[Complete collection of photos in this Flickr set]
Airbourne are a band I’m familiar with and know a few songs by, but don’t know a lot about. One thing I can tell you after this gig is that they are one incredible live act!
They do often get compared to AC/DC for a variety of reasons and I would be tempted to go that direction. Their sound is similar and they focus on one key figure in the band. OK, kind of. Lead guitarist and singer Joel O’Keeffe is like Angus Young and Brian Johnson wrapped up together in one rock’n’roll shaped package.
Within three songs, Joel was walking around the crowd having walked off the side of the stage. No bouncers or security (more about those arseholes later), just a man and a guitar wandering around a sell-out crowd and jumping on a bar for a drink. He got carried around shoulder-high by a couple of fans for some time, making his way back to the stage.
Towards the end, Joel smashed a few cans of lager on his head, the crowd rocked and all was good with the world.
For me, a gig needs three things – a good band, good sound and a good crowd. Airbourne had these in spades. I’ve yet to be let down by a Glasgow crowd at a gig. Always up for it!
Someone needs to feed something down to the Showsec trolls at the front though. I had a run-in with one of these neanderthals twenty years ago when I was at Barrowlands to see Megadeth. I was dragged by the hair (I had some then) into a back room by some huge brute who threatened to break my legs and kick me out if I dared to crowdsurf again.
This time round, as Joel is telling the crowd to climb on each other’s shoulders, crowdsurf, slam – whatever – the “security” wankers were busy telling people to stop and threatening to throw them out if they didn’t obey.
So, basically, twenty years go by and Barrowlands still haven’t been able to find staff that have the slightest idea of what people having fun looks like. Quite how they’ve managed to stay in this black hole when nearby venues such as the Academy and the Garage cope perfectly well is beyond me.
Basically, an awesome gig by a fantastic live act spoiled by a small number of complete cocks. Who were being paid to be there.