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11.10.2019

AIRBOURNE + support: Supersuckers at Rockefeller, Oslo

Anmeldt av Andrea Chirulescu

After you witness the intense live performance of AIRBOURNE, there's quite high chances you'll wish to see them live again, whether you dig their music or not, since the Aussie blokes surely know how to handle a crowd. And a decent sized one, like a sold out Oslo based Rockefeller venue size. A venue that they have visited 3 times before, a number that probably indicates they are well loved in the Norwegian capital.
 
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The concert from 2019 has SUPERSUCKERS as opening act, an American rock act originating from Tucson, Arizona and who stated that Airbourne has showed some balls for daring to invite them on this tour. Can't say I agree much with the statement, as you can't really compare the intensity of the two performances. Even if they have been around since 1988, Supersuckers doesn't strike as a band with much experience on the metal scene. Well, the fact that they have to use less than half the stage might not help either. While a small bunch of people, more familiar with their tunes, sang along and tried to get others to manifest, most of the audience was rather still and politely applauded between the songs. And the band's compositions might have had a spark here and there and some cool groovy vocals at first, but once the feeling of everything constantly sounds the same, 45 minutes of show seem very very long. But surely those with a more varied taste towards country tunes would disagree with me, and I can only respect that. Just not my cup of tea

It's not that Airbourne is my main cup of tea either, musically speaking. It gets me dancing a bit and moving around, but I don't actively listen to them, nor do I skip their songs if they popup in a random playlist. But I must give them the thumbs up for the fact that if at the beginning of the show they get some modest cheers from the crowd, some clapping and some smiles, by the end of it, half of the audience is soaked in beer and sweat and is probably leaving the venue thinking this was the best thing that happened to them this year.
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The changeover was accompanied by classic rock songs that got the crowd in the mood for even more rock'n'roll and made it, for those in doubt, quite obvious where the band gets its roots from. Some tend to say it's almost too much of a resemblance in some songs, but it's not that we have many (especially young) bands today who don't make you say 'Hey, this sounds like'. People tend to and like to compare. But if we focus on what Airbourne actually delivers for the approximately 90 minutes that they stand on that stage, I personally can't say I have seen many other artists who have a staff member that caries them around through the crowd, while they play their guitar and smash a beercan on their head until beer explodes all over the crowd. Nor did I see any artist going down from the stage and performing on their knees in front of the few people in wheelchairs that were parked by the side of the stage. Nor did I ever see such a big amount of beer glasses being thrown from all over the venue down to the main floor, after the singer Joel O’Keeffe explained how they wrote a song for Lemmy, then he made everyone a Lemmy cocktail (rum&coke) and then started throwing beer glasses in the audience. Lots of beer glasses. And then many others thought it's fun to follow his example. Well, glad I wasn't on the ground floor.

The moments I just mentioned wouldn't really make sense if they had been the only things that are worth watching during the show. The guys know how to get the crowd going. I say the guys, as I am pretty sure the other band members contribute somehow to the whole atmosphere and the overall good musical performance - afterall, there's quite a good dose of riffs and crazy stunts in the band's music - but one must admit that the energy is given by the singer Joel O’Keeffe, who must have Duracell in his DNA. He sings (rather well), runs around, headbands, jump, goes on his knees, makes jokes, sweats, plays guitar and so much more and he does it with a certain charisma that just makes the whole evening intense and gets the crowd go bananas towards the end of the setlist.

The band's 2019 album, Boneshaker, also gave the name of the tour and is about to be released October 25th. But this hasn't stopped the band from delivering a couple of tunes from it, showing that Airbourne sticks to the rock'n'roll that made them famous and loved among fans. I saw a guy holding a sign asking to be allowed to sing on 'Running wild', but sadly that didn't happen. I'm sure it's still a memorable evening for the guy wishing for that. At least for me it will be one and I'll gladly witness Airbourne live again if I'm given the chance.


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