I owe Volbeat one, last time we went to see them at RosRock in Holland back in 2007 one of our number got her drink spiked and we spent the whole of their set with paramedics! Three years later we find them with a good slot on the second stage at Download and I’m pleasantly surprised to see what a good crowd they get considering they are up against Megadeth on the main stage. Mainstream success has been a long time coming for these guys, (formed in their native Denmark back in 2001) and they seem to be relishing every second of it.
Volbeat are one of those bands that it’s very hard to describe to someone who hasn’t heard them, they mix so many styles in that to tie them down to one is pretty much impossible. It’s rock, it’s metal, it’s rockabilly and so on, rock and roll with a twist if you like! Vocalist Michael Poulsen is a humerous guy and keeps the crowd entertained between songs, it’s all very well done and good fun. Some of the faster songs are reminiscent of Green Day but then they’ll mix it up and give you a slower and darker more rock/metal orientated track. The variety keeps it interesting and none of it is bad by any means! The band are grinning and getting into it with plenty of movement and interaction, winning over any doubters with consummate ease.
The crowd respond well to them and they even get an unlikely circle pit, the band clearly feeding off it. By the end of the set I find myself really enjoying them and when they close out with ‘Still Counting’ I’m convinced that they are a contender for set of the day, it’s ska style chorus moving into hard riffs and really impressing what a good band they are.