Volbeat went Beyond Hell/Above Heaven to Bring Chicago to its Knees

Volbeat
House of Blues-Chicago, IL

3/28/11

Volbeat is:
Michael Poulsen – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Anders Kjølholm – bass guitar, backing vocals
Jon Larsen – drums, percussion
Thomas Bredahl – lead guitar, backing vocals

After being at the House of Blues last week, I saw that Volbeat would be playing with The Damned Things and could not miss this show. Never seeing either band live before, my first impression was why is Volbeat headlining over The Damned Things? Now knowing they are big overseas, were certified platinum in their home country Denmark, and have opened for Metal/Rock gods Metallica and AC/DC it makes more sense. They are still have not reached the success in the USA as they deserve, but they are out on tour now to prove they will be a force to be reckoned with.

It is very hard to pinpoint what genre of rock music Volbeat is – be it Metalbilly mixed with sounds of the Stray Cats on steroids or Metallica without the intricate guitar work or solos, or even Johnny Cash on meth doing a metal album. I dare you to pigeon hole them.

The latest release, Beyond Hell/Above Heaven, is their 4th studio album and gives them enough material to fill a 1 ½ hr plus set. Drummer Jon Larsen came out with sticks in the air to sit on his double bass drum kit and the crowd roared their approval, as the rest of the group ripped into “The Human Instrument.”  They transitioned to, “Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood,” not allowing the crowd to settle down to and you could feel the floor moving up and down, as everyone bounced. With the twin guitar attack filling the air with that thick, distinct Gibson guitar sound, they continued with “Heaven Nor Hell.” Lead singer, Poulsen looked like a character from a Quentin Tarantino movie played to the crowd. Even though they are still new to touring the U.S., they played like the veterans they are.

Lead guitar player, Bredahl, and bass player, Kjolholm, took turns going from one side of the stage to the other and at times, bumping into each other and spinning around laughing as they bounced away.  As much fun as the band and the crowd were having, you could not help but feel like you were watching a band about to make its mark on the music scene.

As I walked around the venue, I bumped into the guitar player for the metal band, Dirge Within and we both talked about how amazing this band was and he told me how they bring such a fresh sound to metal scene. I made me realize that for a band that’s been around for close to ten years, the music can still sound new.

As Volbeat ended the night they did a cover of Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Want to Be with You.” I mean what metal band do you know can get away with this and still look badass?

Volbeat will be touring for another month in the States before heading back home to Denmark, along with some big festivals overseas and according to Bredahl and Larsen; they want to come back in the summer time.

If you’re looking for something different from all the tours out there now, then you won’t want to miss a beat in seeing VOLBEAT.

Setlist:
The Human Instrument
Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
Heaven Nor Hell
A Moment Forever/Hallelujah Goat
Radio Girl
The Mirror And The Ripper
Sad Man’s Tongue
Mary Ann’ s Place
16 Dollars
Mr. & Mrs. Ness
We
Still Counting
Who They Are
Fallen
Thanks
Pool Of Booze, Booze, Booza/Boa (JDM)
I Only Wanna Be With You

Click on thumbnails to enlarge images:

written by Peter Lizano

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  1. […] Poulsen’s vocals are deeply embedded in the rockabilly genre.  Since The Dead Hub last covered Volbeat, more and more people are picking up on this Danish trio of metal goodness.  It was apparent last […]

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