Volbeat & Hatebreed @ Glasgow Barrowlands

Review & Photography by Gavin Lowrey
15th November 2014

The venue  for this Danish/American music fest is the Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom or to us up in Scotland, simply “The Barras” To me its probably the best venue to watch a band in Glasgow, so it is with great anticipation that I joined the near capacity crowd to witness the mayhem that followed FullSizeRender

Hatebreed hit the stage bang on time and vocalist Jamey Jasta soon has the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand as the band run through songs from each of their 8 Albums…

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When I first heard that it was Hatebreed that were supporting Volbeat, I thought that it may have been a miss match, but seeing the number of Hatebreed T Shirts being worn, and the response of the crown, I knew that we were all in safe hands.

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Blessed with a pretty good sound (Unlike the Russian Roulette of some of the Glasgow venues) we are treated to a Hardcore lesson, with the rhythm section of Drummer Matt Byrne and Bassist Chris Beattie getting a real work out, while guitarists Frank Novenic and Wayne Lozinak seem happy just to stand back and enjoy the moment, leaving the real hard work to Jasta; whose effervescent enthusiasm rubs off on all around him.

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The Best of their material comes from their newer releases with “The Language” from their 2013 album “The Divinity of Purpose” being the set highlight, accompanied by the compulsory circle pit Although at some points it did seem that vocalist Jasta was trying just a bit too hard with the audience to get them involved.

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I think in the end it was a decent performance performance and I would put a tick in the “yes” column for successfully introducing their hardcore sound to the more diverse Volbeat crowd- Verdict 3.5/5

When any band is confident enough to use Motorhead  as an intro, you know what will follow will be exceptional, and that’s exactly what the crowd get as Volbeat hit the stage by ripping into the traditional set opener of Hallelujah Goat with band leader and Johnny Cash dead ringer Michael Poulsen immediately having the crowd hanging on his every action.

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Even an enormous cheesy grin from Poulsen gets a massive cheer and they move effortlessly into the very catchy title track from “Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood” album.

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This song certainly showboats Poulsen’s powerful vocal presence that sometimes doesn’t always come across on their studio releases.

One thing that has certainly taken Volbeat’s live performances to another level has been the permanent recruitment of lead guitar player (and Producer of their Outlaw Gentlemen& Shady Ladies album) Rob Caggiano in early 2013.

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Credited with breathing new life into Anthrax when he joined them, he has done a similar thing to Volbeat, and their fans will be waiting with baked breath to see what the next Volbeat album sounds like with his full contribution, particularly on the songwriting front, and if it involves bringing a heavier feel to the bands music.

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After “The Nameless One” we are treated to Poulsen paying homage to his hero Johnny Cash by playing Part of “Ring of Fire” with acappella crowd participation, before sliding into “Heaven nor Hell” with its catchy, dare I say Poppy melody and then turning 360 degrees into the bang your head “Warriors Call”.

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And here lies the beauty of Volbeat; one minute you are wanting to bang your head off its shoulders, the next listening to a rockabilly foot tapper, and then after that a mainstream tune that wouldn’t be out of place on Radio One on a Tuesday afternoon.

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This however is a beauty that, bizarrely, in the UK hasn’t quite hit the levels of the rest of the world but on this showing, we shouldn’t be waiting long before we see Volbeat headlining festivals in this country

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 Rockabilly heaven with “16 Dollars”, The Poppy “Lola Montez” and the riff laden “Dead but Rising” confirm the diversity that I previously eluded to, before throwing in a cover of Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Want to be With You”

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Before “Lonesome Rider” Michael Poulsen very nearly causes a riot by telling the audience that he is glad to be over here touring England……..something that is met with a howl of boos, but doesn’t seem to put him off as the band finish off their set buy running through the powerhouse trio of “The Mirror & The Ripper”, “Hangman’s body Count” and “Doc Holiday”

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The guys return with Poulen sporting a Hatebreed cut off T Shirt for a fun filled encore of “Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza”, “Radio Girl” and the crowd participating favourite”Counting”. On this showing Volbeat are on top form and the next couple of years should be very exciting for fans of the band and its fans.

Their encore closing song “Counting” contains the opening line “Counting all the assholes in the room” which on this showing was every music fan in Scotland who didn’t buy a ticket for this show – Verdict 4.5/5

Setlist:

  1. Hallelujah Goat
  2. Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
  3. The Nameless One
  4. Sad Man’s Tongue
  5. (preceded by a Ring of Fire snippet)
  6. Heaven nor Hell / A Warrior’s Call
  7. 16 Dollars
  8. Lola Montez
  9. Dead but Rising
  10. I Only Want to Be with You
  11. (Dusty Springfield cover)
  12. The Lonesome Rider
  13. The Mirror and the Ripper
  14. The Hangman’s Body Count
  15. Doc Holliday

Encore:

  1. Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza
  2. Radio Girl
  3. Still Counting

 

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