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Volbeat and The Damned Things Concert Review – 4/6/11 – House of Blues – Los Angeles, CA

7 April 2011 7 Comments

By: Darius

VOLBEAT

VOLLLLLBEEEAAAATTTTT!!!!!!!!!! Volbeat is pretty much the only band I have thought about all week, which says a lot since my entire day revolves around music. I’ve been championing this band for several years now, ever since I first heard their music on SiriusXM satellite radio. I also saw them live on the Metallica Death Magnetic tour and watched them hold their own on the huge circular stage in the middle of the arena floor. Loved it.

BUT… it wasn’t until last summer, when they played a late set at the Key Club in West Hollywood as part of the Sunset Strip Music Festival that I became hooked on this amazing, original, and altogether brilliant Danish band called Volbeat. They brought the pain that night on the Sunset Strip and I have been patiently waiting ever since to see them again. Well, they have a new album titled Beyond Hell/Above Heaven that is in rightful contention for metal record of the year, and the band is currently touring nationwide in support of the effort.

Beyond Hell/Above Heaven

We were fortunate to have guitarist Thomas Bredahl on the show this week and with no small effort on our part. It basically took me harassing the stage crew after the Key Club show to find out who their manager was, finding him in the club and introducing myself, explaining that my mind was blown by what I just saw and that I wanted to do my part in supporting this band, and then waiting for several weeks until I was connected with Volbeat’s amazing publicist, who I then met in person days later when he was in town on business.

A few more months past, and once Volbeat was in the United States touring in support of Beyond Hell/Above Heaven, I sent another few emails and we finally set a date. Our interview with Thomas was short but great, and we hope that we did a good job entertaining everyone. At the very least, we expect to have inspired you to check out this band and go see a show. It’s worth every second of your time and every penny that you will spend.

Our interview with Thomas Bredahl coincided with the band’s current west coast leg of their nationwide tour and I saw them perform at the House of Blues, just a stone’s throw away from the Key Club. I walked into the club early enough to see The Damned Things, a collective of musicians from some very well known bands called Anthrax, Every Time I Die and Fallout Boy. I’ll be completely honest with everyone here; I had zero faith in The Damned Things when I first heard the rumors that the guys were recording their debut album. It just seemed too farfetched. However, I saw their second live show ever at the Roxy Theatre, grabbed a copy of their debut album, Ironiclast, and came away a fan of The Damned Things. They kick ass! I really should have had faith from the very beginning.

The Damned Things

Their frontman is Keith Buckley from Every Time I Die, one of my favorite bands in the world. He’s an amazing talent. Josh Newton, also from Every Time I Die, is a former guest on this show and is a phenomenal talent as well. Scott Ian from Anthrax is one of the most respected rhythm guitarists in the world, and with good reason. So that really should have been enough. Regardless, I’m a fan now and am better for it. Last night’s opening set was even better than the Roxy show. They’ve really gelled quite a bit over the last year and they went out and delivered.

After their set, I was blown away that every single member of the band hit the merch table to sign autographs and take pictures. It was so refreshing to see this group of guys who have all played in arenas and festivals alike, still putting in the time to talk to fans and sell their own merchandise. I love that! Much respect to The Damned Things.

Afterwards, I was primed for Volbeat’s headlining set. As expected, the band absolutely destroyed the place. I could write the usual review where I try to put in words how incredibly awesome they were but instead, I’m going to focus on a few salient points about the evening that matter the most to me. First and foremost, I experienced a quick sense of relief that rapidly evolved into a euphoric adrenaline-spiked rush over the fact that I witnessed firsthand that what Thomas spoke of during our interview was true; Volbeat is actually catching on here in the United States. The House of Blues is nearly twice the size of the Key Club and it was a full house. It wasn’t sold out, but definitely full. There was way more people at this show than the one I saw less than a year ago right down the street. Also, the crowd response was tremendous. I was blown away by the amount of people losing their minds, singing along, dancing, moshing, and just going nuts. There was also a healthy amount of females in the audience, I might add.

Volbeat on stage at the House of Blues

Secondly, Volbeat doesn’t hit the stage like a lot of metal bands and act too tough to have a good time. No, these guys are smiling, jumping around, interacting with the audience in between songs and genuinely having a blast throughout. They don’t take themselves too seriously and that’s a nice change of pace if you ask me. They paid homage to their influences during the set, most notably in walking out to the tune of Motorhead’s “Born To Raise Hell”, and later playing the Johnny Cash cover “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, as well as a really cool, yet facetious medley that contained snippets of “Ace of Spades” and Metallica’s “The Shortest Straw” and “I Disappear”. Volbeat has punk influences too and they threw in “Angelfuck” by The Misfits for good measure.

Volbeat's Set List

Finally, Volbeat played a lengthy set that extended into a terrific encore that highlighted their entire catalog and then some. In one evening, I heard a set that varied from metal, to punk, to country, and to rock. That’s what makes Volbeat so great; they take all these sounds that are dear to them and create music that is completely original. There is not one single band in music today that sounds like Volbeat.

Lead singer Michael Poulsen greeting the front row with a fan's Dodger hat

In his article accompanying the Thomas Bredahl interview, Andrew wrote “the fact that Volbeat has not conquered the United States is a disgrace.” I certainly agree with his sentiment but at least now, after seeing this amazing show at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip, I feel exhilarated knowing the fact that they’re much closer now than ever before. I can not wait to see them accomplish this and I know we’ll be there every step of the way cheering them on.

Follow All Knowing Force at twitter.com/AllKnowingForce
Follow Darius at twitter.com/dariussabet

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7 Comments »

  • godblessya said:

    Good article man. It’s always more rewarding to do something yourself, nurture it and watch it grow. My best thought on what Andrew said is that it was directed towards the music industry – cause any success the band has they’re doing on their own. The first thought I had when I hearrd them for the first time was WHY HAVENT I HEARD OF THESE GUYS BEFORE? He’s over the top with alot of what he says but when it comes to the truths he speaks about the business he’s more accurate than anyone.

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  • mAAT said:

    THUMBS UP, ESPEC. CUZ OF USING THE WORD SALIENT

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach said:

    Great article, Darius. I actually feel as if I was there. And mAAT is write, the use of ivy league words takes it to a new level. All it needed was a “usurp” and it would have been golden.

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  • ARA said:

    This review made me seek out some Volbeat tunes. Why not throw a Youtube in there or something next time?!

    I think I have a new favorite band.

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  • IceSk8r said:

    I was at this show. Blew me away. Made a fan out of my gf.

    Volbeat rox.

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  • Solars said:

    Great review.

    Nice the see that the Volbeat virus is infecting the states. Im a fan, and has been with the band since they played for 50 people here in Denmark and have seen them over 100 times. and im so proud of the guys, and the way they act. All 4 members are down to earth and there is not a hince of rockstar attitude in em.

    So thumbs up for the “promoting” your guys do, and if you have anything you wanna know about the band and the history, then please send my a mail, or catch my on FB

    Regards
    Solars
    Webmaster on the Official Volbeat Forum (www.volbeatforum.dk) In both Danish, German and English

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  • Artie Hogan said:

    I was first introduced to Volbeat only a few months ago from a Danish friend. I went with him to the April 11, 2011 mesa,AZ show, not really sure what to expect. Well The Damned Things came on and were amazing, then Volbeat came on and I was totally blown away. I have seen close to a hundred shows and I can say with zero hesitation, best concert I have ever been to. Volbeat rocked Mesa Amphitheatre! They are now my favorite band. I hope they come around again soon, but this time I will be bringing and army of friends so they can experience what i did.

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