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AIRBOURNE - UK Summer Tour 2014 @ Concorde 2, Brighton, England

in Wednesday, 27 August 2014 at Concorde 2
by Marcus Kemp

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Brighton as the last time I saw a Brighton concert was in October of 2010 when I saw British rock guitarist Jeff Beck. Although, July 2012 was sort of the last time I saw a Brighton show when I saw video game band Crush 40 perform at the 2012 Summer of Sonic fan convention.

I returned to Brighton for a rock show last night on August 27th 2014 where I went to see Australian rockers AIRBOURNE with support from the Leicester Legends known as SKAM. This is my write up of the events of that show.

The day started off with me arriving at the Concorde 2 ready for an interview with David Roads of AIRBOURNE but when I arrived, nor him or the band’s tour manager were present and they did not arrive until 45 minutes later after the scheduled interview slot. I was asked if I wanted to still do it but knowing I would only have a short space of time and not wanting to mess around with shortening down my selection of questions I had written on my tablet, I decided it would be best to say no as I did not want to waste anyone's time. It wasn’t a total loss though as I still got free entry to the show and I was allowed to wait inside where I watched a bit of the soundcheck from the support band SKAM.

At 7:15pm, the doors opened up and the rock and roll fans began flooding in to this sold out show and I took my place in the front row. At 8pm, the first band was on and it was the support band which was the Leicester Legends that are SKAM. Having reviewed their new album for the site prior to the show, I knew what to expect from this band and I was not let down or disappointed.
The performance was nothing short of amazing as I loved their new album “Peacemaker” and getting to hear some songs from the said album including “Rivers”, “Holy City”, “The Wire” and “Make You Pay” was pretty awesome. They even chucked in a song or two from their debut album too including “Massacre”.

Together this three piece rock trio rocked the Brighton stage and got a pretty good reaction from the already packed room as everyone loved their set and so did I. The drums sounded powerful, the bass lines sounded groovy and the guitars were heavy.

The vocal performance from singer Steve Hill was so good, it almost sounded like a studio performance and that is something I very rarely hear at rock shows which is singers who sound almost identical to the way they do on their albums.

That of course is not a bad thing not by any means as it added a bit of extra pizzazz and excitement to an already amazing show. Oh and before I forget, there was a lot of energy as well but then when you have as much fun as the boys in SKAM do when rocking out be it in the studio or a live stage, energy is to be expected.

After SKAM’s 40 minute set was over, there was a 30-35 minute interval and then at 9:15pm, it was time for the main band which everyone came to see and that was Australian rockers AIRBOURNE. As the lights went down, we were treated to a fancy light show before having our ears assaulted with heavy rock music from the guys in AIRBOURNE who opened up with the first song on their new album “Black Dog Barking” called “Ready to Rock” and a song like that is a great way to start off a rock show.
Throughout the evening, the guys played songs from their three studio albums including one from their “Runnin’ Wild EP” which they haven’t played a song from in years. Some of the songs played on their set included “Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast”, “Blonde Bad and Beautiful”, “No Way But The Hard Way”, “Cheaper Wine & Cheaper Women”, “Back In The Game” and several others from their three albums and their EP.

If I thought SKAM were loud, AIRBOURNE were even louder as it’s clear they must have had their amps cranked up to sheer levels of insane as not even earplugs helped so I may as well have not worn them but I kept them in anyway. To add to the loudness, there was an insane amount of energy from the AIRBOURNE guys especially from frontman Joel O’Keefe who was, well, a bit of an energetic nutter. Even with my earplugs, I couldn’t make out a word of the lyrics in places but I could hear Joel as needless to say he was really giving his voice a workout on that microphone of his.
Sometimes that helps though as a bit of energy and a bit of lunacy can help add a bit of excitement to a rock show and that’s what happened at this show. As expected there were some mad antics from Joel which included riding on the shoulders of a security guard through the crowd to the back of the venue, shredding a solo and then returning to the stage to carry on rocking.

There were even moments where Joel smashed a few beer cans on his head and sprayed us with the beer that poured out and it was during one of the beer sprays that I managed to get a good picture which I am proud of and you can see it in the album linked at the bottom of this article. I think it’s safe to say that some of Joel’s mad antics even rubbed off on the crowd as some of the fans down the front were moshing at one point and I think a fight broke out albeit a verbal one but fortunately no faces were smashed in.
I know there was one point where a fan did get hurt from the moshing and while he was being attended to by the show security, guitarist David Roads saw what was happening and passed over a bottle of water to try and help with the injuries and that just goes to show that even though you may be busy rocking out on a stage, you do take notice of these things and do what you can to help.
After their main set, the band disappeared off a for a bit before coming on to do a two song encore which consisted of “Live It Up” and “Runnin’ Wild” and the latter was stretched out with a little tribute to Malcom Young of AC/DC thrown in so it was quite a long encore but every minute was enjoyable.

In fact, the whole show as very enjoyable as it may have been loud, crazy and at times dangerous but the amount of raw rock energy that was being displayed was so fine, it often felt like you were at a circus rather then a rock show but you know what, it works with a band like AIRBOURNE as you get a great rock show and some crazy antics as well which make you laugh and leave a big smile on your face at the end.

At the end of the show, I quickly spoke with Steve Hill from SKAM for a bit thanking him for a great show and posed for a quick picture with him before heading home. When I got back, my ears were still ringing as even though I was wearing earplugs, the music was so loud that even as I type this live report, there is still a little bit of the ringing left over in my ears but you know, that is clear evidence that the whole show was like one big rock and roll party and indeed it was.
If you do want to go to an AIRBOURNE show, I highly recommend you do as you get a whole mixture of things from those guys including a crazy show, lots of loud music and antics that will make you laugh and leave a smile on your face at the end. If you think earplugs will save your hearing, think again but if you like loud music without being bothered by ringing ears at the end then seeing AIRBOURNE should be added to your bucket list.

Want to see more pictures from this show that I took? Then click this link and browse away:

Promoter: Cosa Nostra
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Edited 30 January 2023

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