The day finally arrived as Airbourne brought the UK leg of the tour to London’s Kentish Town Forum in support of their new album “Boneshaker.” Expect some serious damage with special guests Cellar Door Moon Crow and Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown.
Opening tonight’s proceeding hailing from Sheffield was Cellar Door Moon Crow. The bearded brothers exploded onto the stage and played to an ample crowd. I can’t tell them apart, but the drummer turned out to be a multi-instrumentalist who delivered a meteoric performance while sharing vocal duties with his guitarist and lead vocalist brother. He too delivered forceful riffs and epic solos that had the crowd gripped from the outset. The unashamedly short set excited the crowd which had them screaming for more.
Up next, spreading rock n roll all over the world is Nashville’s finest quartet who descended onto the stage in the shape of Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown. They received a reception that only a headliner is capable of. They wasted no time and roared straight into the first track to screaming fans. The power of their set captivated fans immediately and two songs in saw fist-pumping in full swing. “Aftershock” was my top song as it pushed and pulled in tempo quickly. Tyler Bryant was on top form vocally as he delivered timeless rock n roll and with the band who took us on a journey from blues through to hard rock. This was undeniably a triumphant performance and I’m tempted to say they almost stole the show.
The energy intensified as anticipation grew for Aussie headliner’s Airbourne and the moment finally arrived as the lights dimmed as the Terminator 2 main title played out. All hell broke loose as we saw the band emerge from behind the bright lights. They ploughed straight into “Raise the Flag” which instantly propelled a steady wave of crowd surfers and rampant mosh pit action. The energy unleashed by the bare-chested singer and lead guitarist Joel O’Keeffe was relentless when he decided to send us into a frenzy as he crowd surfed while soloing on a roadie’s shoulders.
The hard rock alcohol-infused set continued with fan favourites “Backseat Boogie,” “It’s All For Rock N’ Roll” which was dedicated to Lemmy as Joel drenched the crowd with countless ‘Lemmy Sips.’ The debauchery reached new heights, quite literally, as he flung full beer cups into the crowd and the balcony area. It was beer showers galore for those engrossed in the action. This comes as no surprise because we expect Joel to smash beer cans over his head and the band to provide an overall fun night while delivering pure, organic hard rock. It’s evident who their greatest musical influence is as the AC/DC sound is undeniable, full of crushing riffs and rhythm provided by Matt Harrison coupled with Joel O’Keefe’s high pitched vocals. They provided a hard rock hit that was well suited for the night. The growing buzz for an encore was immense as fans created a mass sing-along before they even came back on. And what better way to have one last dance to “Runnin’ Wild” probably the band’s biggest hit to date.
This was truly an unforgettable night as we were doused with hard-hitting rock as Airbourne constantly delivered with perfection and created a hypnotic atmosphere. This show proved once again why this band is loved so much. It’s essential you catch them in a city near you.
Review by Nadira Cee | All photos by Fernando Bonenfant