Due to the usual early curfew and thus early start to the gig, we missed The Treatment which is a bit of a shame as I wanted to see how they’d come on since opening for Steel Panther a year or so ago. They are playing a few festivals next year which is good news so maybe we’ll hear more from their camp as time goes on.
We made it thee about halfway through Orange Goblin‘s set, which was OK. Partly let down by some murky sound, it improved towards the end. Their Motörhead-sequel style of no mess rock n’ roll went down well with the audience, as did the dedication of their last song (“Red Tide Rising”) to those affected by the Clutha tragedy.
The volume seemed to be cranked up for Airbourne‘s arrival. We were right down at the front near where the crowd surfers were released back into the audience, and when the set started, the louder shouts of greeting from the band were actually making me dizzy!
The headliners wasted no time in kicking things off and ploughed through a couple of tracks before a quick “hello” and onto more material. And more. And more. There was genuinely little chance to draw breath during their ninety minutes barring the mandatory two minute encore break.
Joel was riding through the audience on the shoulders of a roadie by the third song, and rattled off a solo while stood on one of the benches which makes up the merch area at the ABC. The shoulder ride was repeated towards the end of the set, and we also saw a huge spotlight, an air raid siren, two walls of death and more cans of beer being head butted to death than could be counted by your average Glaswegian alcoholic.
The set covered all three albums, plus the obligatory “You Take The High Road” break. You really won’t see a more “high energy” band than Airbourne performing live. Even when they pause to talk to the crowd, there are notes being played, band members bouncing on the spot and so on. Every song ends the way that most bands finish their entire set, with huge rolls of chords and drums pounding while the three front men hold their instruments in the air. I swear they get injected with E numbers before they come on stage.
They’re a band that often get compared to AC/DC in terms of tone and musical style, and I do think that’s fair. However, to go on and compare them in terms of attitude, energy and quality of music and live performance is definitely a compliment.
Airbourne earn those compliments in sweat, bloody and blisters on their hands from playing so hard.