Airbourne. You either hate them because they “rip off AC/DC” or you love them because…well, because they’re just like AC/DC. I fall in to the latter category, although I think the only thing that remotely resembles that other band is the vocal stylings of Joel O’Keeffe, everything else is pure Airbourne baby.
That aside the Knebworth crowd have turned out in their droves to see what ludicrous thing Joel is going to climb this time and as the familiar sounds of the Terminator theme plays through the PA the atmosphere becomes electric and reaches fever pitch as the boys take to the stage and rip into Ready to Rock, followed by Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast.
Unfortunately, MetallicA appear to have replaced the big TV screens from the main stage with some kind of projection things to serve some much higher purpose that will only really work once the sky has begun to darken, as right now those of us not within spitting distance of the band can really only see the occasional glimpse of someone’s face while the sky behind shines through what would ordinarily be a good image.
‘Black Dog Barking’ gets the crowd singing along and there is something very poetic about drinking some hideous wine from Asda, while the rockers from down under perform ‘Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women’. It’s around this time that Joel gives everyone what they want to see and begins to defy both gravity and the tarpaulin put in place specifically to stop him to climb the stage rigging, stopping about halfway up to peel out another crazy guitar solo ensuring the whole crowd go batshit crazy. That adventure over, Ryan O’Keeffe steps out from behind the drums to work a particularly loud air raid siren that signals the beginning of ‘Live It Up’, a song that has never once failed to not cause whiplash on its’ listener, be it live or on record, before the band close with ‘Runnin’ Wild’, albeit not before Joel has smacked several cans of beer on his head covering the front rows with foamy lager spray.
Airbourne have always been a phenomenal live band and they will continue to be for a long while yet, but I do feel they work better in a festival environment than when headlining their own show. Not that there’s anything wrong with their shows, it is merely that the music they play and the way they present themselves onstage works a lot better in that atmosphere.
Obviously, though I will be at their club gigs at the end of August and I suggest you are too…