Easily the most polarizing band on this whole tour, VOLBEAT was gearing up to rock Camden next with their unique hybrid of rock, metal, rockabilly, thrash, and who-knows-what-else? Doesn’t matter how or what you want to categorize them as, Mini-Amps and I have loved this band for years now. And judging by the people around us on the lawn we aren’t the only ones. Opening with “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” from Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie, we were off and running. “Lola Montez” was up next and even though I’ve seen them before, it’s hard not to marvel at how strong singer/guitarist Michael Poulsen’s voice is live. He also knows how to work a crowd, and people everywhere were singing along and rocking the fuck out.
“Sad Man’s Tongue” was preceded by a snippet of “Ring of Fire” from the Man In Black himself, Johnny Cash, and Kelly turned to me and goes, “They’ve got a really cool rockabilly vibe. I like it.” Boom! Another convert, perhaps? “Black Rose” has one of the coolest vocal melodies in this band’s arsenal, and live it was goddamn perfect, especially on the hooks. New album Rewind, Replay, Rebound showed up with “Pelvis On Fire” and if you can’t jam or dance to this one, man, you’re beyond help. All around me were big, jacked dudes wearing extreme metal t-shirts and singing along to every word. Deal with it guys, VOLBEAT is fun, especially live. Lead guitarist Rob Caggiano looked like he was having an absolute ball up there, too.
Show mainstay “A Warrior’s Call” is always a highlight of any VOLBEAT set, and this time it flowed into a cover of classic song “I Only Wanna Be With You,” one these guys do so well. Mini-Amps was doing his thing, but it truly felt like his intensity ratched up during this tune. He was doing The Corey Dance all set, but he definitely shifted into another gear at this point. I just kept looking at him and smiling. I love being able to share these moments with him, and the way all my friends in the rock/metal community have gone out of their way to accommodate him and make him feel comfortable is just amazing. By the way, Jimmy the Beer Man was rocking his fucking face off the whole time, too. I was happy as Hell, watching my family go!
A double shot from the new record hit us with “Last Day Under the Sun”, which is arguably the catchiest hook of 2019, and then “Cheapside Sloggers,” a track that has a thumping groove and another hooky hook, especially live. Don’t think for one second that bassist Kaspar Boye Larsen and drummer Jon Larsen didn’t deliver on all fronts here. “Seal the Deal” brought the rock and shred in spades as the band let loose, everyone kicking ass and taking names. Of course the show had to end with “Still Counting,” which is always fun, and when it kicked in, off went Mini-Amps once again! Anyone who says VOLBEAT didn’t belong on this tour is just stuck on stupid. Their set was electric, and from where I was standing, everyone loved it.
So there we were. Three down, one to go. It had been an awesome day up to this point and my son, as well as my Metal Family, was still going strong. We saw some killer performances from some amazing bands, right? But we weren’t finished yet, people. Up next was the mighty SLIPKNOT whose new album We Are Not Your Kind had only dropped a few weeks earlier. More on that in a minute. By the way, this set was gonna be extra special since Kelly hadn’t seen them yet and she was READY! So stay tuned for Part IV of this madness, also known as The Mini-Amps Chronicles…
LIVE IMAGES: ROCKVIEW LIVE
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO