Saturday, April 19, 2008
The Plaza Club
Vancouver, BC Canada
***Live Review & All Photos By Lord of The Wasteland
Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. This unholy triumvirate propelled many of the bands during the seventies and eighties whose hedonistic ways were not only good lyrical fodder but also a very real way of life. Many succumbed to their vices early on by living too fast but the smart ones kept that image of all night partying and endless ribaldry alive in the music. While music has taken a step away from the good times in recent years, the Australian band, Airbourne, has not only embraced the bare-bones, liquor-soaked hard rock of AC/DC but brought it to a new generation of rockers looking for music to be fun again. Airbourne’s brand of sweaty rock and roll stomped through Vancouver and The Plaza Club must still be drying out the upholstery and carpeting after the carnage witnessed on this night.
Airbourne’s major-label debut, RUNNIN’ WILD, came out earlier this year and the eleven-song slugfest is bursting with sex, booze and anthemic glitter. The music just screams for a small, hot, packed club on a Saturday night and this is exactly what Vancouver got. Following the intro of Britny Fox’s “Girlschool,” Airbourne played the entire RUNNIN’ WILD album which was no surprise but the sold-out crowd and energy that threatened to blow the roof wide open certainly was. Pure mayhem can only describe the scene on the small floor area as the stifling heat and smell of sweat was almost overpowering. The crowd surged forward constantly and many brave souls took the liberty of jumping on stage or rearranging the monitors much to the delight of the band and the chagrin of the helpless security stuff. Vocalist/lead guitarist Joel O’Keefe hammered through the songs with his gruff voice powered by several ice-cold beers and a few swigs of Jack Daniels. During “Girls In Black,” O’Keefe disappeared into the crowd, re-emerged on top of the bar to play his solo and then grabbed another bottle of JD from the bar before pouring it out into the mouths of the people at the front of the stage. “Stand Up For Rock ‘n Roll” is a sure-fire kick-off to the band’s live set for years to come with its fist-pumping chorus and blazing riffs. The sleazy “What’s Eatin’ You” is pure AC/DC worship and got many of the ladies in the crowd showing off their lewdest dance moves in front of rhythm guitarist Dave Roads. The southern riffing of “Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women” is a treat live and “Diamond In The Rough” is a perfect example of an adrenaline-surging, headbanging tune that begs to be cranked while cruising down the open road. “Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast” and new single “Runnin’ Wild” drew the biggest response from the crowd and it is a no-brainer why: both songs epitomize the go-for-broke, party ‘til you puke ethos of Airbourne’s music.
Stand Up For Rock ‘N’ Roll
Diamond In The Rough
What’s Eatin’ You
Girls In Black
Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women
Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast
Ready To Rock
Airbourne is the kind of band that critics hate and fans buy up in droves. RUNNIN’ WILD’s songs are simplistic, three-chord charges which embody every cliché of the rock and roll lifestyle. Airbourne isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel but they are trying to make rock music fun again and on this Saturday night, that was exactly what the doctor ordered.
***Thanks to Jessica at Live Nation for the press pass.