No Guts, No Glory Tour
Sheffield Motorpoint Arena
Sunday 24th July 2011
Getting Airbourne to open for Iron Maiden was a master stroke as there are not many bands that are quite as energetic and have the ability to warm up such a partisan crowd.
The band hit the ground running and I mean that in the literal sense with “Raise The Flag” from last year’s “No Guts, No Glory” album. Joel O’Keefe, lead singer and lead guitarist, comes across like the bastard offspring of Bon Scott and Angus Young; he cannot stand still for one minute and has a voice that one would get from gargling on a bucket full of razor blades!
The gloriously titled “Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women” followed and it was great to see that the most of the capacity crowd had arrived early and vacated the bars to watch the Aussie rockers.
The sound was full and in your face just like Airbourne wanted and unusually good for a support act.
“Diamond In The Rough” got a great reaction; the band were quickly winning over those in the audience that were not fans already. The pace was unyielding, Joel’s brother Ryan beating out the drums, with David Roads on guitar and Justin Streer on bass charging around the stage like madmen and both providing backing vocals to every thunderous song like next up “Blackjack”.
“No Way But The Hard Way” was dedicated to the Iron Maiden road crew before the band launched into “Steel Town” written about Sheffield and played for the only night on the tour.
“Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast” and the anthemic “Stand Up For Rock ‘n’ Roll” led into the final number “Runnin’ Wild” which brought the 40 minute relentless set to a fitting climax.
As I mentioned there are not many better opening acts (or festival bands) than Airbourne, however, if they want to step up to the next level then they need to learn from their piers, like Maiden and Metallica, that it is OK to take your foot off the throttle now and again. I, like, the rest of the Maiden fans really enjoyed their set this evening but personally an hour and a half at this frantic pace would be too much for me and I would imagine all but the absolute die-hard metal fans!