Tyneside’s rock fraternity may have felt as though Christmas had arrived three months early when Volbeat rolled into town on Monday evening.

Following a seven-week trek across the US with metal heavyweights Slipknot, the group kick-started their current European tour at the O2 Academy Newcastle.

With a career spanning back to 2001, the Newcastle faithful had been longing for a Volbeat date in the North East for some time, and after an 18-year wait, their wish was granted with a sold-out show in the heart of the city.

This room may be somewhat intimate for the Grammy-nominated outfit, but it took the band back to their early days, and at the same time gave the Volbeat fans a rare up close and personal experience.

The sounds of Motorhead’s Born To Raise Hell bellowed over the in house PA as the four-piece hit the O2 Academy stage. The latter being a fitting sentiment for this eagerly anticipated tour opener.

The show started strong with the inclusion of the anthemic Lola Montez and the Johnny Cash inspired Sad Man’s Tongue featuring at the top of the set. And whilst Michael Poulsen mentioned that he had been suffering from a sore throat, you would barely notice it. The frontman’s distinctive voice comes together seamlessly with the locals – the latter almost acting like an army of backing vocalists.

Earlier this year Volbeat released their incredible seventh studio album Rewind, Replay, Rebound. This being an album that finds the group at the top of their game. It’s no surprise that the record produced a string of radio airplay listed singles and many of those songs featured in the set in Newcastle. This included the likes of the Slayer tinged Cheapside Sloggers and retro rock and roller Pelvis On Fire. The aforementioned song almost feels like the kind of track Elvis Presley may have come up with if he had turned his hand to hard rock.

Having been restricted by a one hour set on the Knotfest US-run meant that a lot of the group’s most recent material remained under wraps – that is until now. Live debuts to When We Were Kids, the incredibly catchy Sorry Sack Of Bones and their fast and furious Clutch collaboration by way of Die To Live, were welcome additions to the set. And whilst neither Neil Fallon or Gary Holt was present to take their role in the previously mentioned songs, there was one guest appearance by way of opening act Danko Jones on the track Black Rose.

Fan favourites such as The Devil’s Bleeding Crown, Let It Burn and Fallen perfectly split up Volbeat’s career-spanning setlist. Whilst the band’s melodic masterpiece in Leviathan took the band that step closer to the finish line.

One of the standout tracks of both the group’s latest record and the night came by way of an encore airing of the lyrically poignant Last Day Under The Sun. But as far as first dates go, the penultimate song of the night Sealed The Deal with Volbeat’s Geordie fanbase.

It may have taken the Danish quartet a long time to get to Newcastle, but it was certainly worth the wait.

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Event Date: 23-Sept-2019

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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