Airbourne – headline act
Breaking Outta Hell European tour 2017
Desecrator – support act
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
24/10 – 2017
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Airbourne were out making roads unsafe in Europe this fall. The band did a festival tour during the summer and then embarked on a headline tour. The tour kicked off in Britain, then followed Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. Many of the shows were sold out and the tickets to the Malmo show disappeared pretty fast. A string of support acts joined the band on the tour. For the Sweden gigs Desecrator teamed up. The last show in Sweden took place at Kulturbolaget in Malmo on a Tuesday which meant there was no nightclub after the show. The venue takes in 850 people, and as mentioned, it sold out long ago. The doors opened at 7 and I was standing in line already 30 minutes before that in order to come in and check out the club. Luckily there was a photo pit this time otherwise it would have been hard to take pictures with the rowdy Airbourne fans hands in the air. I took a look at the merchandise stand and the band sold a lot of different t-shirts but many sizes were sold out and they had a lot of dates left on the tour. Not a single CD or vinyl was sold which was strange, at least they could have brought with them their latest crowd-funded compilation album DIAMOND CUTS that includes the first three albums as sell as a bonus album containing unreleased songs and a DVD.
A majority of the fans had turned 50+ but there were also kids there to see the band with their parents, nothing brings people together like some good old heavy metal music. The time moved on quiet fast and suddenly it was time for Desecrator to kick off the evening.
After making their entrance to a Metallica tune, the band kicked off the show with the song “Trash Is A Verb”. In March this year the band released their debut album TO THE GALLOWS, before that the band released two EP’s and a live album. Singer Strong thanked for the response from the fans and said the band comes from Australia and that it was fun to be in Malmo. “This is the last night for us on the tour which is sad, I hope you’re having fun tonight, it sure looks like you are”. It’s Tuesday night and here comes “Down In Hell”. Desecrator is:
Riley Strong – lead vocals, guitar
Jared Roberts – drums
Scottie Anning – guitar
Gerard Biesboer – bass
“Serpent’s Return” followed and Strong had the audience to sing the chorus with him. It seemed like people knew the band and the songs and sang out quite loud together with Strong. The lighting was really poor and everyone more or less stood in the dark, there was a white strobe coming from the back focusing on and off on the members and it was hard to take pictures of the band in action. The sound system wasn’t too great either and it was hard to hear nuances in the music and song. It sounded like the band hadn’t been soundchecking at all before the show.
Strong introduced Biesboer on bass saying this is my friend, Strong asked how many in the club that liked drinking beer, I like beer he continued and there’s a lot of songs about beer, here comes one “Red Steel Nation”. I thought the old school thrash metal sounded just old and that is not meant as a compliment. The quality of the song didn’t keep a high standard and it was nothing about the music that really captured me. It was a strange move for Airbourne to pick Desecrator as a support act but maybe it has to do with the bands both being from Australia.
Strong said Desecrator loves Airbourne and and they wanted to jump the fence and achieve more success in Scandinavia, let’s see if you all recognize this song “Born To be Wild”. The song woke up the majority of the audience and they took over the chorus. Strong said he knew the song would wake up the crowd and it was taken from the brand new album that the band had for sale at the merchandise stand. “Please buy 8 albums each”, Strong said, “so we can afford to go home to Australia again”.
“To The Gallows” followed, and since it was the last night on the tour for them, Strong wanted everyone to shout “hey hey” for him. “Brainscan” continued the show and Strong wanted the fans to pretend that it was Metallica that was standing on the stage and act thereafter. He said “it was now the last chance for everyone to headbang for Desecrator so let’s do that with a smile. ” After the song the band took off their instruments and thanked the crowd for being there supporting Desecrator. “Am I Evil” was heard as an outro and the 40 minute show was over.
Well, Desecrator wasn’t my cup of tea, they handled the crowd well and Strong was funny to listen to when he spoke in between the songs but their music didn’t appeal to me at all. Their material felt old and the music was one in a dozen, Desecrator was sadly one of the most boring bands I’ve seen for a while, and I have seen a lot of bands.
Trash is A Verb
Down To Hell
Red Steel Nation
Born To Be Wild (cover)
To The Gallows
Outro – Am I Evil
While Desecrator performed the club filled up with more people and now it was was pretty crowded inside. The crew began to prepare the stage for Airbourne with a wall of Marshall amps one each side of the stage. It took a while to get the stage ready for the next show and in between bands the crowd went over to the bar to get something to drink, and it started to show that many had a little too much to drink in wait of Airbourne ha ha. The crazy Aussie band is led by the O’Keeffe brothers and released its debut album 2007 titled RUNNIN WILD. The band tours quite heavily and the latest album BREAKIN OUTTA HELL unveiled last year and with that album the band changed record label from Roadrunner Records to Spinefarm Records. This year the bands guitarist David Roads left the band and is now replaced by Harri Harrison. At 9.20 it was finally time for the Australian wildlings to enter the stage and the crowd was really anxious to see and hear the band and chanted their name over and over again.
