Metaldays - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Volbeat. Headliner of Denmark day at Metaldays. Possibly also the most controversial booking of the festival, judging by the many comments of metalheads feeling betrayed that the booking wasn’t “metal enough”. Oh, the butt-hurt is big in this one...

Controversial or not, and despite the many people complaining about their playing here, Volbeat could feast their eyes on a plain completely filled with people from the very moment they took the stage – I guess a conviction only lasts until you change it...
I for one had no problem with Volbeat playing here, and even though they have lost energy compared to the early days they still have several nice tracks that hold up very well live, and for that, if nothing else, this was a show well worth attending.
Maybe even the energy was back? When entering, Michael Poulsen looked fitter than he has done in a long while, and it didn’t take long for Rob Caggiano and Anders Kjølholm to show their love for the edge of the stage, upon which they spent a lot of time headbanging or reaching out for the audience. Jon Larsen on the other hand was beating the skins surrounded by good-looking stagedrops which helped set the atmosphere of their outlaw rock/metal mash-up.

Yes, the band proved to be livelier than they have been in a long while, and the Metaldays audience was full of love and acceptance for them. Volbeat isn’t really a moshpit/wall of death type of band, but a multitude of fists were raised in the air, as were several voices that joined in on the songs being played.
Then, only a short way into the concert, something surprising happened. Poulsen was all of a sudden nowhere to be seen on the stage, and the departure had been so quick that not even his band-mates had noticed it, which meant they stayed on and about half a song more, before they too made a somewhat confused exit. Not a word had been said, and the audience not surprisingly wondering what the hell was going on – was this a gimmick that we didn’t get, or was the band gone for good?
It would take several minutes before an answer arrived, as festival promoter Boban Milunovic had to take the stage and explain that Poulsen had problems with his throat and that Volbeat would be unable to continue their show. Sadly, he got booed off the stage for this, when in reality he was just doing his job.

So, were the naysayers right in the end?
Well, yes and no. Seeing what Volbeat delivered during those 25-30 minutes where they actually played definitely earned them the right to play a headlining show here. However, leaving the stage in the manner that Poulsen did, and then not even have the decency to come back and say what happened himself, or at the very least send one of the other band-members to do it, is downright lousy treatment of the fans that had shown up! In that department the band needs to grow up to their responsibility.


Doc Holliday
Hallelujah Goat
Boa (JDM)
Lola Montez
Ring Of Fire (snippet, Johnny Cash cover)
Sad Man’s Tongue
Heaven Nor Hell

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