Airbourne – Glasgow Barrowlands

Airbourne - Glasgow Barrowlands 8
Airbourne – Glasgow

[Complete collection of photos in this Flickr set]

Airbourne are a band I’m familiar with and know a few songs by, but don’t know a lot about. One thing I can tell you after this gig is that they are one incredible live act!

They do often get compared to AC/DC for a variety of reasons and I would be tempted to go that direction. Their sound is similar and they focus on one key figure in the band. OK, kind of. Lead guitarist and singer Joel O’Keeffe is like Angus Young and Brian Johnson wrapped up together in one rock’n’roll shaped package.

Within three songs, Joel was walking around the crowd having walked off the side of the stage. No bouncers or security (more about those arseholes later), just a man and a guitar wandering around a sell-out crowd and jumping on a bar for a drink. He got carried around shoulder-high by a couple of fans for some time, making his way back to the stage.

Towards the end, Joel smashed a few cans of lager on his head, the crowd rocked and all was good with the world.

For me, a gig needs three things – a good band, good sound and a good crowd. Airbourne had these in spades. I’ve yet to be let down by a Glasgow crowd at a gig. Always up for it!

Someone needs to feed something down to the Showsec trolls at the front though. I had a run-in with one of these neanderthals twenty years ago when I was at Barrowlands to see Megadeth. I was dragged by the hair (I had some then) into a back room by some huge brute who threatened to break my legs and kick me out if I dared to crowdsurf again.

This time round, as Joel is telling the crowd to climb on each other’s shoulders, crowdsurf, slam – whatever – the “security” ******* were busy telling people to stop and threatening to throw them out if they didn’t obey.

So, basically, twenty years go by and Barrowlands still haven’t been able to find staff that have the slightest idea of what people having fun looks like. Quite how they’ve managed to stay in this black hole when nearby venues such as the Academy and the Garage cope perfectly well is beyond me.

Basically, an awesome gig by a fantastic live act spoiled by a small number of complete cocks. Who were being paid to be there.

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Hey dude, i was at this gig, and it kicked ass, loved the atmosphere, and Airbourne ripped it up. You scots certainly know how to rock, its the best crowd i’ve ever been in, and i loved it!
Though i didn’t so much have a problem with security, and though the cloak room was a little dear, what i did have a problem with was the second support band. I loved the black spiders, had heard a little from them before, and they were great at this concert, but that swedish band; I don’t really think its the bands fault but the sound was all wrong, the guitar was way to distorted, the signer you could rarely hear until he did a scream, and the drum and bass…not going to say much else haha, but i agree was a great gig!

Mike Hayes

I’ve seen Airbourne on their four UK tours to date but I’m sorry to say I thought this was the weakest show I’ve seen them perform. They had not moved on at all since their last Barrowland show. Joel’s a screamer at the best of times but at this show he just yelled. His guitar was great, but the rhythm guitar was virtually inaudible. Lighting was odd too, with much of the gig performed with no spotlight on the main man. The band played largely in silhouette!

I like Airbourne; got the albums; got the t-shirts etc. But this was Airbourne going through the motions I’m afraid. Hopefully they’ll be refreshed and revitalised when they come back.