REVIEW: Volbeat Rocks Brooklyn

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Danish metallers Volbeat brought their summer tour in support of their latest album, Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie, to Brooklyn’s Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk on Monday night, with support from Killswitch Engage and Black Wizard. Like a lot of bands,Volbeat is a band I’ve “liked” in the sense that I have my favorite songs and I listen to those on the regular, but they’re not a band I consider myself a “fan” of. At least that was the case prior to Monday night in Brooklyn, when they did everything in their power to make me a fan, and by the time it was over, I left loving everything about the band. As for Killswitch Engage, this would be my second time seeing them, with the first coming back in March when they took over New York for a week with 5 consecutive shows, and Black Wizard is completely new to me.

It should be obvious that Black Wizard would open the show right at 7pm, playing for about 25 minutes. Unfortunately, not knowing anything about the band and being unable to locate a setlist, I’m not able to say anything about the songs they played. What I can say, however, is that they were very good and I definitely need to learn more about them, but they were an absolute blast to watch on stage, and even more fun to photograph. I’ll definitely be doing my homework on these guys and can only hope they’ll come to town again so I can see them a second time.

Black Wizard
Black Wizard performs at Coney Island Amphitheater

Next up would be Killswitch Engage. As I mentioned, this was my second KSE experience, and this show was rather tame compared to their Gramercy Theatre show earlier this year, where both Jesse and Adam jumped into the crowd on multiple occasions, with Adam even doing shots of whiskey in the crowd at one point. I reviewed that performance, which you can see here. This night included much of the same, a full-0n headbanging metal show, albeit with a shorter set list. KSE kicked off with My Curse and Strength of the Mind before playing Fixation on the Darkness. Later, they would play Cut Me Loose and Hate By Design, eventually finishing their 11-song set with In Due Time.

Killswitch Engage are what they are, a kick ass metalcore group that brings no shortage of fun, emotion and raw metal to the stage each and every night. Even though the entire band managed to stay on stage this time – though I imagine that was due to the height of the stage and not the band’s desire to keep things calm – they still managed to bring their unique brand of hilarious antics to the stage, with Adam at one point turning away from the fans, throwing a finger in the air and shaking his money maker while playing bass, which was met with cheers and laughter at the same time. The guys in Killswitch Engage are an absolute blast, they kick ass live and Jesse Leach has a voice that was made for metal . Like I said in my review of their show in March, if you’re not listening to KSE, you’re missing out. Go listen to them, go see  them, and go like them.

Killswitch Engage
Mike D’antonio of Killswitch Engage on stage at Coney Island Amphitheater

And now it was time for Volbeat to take the stage, the moment everyone had been waiting for all night. Volbeat, Volbeat, Volbeat. What Can I say about them that every fan doesn’t already know? This would, again, be my first time seeing the band live, and what the hell took me so long? I’ve got my favorite Volbeat songs – Lola MontezThe Sinner is YouA Warrior’s CallThe Hangman’s Body Count – but I never considered myself a fan and never really though about seeing them live, despite the urging of friends who are die hard Volbeat fans preaching their praise for the Danish metal group that features Rob Caggiano of Anthrax fame.

Volbeat would open with their latest single, The Devil’s Bleeding Crown, before going into a three-fer of Heaven Nor Hell/A Warrior’s Call/I Only Want to Be With You, eventually getting to my favorite Volbeat song, Lola Montez. Hearing Lola Montez live for the first time is what really sold me on the band; hearing a song on a studio album and thinking “this is a great song” is one thing. Hearing it live and going “holy sh*t these guys are amazing” is something else entirely, and that’s the moment you realize you’ve been missing out on an absolutely incredible band by only sticking to certain songs.

From there we’d be treated to another dozen or so songs, including Dead But Rising16 DollarsGoodbye Forever, and a cover of Anglefuck by Misfits, for which the one and only Jerry Only was brought to the stage, complete in his usual Misfits garb, to sing while the band played behind him. Before departing briefly, the band would play The Mirror and The Ripper, and then it was time to leave the stage only for a few moments to prep for the encore everyone knew was coming.

As Volbeat emerged once again, they would treat us to the final 4 songs of their performance, starting with Black Rose, before going into Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac BloodSeal The Deal from their latest album, and ultimately closing with their biggest hit, Still CountingVolbeat left the stage at the end of the night with a new fan – me – after kicking ass for an hour and a half with a 17-song set that offered something for everyone, and the band can count me among all the assholes in the room every time they come around the NYC area from now until the end of time, because after their performance Monday night, I will never miss another Volbeat show. I’ve already missed too many.

Check out our photo gallery below.

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Volbeat performs at Coney Island Amphitheater

All photos by Sean Murphy.

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