As soon as the band showed up on stage it was full speed ahead and the fans screamed at the top of their lungs as they saw the members in front of them. “Ready To Rock” was the first song out and singer O’Keffe thanked the crowd saying we have a lot of songs to play for you tonight, both old as well as new songs. Here comes “I’m Going To Hell For This”. And from the very, start I couldn’t but be impressed by the band and their high speed hard rock music. O’Keeffe was everywhere at the same time on stage headbanging his head out. The same went for Street while Harrison was calmer and stood on his position during most of the show. Airbourne is:
Joel O’Keefee – lead vocals, guitar
Ryan O’Keeffe – drums
Justin Street – bass
Harri Harrison – guitar
The crowd was really wild and it was obvious they had been waiting a long time to see the band and the crowds respond only triggered the band to deliver an even more solid show. “Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast” set the crowd on fire and the temperature that was already peaking went straight to the roof. O’Keffee thanked for the respond and said it was time for the band to play a new song in “Rivalry” and even though the song was new the fans sang a long in it. It’s hard to not get effected by this band enthusiasm and even if you have had a hard time before coming to the show the band always manage to put a smile on your face. It’s easy to see that they all love what they’re doing and that rubs off on the crowd. The sound system wasn’t working its best and the guitar was put a little too high up in the mix, it was also sometimes hard to hear what O’Keffee said in between the songs which also was the case when he sang. And the same went for the lights, they weren’t working the best either and it was a bit dark on stage.
“Girls In Black” followed in which O’Keffee jumped up on the shoulders of a roadie that walked out into the crowd with him while playing lead guitar. With O’Keffee on his shoulder he took a long walk and O’Keffee grabbed a can of beer smashing it to his forehead like he use to making beer squirt all around. Back in stage he had the fans shout hey hey and all this extended the song quite a bit. O’Keeffee looked really happy as he introduced “Cheap Wine And Cheaper Women” and he didn’t have to invite the crowd to sing a long, it happened all by itself. He fetched a bottle of wine at the back and said – this is what it’s like to be on tour, and took a big sip from it. The last time we were here was back in 2008 which was a really long time ago he said, thanks for coming back to see us again, we want to give something extra to the ones at the front of the stage so here’s “Bottom Of The Well”. The fans started a circle pit and it was hard not to get carried away by the bands energy and tempo. After handing out some guitarpics to the fans O’Keffee said that it was not OK to crowdsurf, light up the smartphones or come up on stage, you can do anything because this is a rock concert and it’s OK to do what you want (he was not happy with the public for some reason) and the band fired off “Breaking Outta Hell”. Some of the fans started to crowdsurf and O’Keffee took off his guitar and grabbed a beer and threw the can out to the fans, OK Malmoe, show me what you got because we’re raising hell in Malmoe tonight. O’Keffee urged the fans to form a circlepit and shined on the fans with a huge flashlight. On each side of the stage smoke came out and it looked really cool, Harrison spin round and round on the stagefloor and he did it so fast that his chord to the bassguitar landed on the floor.
“Diamond In The Rough” followed and O’Keffee introduced Harrison on guitar, he then handed over his guitar to a crew member and grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels and said Cheers Malmoe. He took out glasses and started to make drinks to the band and drummer O’Keefee joined the rest of the band down on the floor. Each member got a glass and toasted with each other and the fans and when the drink session was over it was time for “It’s All For Rock n Roll”, “Stand Up For Rock n Roll” followed instantly so it was almost a medley of the two songs. After a long outro and after thanking the fans once again the band walked off the stage and the ordinary playing time was over and 60 minutes had gone by pretty fast.
The fans shouted for more music and a few minutes later a roadie came out with an air raid siren and drummer O’Keefee came out turning the wheel and a loud signal came out from the PA. As he walked up to his drums the rest of the band came out on stage and fired off “Live It Up”. O’Keffee had the fans shouting hey hey in the middle of the song, he asked if the fans were thirsty and said the fans should get up on each others shoulders because he was now going to treat the fans with beer. He poured up beer in glasses and threw them to the fans that were sitting on shoulders. While he was doing that the band continued playing the song and again, what a show the band pulled off. Last song out for the night was “Running Wild” which drained the fans totally, the fans jumped, clapped their hands and screamed for the band throughout the song. Crew members came up with beer cans that O’Keeffe smashed to his head as he had the fans to scream at his command and before the song was over the band also did a few lines of an AC/DC song. Thanks Malmoe for going crazy on a Tuesday with us, give a hand for the support band. We’re going home for a while now but we will be back because as long as there are fans like you we will continue play rock n roll. The smoke machines went off as the band took of their instrument and walked off the stage and that marked the end of the show.
Airbourne is like a Duracell battery that keeps on going, there isn’t a single dull moment when these guys are on stage and I had wished for a little more that 80 minutes of music from the Aussie’s. The band always seems to have a great time on stage and I have never left an Airbourne show unhappy or not satisfied with what I’ve seen. It seemed like the sweaty crowd was as happy as I when they left the club and this Tuesday was a magical Tuesday.