Casino Ballroom
Hampton Beach, NH
May 9, 2014

Volbeat continues to tour in support of last year’s album, Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies. This year their spring tour skipped Boston, opting to play a little further north in Hampton Beach, NH. I took the drive (made extra long with Boston traffic) to see my 12th Volbeat concert.

Digital Summer
Opening act for the tour is Phoenix based band Digital Summer. They had a very long, drawn out intro, followed by technical issues throughout the first song. The PA flickered in and out, and eventually cut out completely, causing the band to walk off stage while the crew sorted it out. Once it was fixed, no technical issues (that I noticed anyway) reoccurred the rest of the show. This was the last night of the tour, so before they finished their set, they made sure to bring out their road crew to thank them all.

One of the most impressive things with the band was their drummer, Austin, was only 13 years old! He was a better drummer than many musicians twice his age. When they introduced their crew, I learned their driver was Austin’s father. I’m curious to know who was with the band first, and got the other one involved from there.


Matt Heafy of Trivium

Matt Heafy of Trivium

Trivium is touring in support of their recently released sixth album, Vengeance Falls. These guys have been around over a decade now, and I’ve seen them a handful of times at various festivals. I’ve never really got into them, even though on paper, it seems they’d be right up my alley. Over the years I’ve heard lots of comparisons between them and Metallica. I didn’t really see that tonight, but perhaps that’s due to the albums they chose to play from. That said, they had an energetic set and got a great response from the crowd.

Brave This Storm
Like Light to the Flies
Built to Fall
Dying in Your Arms
Through Blood and Dirt and Bone
Down from the Sky
Capsizing The Sea
In Waves

Before coming to the show, I saw that they recently parted ways with drummer Nick Augusto. What I hadn’t realized, however, was they had only parted ways with him earlier in the week. Touring drummer Mat Madiro did a great job, and to the unaware, he seemed like he’d been a part of the band just as long as anybody else.

Towards the end of their set, I spotted Volbeat guitarist Rob Caggiano in the crowd about six feet away from me, watching their set. Nobody else in the audience was even aware of his presence. I went over and very discreetly told him to have a great show, and he was very friendly and gracious. As Trivium’s set ended, right as he made his way to the backstage door, people realized he was there, and the chance they’d missed to say hi.

It’s become a Spring tradition to see Volbeat in New England, with this show being about a year and a week from last May’s performance at the House of Blues. This year they played a little farther north, in a slightly larger venue to a sold out crowd of about 2,200.

They entered to “Doc Holiday” off of 2013’s Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies, and fired on all cylinders through 20 more songs after that. The band was in top form. Still newbie of the band, Rob Caggiano (formerly of Anthrax) rocked hard, and looked like he was having a ton of fun during the show.

As I said earlier, this was my 12th time seeing Volbeat. Singer Michael Poulsen sounded the best I’ve ever heard him. Some of their songs have some pretty high notes that he can’t always quite hit, but he sounded phenomenal tonight.

While I’m still not the biggest fan of the Outlaw Gentlemen album, the songs they played from it were the better tracks off the album, and fit well in the set.

Rob Caggiano

Rob Caggiano

Doc Holliday
Hallelujah Goat
Boa [JDM]
Lola Montez
Sad Man’s Tongue
Heaven nor Hell
A Warrior’s Call
16 Dollars
Dead but Rising
The Nameless One
Evelyn (with Trivium)
Radio Girl
Maybellene I Hofteholder
Still Counting
Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza
The Hangman’s Body Count
The Mirror and the Ripper

I had been hesitant to make the drive to New Hampshire for the show, but I am so glad I did, as Volbeat exceeded all expectations! This fall they’ll be returning to New England on a co-headlining tour with Five Finger Death Punch, which I will be sure to check out!

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