Despite their long awaited return, Volbeat proved that they remain hot property in Dublin, Ireland after storming the city’s iconic Olympia Theatre on Sunday evening. The Danish rockers closed out the weekend in style with an unbridled energy, graciousness and a performance that their Irish audience will not soon forget.
As the ground floor area, ascending in slope the further it stretched, and tiered balconies of the venue quickly began to fill, close to brimming, support on the night was offered by Fangclub. A momentous occasion for the trio as they hail from the nations capital, Fangclub delivered a respectable set, even if it did echo a little too close to the ghost of Nirvana in both image and sound. And to top it off, almost unsurprisingly, a rendition of the timeless “Heart Shaped Box” that came dangerously close to tipping them over the fine, yet distinct line between original songwriters and glorified tribute act. Fortunately, their original material played well with the Volbeat assembly.
While it saw a 2016 release, ‘Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie’ serves as the most recent record from our headliners. Therefore, when the lights were killed and the intro music came to an end, album (and now gig) opener, “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” had already been marinating for some time, and was received as a classic as opposed to new blood.
Volbeat were welcomed back with open arms and a warm embrace during the kick-off moments of their set. Moments that were followed by a relentless energy that never ceased to dip, trail off or cruise, only climbing throughout each of the nineteen songs they launched at the more than willing audience. Michael Poulsen (vocalist/guitar), Rob Caggiano (lead guitars) and Kaspar Boye Larsen regularly shifted positions, each eventually covering the length and breadth of the stage while Jon Larsen (drums) entertained from the podium behind. By the end, Volbeat could have left even the most adamant adrenaline junky begging for a time out.
Influences from Johnny Cash to Dusty Springfield saw the respecting hat tipped in their direction, as medleys that joyously married beloved originals with reimagined classics all went down a treat. One early highlight in particular delivered a roof raising sing along, a favourite past time for the Irish that, thankfully, carried throughout the night. A Volbeat take on “I Only Want To Be With You” added a much enjoyed element of giddiness into the already merry crowd. A merry state comically acknowledged by Poulsen, who regularly beamed with excitement at the fans reception.
With the rhythmic hold from “Lola Montez”, the fist pumped cries in “For Evigt” as well as the now crowd claimed ballad “Fallen”, there was never a dull moment to be found. Young fans were gifted with priceless band memorabilia, while a sea of galloping, shoulder hoisted women head banged in what looked like the most brutal human rodeo you could ever hope to see.
There was a light heartedness to it all that was perfectly seasoned with a guest appearance by none other than Mark “Barney” Greenway of Napalm Death, lending his vocal talents to “Evelyn” and leaving the Volbeat guys in awe before he exited the stage.
As far as feeling and perception go, the night was over no later than it had begun. Baffling, when you consider that the set ran past the venue curfew. Volbeat ended the evening on a high with their prime, trademark hit “Still Counting” and with that, a stunning Sunday was had by all. And born of it, yet another highly anticipated wait for the return of Volbeat to Irish shores.