[29 June 2012]
For the fifth time in a little under two years, the Danish rockabilly-metal outfit, better known as Volbeat, stopped by Toronto, and in this short time, the band have managed to headline bigger venues and grow their fan-base too. Volbeat’s Monday June 18th performance was testament to this accomplishment, playing their largest headlining show at Kool Haus, and the first stop of their “Route 666” North American tour.
Volbeat stormed the stage red-hot launching into “A Warrior’s Call” followed quickly by “Guitar, Gangsters and Cadillac Blood”. If the number of return visits to Toronto weren’t convincing enough, the smile on front-man Michael Poulsen’s face, made it perfectly clear he enjoys playing here. Seeing Hank Shermann on lead guitar was also a welcome sight as I recall his performance as the fill-in for former guitarist Thomas Bredahl during Gigantour was incredible. Shermann’s fret work adds a fresh twist on Volbeat’s earlier songs, giving them new life and uniqueness. The always animated Anders Kjølholm was solid on bass and Jon Larsen tight on drums.
Volbeat performed a great selection of songs from their catalogue that included fan-favourites such as “Sad Man’s Tongue”, “Mary Ann’s Place”, “Fallen” and “Radio Girl”, but the personal highlight of the evening was the 2-minute snippet of “Sweet Unicorns” (introduced by Poulsen as “Mama can I have a shotgun? No you can have a sweet unicorn”) a hard, thrashy, and instantly infectious metal riff that hinted at great things to come from the new album. The song led into “The Mirror & The Ripper” before the main set ended.
After a brief pause, Volbeat returned to the stage for the encore. In a very gracious gesture, Poulsen brought three kids garbed in Volbeat shirts, on to the stage. Introducing them as “the new generation”, he had them sit on the edge of the drum kit to rock out with him and the band. Volbeat finished off the night with “The Human Instrument”, “I Only Wanna Be With You”, “Pool Of Booze, Booze, Booza” and arguably their best known song, “Still Counting” before ripping into the signature Slayer opening of “Raining Blood” to end the show.
A Warrior’s Call
Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
Another Day, Another Way
Sad Man’s Tongue
A Moment Forever / Hallelujah Goat
Mary Ann’s Place
Who They Are
Heaven Nor Hell
The Mirror & The Ripper
The Human Instrument
I Only Wanna Be With You
Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza