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Volbeat At The Theater At MSG, Saturday, January 28th, 2012 Reviewed

At 758pm on Saturday, January 28th, 2012, Volbeat became the greatest, not Danish rock and roll band in the world, which kinda figures, but greatest rock and roll band in the world period. It was during a delirious tribute to Johnny Cash, "Sad Man's Tongue"  off a 2007 album where the four men in black lead by the superb vocalist Michael Poulsen had the entire audience roaring the last line of the chorus. And me? I had heard only one album by the band, last years live one, which left zero impression, so I was wracking my brains trying to figure out why I didn't know this Cash classic.

Classic it was. Sweat pouring off him, Michael Poulsen chased between three mics and delivered and delivered and delivered. Comfortable with metal but truly the definition of a hard rock band, it was an amazing performance. Whether dedicating a cover of "I Only Want To Be With You" to his wife, or dedicating "Fallen" to all of us who have lost someone, Poulsen performed a masterclass in how to sell rock and roll in 2012.

The foursome are a very tight unit and that gives them the freedom to play on rock and roll genre's, at ease in hard rock more than anything else, even mid-song Volbeat seem to be emerging into rockabilly, rock and roll and Goth. More than that, Poulsen has a protean beauty of a voice and can sing anything as long as it is loud.

Incidentally, none of the bands at Gigantour on Saturday were loud enough. Maybe it was the acoustics.

Remember, except for the cover I didn't know ANY SONG HERE. And I was completely blown away by the tightness, smartness and power of these guys. this is what a rock show should be. A superb band at the peaks  of their power. They ended the set with a snippet from Slayer, heads down, no nonsense they throttled the riff like the purest of headbangers imaginable. It's like they were saying, "we can do what they do and we can do what we do…"

As the men in black (and red shirts) left the stage, Michael took off his belt and handed it to a fan. Yeah, folks, Volbeat will give you the belt off their pants.

Grade: A

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