They did a good job balancing rock tunes like “Rebel Monster” to the more simple tunes like “The Gardens Tale.” Lars Gøran Petro joined the stage after a while and accompanied VOLBEAT on the track “Evelyn.” They also dedicated a song to the man himself, Ronnie James Dio, which was of course “Sad Man’s Tongue.” Paulsen even managed to take breaks from singing because the audience was doing the job for him on the track “Still Counting.”
Right when I thought it was the end of the gig, the boys got off the stage and returned, performing not one but three more songs. And, even then, when they left the stage after “The Garden’s Tale,” they came back for a second encore. Impressive gig, impressive artists, and they put on one hell of a show. I would highly recommend you to go check them out live, you won’t regret it.
1. The Mirror and the Ripper
2. Maybellene I Hofteholder
3. Hallelujah Goat
4. 16 Dollars
5. Heaven nor Hell
6. Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
8. Who They Are
10. Mary Ann’s Place
11. Sad Man’s Tongue
12. Angelfuck (Misfits cover)
13. I Only Want to Be With You (Dusty Springfield cover)
14. Pool of Booze, Booze, Booze
15. A Warrior’s Call
16. Still Counting
17. The Garden’s Tale
20. The Human Instrument
Written by Linda Nur Chbib
Interview with Vola — “At this point, we just felt like writing something heavy again, more streamlined.”