Sept. 3, 2011
House of Blues - Anaheim
"Volbeat means 'the people's music'" explained an uber fan to a newbie pressed up against the guard rail. He continued to go on about how he had just seen them in Las Vegas, would be at both Anaheim shows, and if he had the money, would be going to see them in Ireland too. Now if you try and verify the meaning of Volbeat with Google translate that it will tell you that Volbeat means volbeat when translated from Danish to English, but regardless, they definitely fit "the people's music" title, with an incredibly dedicated fan base and a powerful audience connection to match. Volbeat essentially does everything right; they are the perfect amalgamation of power metal, speed metal, roots rock n' roll and rockabilly. They pick up where old school Metallica and Danzig-era Misfits left off, and make sure to extract every last epic drop of rock god glory.
Before the lights even went down, the crowd was chanting "Volbeat! Volbeat!" and when they hit the stage opening with "The Human Instrument" the crowd pushed forward, almost crushing the front row. Even front man Michael Poulsen put his hands up telling the crowd to chill, but by the time they got to the '70s-ish, anthem "Heaven Nor Hell" things had calmed to a more contained anarchy.
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The set included a little of everything from each of their albums, and a lot of cuts from their latest Beyond Hell/Above Heaven. The band's playing was incredibly tight, throwing down riffs like they hardly notice that they're even doing it, whether it was the thrash of "The Mirror and the Ripper" or the lyrical solos on "The Garden's Tale". Poulsen's voice was strong, powerful, sexy from start to finish; belting it out with a little James Hetfield inflection, a touch of Elvis, and added some signature Johnny Cash head nodding for the opening verses of "Sad Man's Tongue", a song he introduced as being inspired by the Man in Black.
The thing that stands out the most about Volbeat's performance was just how much they seem to genuinely love every second of what they're doing. Their passion and enthusiasm drove the show. It was 100 percent energy and fuck yeah rock n' roll.
The Human Instrument
Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
Heaven Nor Hell
A Moment Forever / Hallelujah Goat
The Mirror & The Ripper
Sad Man's Tongue
Marry Ann's Place
A New Day
The Garden's Tale
A Warrior's Call
I Only Wanna Be With You / Boa
Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza