Their last performance in Ireland was all of three years ago, when they blew the roof off Dublin’s Academy, leaving a trail of empty beer cans and husky voices in their wake. That show was their first European date in support of their explosive Black Dog Barking release and now as they prepare for the release of Breakin’ Outta Hell on September 23 via their new home of Spinefarm Records, we find ourselves being treated to the first date of their 2016 European run.
A healthy line has formed outside the venue by late afternoon in anticipation of tonight’s show, causing a few interesting looks from passing ‘normals’, which is always highly entertaining. When the doors finally open and the slew of denim-clad punters file into the dark venue, the merch stand is doing a roaring trade, just as The Treatment hit the stage.
Having seen The Treatment before, I was intrigued as to the development of their live show. Their last performance in this very venue was entertaining but somewhat lacking and tonight is no different. I have asked myself over and over again what it is about this band that just doesn’t connect with me and I keep just drawing blanks.
All the elements for a great band are there, the energy, the songs, the musicianship etc.. It’s all there. But there is just something that doesn’t sit right with me. It’s almost like they try too hard. There is no sense of authenticity with The Treatment. Their live show translates as an almost amplified showcase of what a stereotypical ‘rock-star’ SHOULD be doing on stage; rather than just naturally playing their set. I understand that this is just a single opinion but as I said, having seen them a few times now, I’m left with the same feeling each time. 3/5
With The Academy now a hive of anticipation, punters wedge themselves into whatever spot they can acquire; for the imminent arrival of Australia’s blue-collar, hard-rockers! Now, if you have never seen Airbourne live before, I envy you, I truly do. There are few bands on this planet that can start a show looking and sounding like a band that has been already playing for hours.
Opening with the magnificent and appropriate ‘Ready To Rock’, the place goes off like a stick of dynamite. Frontman and human Duracell bunny, Joel O’Keef is on top form from the get-go, as he rips across the stage behind bassist Justin Street and rhythm guitarist David Roads.
As the crowd lap up ‘Too Much Too Young, Too Fast’ and ‘Chewing the Fat’ like it was the last show on earth, Joel cranks the berzerker level a few notches higher, with some beer-can head-banging (as you do) and the excellent ‘Diamond in the Rough’ which causes whirlwinds of bodies down on the main floor.
If you think that there is any time for a breather during an Airbourne show, then your sadly mistaken. ‘Girls in Black’ and ‘Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women’ come out of the traps like a pack of hungry wolves.
As Joel wanders around the venue, ripping his fretboard with the kind of solo’s that would make a few grown men shed a tear, his brother Ryan pounds the life out of his kit displaying enough visceral energy to rupture the venues foundations.
Considering the new albums title track ‘Breakin’ Outta Hell’ has only been in our ears for a total of three weeks, the venue treats this new arrival like an old friend, signing back each word to the surprise of O’Keef; who basks in the moment.
The set continues with banger after banger until finally, we find ourselves stomping and chanting for the guys to reappear and take us all the way over the edge.
‘Live it Up’ and ‘Runnin’ Wild’ are served piping hot, while more cans of beer are subjected to the side of Joel’s drenched head and tossed into the rowdy audience.
Before we can catch our collective breath, it’s all over. It’s not rocket science, but Christ do Airbourne put on one Hell of a show!
Ending like they started, Airbourne has the ability to drive a consistent juggernaut straight through the barricades of day to day problems, giving you a small slice of freedom in a complicated world.
Long live Rock n’ Roll, long live Airbourne! 5/5
AIRBOURNE PHOTO GALLERY | DUBLIN ACADEMY 23/8/16
All photography by Down The Barrel Photography © 2016 for Overdrive
Breaking Outta Hell is due for worldwide release on September 23 via Spinefarm Records. Overdrive had an exclusive interview with David Roads which will be live on Overdrive very soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
© OVERDRIVE 2016