While waiting to pick up my credentials to photograph Volbeat’s Servant of the Road World tour, it was apparent that it would be a packed house. The Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut holds approximately 10,000 people and I would say it was near capacity. Mohegan Sun’s security always does a great job getting the fans into the venue efficiently.
Halestorm was the opening act for the tour. I’ve been a fan of Halestorm since my daughter introduced me to them a few years ago and I’ve loved them ever since. Lzzy Hale’s vocals are nothing short of amazing, and it shows. They started off the night with three powerful songs, “I Miss the Misery”, “Love Bites (So Do I)”, and “I Get Off”. This was an awesome way to get the crowd on their feet. After “Freak Like Me”, Lzzy slows it down a bit with “Familiar Taste of Poison”.
Next up, the amazing Arejay Hale, Lzzy’s younger brother, got his chance to shine with a drum solo. He has such a persona on stage and is able to get the crowd pumped up. He threw his sticks way up in the air multiple times. Missing the catch a few times, once making a mockery of it by flipping the fallen stick the bird. Soon, he broke out his gigantic drumsticks, they must be more than 3 feet long. The fans always go crazy cheering him on with his lime green hair.
Lzzy proclaimed to the crowd, “Do you want it heavy? I like it heavy!”. Everyone started screaming and she rolled into 2015’s “I Like it Heavy” off of their Into the Wild Life album. Lzzy’s heavy gritty vocals really hit hard during this song. Next, she asked the crowd to light up their cell phones, or old school lighters if anyone had them, and “see how bright we can make it”. She said, “Tonight, Connecticut, you are the fire!” as she began to perform a crowd favorite, “I Am the Fire”. During the last song of the energy filled set, Lzzy and Joe Hottinger both get on double necked guitars to perform the song “Steeple”, for an amazing end to their performance.
Lzzy Hale – Lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, keyboards
Arejay Hale – Drums, backing vocals
Joe Hottinger – Lead guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Josh Smith – Bass, keyboards, piano, backing vocals
1.I Miss the Misery (with “Raise Your Horns” a capella intro)
2.Love Bites (So Do I)
3.I Get Off
5.Freak Like Me
6.Familiar Taste of Poison
7.Takes My Life
9.Back from the Dead
10.I Like it Heavy
11.I Am the Fire
Volbeat hit the stage with “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” to a crowd that was already on their feet in anticipation of their performance. This was my first time seeing them perform, and they didn’t disappoint. Formed in Copenhagen in 2001, Volbeat has released 8 albums, with some having gone platinum and triple platinum. Next, they played “Temple of Ekur”, off of their most recent album, Servant of The Mind. This song has a fantastic catchy riff and melodic vocals.
Volbeat has toured with the biggest names in thrash and metal such as, Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Motorhead, and Slayer. So, it was fun when Michael Poulsen started to play Slayer’s “South of Heaven” on acoustic guitar, leading in to “Sad Man’s Tongue”. Michael encouraged people to crowd surf during this song and they obliged. Although there wasn’t a huge stage production, there were lots of strobe lights, smoke, and a killer backdrop. My favorite song of the night was “Shotgun Blues”. It had a heavier feel than some of the other songs and really got the crowd moshing along to the heavy riffs. Some fans began crowd surfing again to this song. They played 5 songs off of their most recent release, which is almost 2 years old now, Servant of the Mind.
The first song of the encore, “Fallen”, Michael dedicated to his father and to anyone that has lost someone they dearly loved. Another dedication during the encore was “For Evigt” which he dedicated to his wife. “Wait a Minute My Girl” was the last song off the new album they played for the night, and it has a very upbeat, punk rock feel to it. During the final song Michael invited all the kids in the audience up on stage with him. About a dozen kids got to stand off to one side of the stage while they performed “Still Counting”.
With this tour coming to an end, all I can say is you missed one hell of a show if you didn’t get to see it. Halestorm was incredible, as always, I just wish they had a longer set. Volbeat lived up to all the hype that I have heard about them over the last few years. The Servant of the Road Tour was such a high-energy night of rock and metal music that left the fans exhausted from, singing, moshing, and crowd surfing.
Michael Poulsen – Lead vocals, rhythm guitar
John Larsen – Drums
Kasper Boye Larsen – Bass, backing vocals
Flemming C. Lund – Lead guitar (touring)
1.The Devil’s Bleeding Crown
2.Temple of Ekur
3.Seal the Deal
5.Die to Live
6.Sad Man’s Tongue (with Slayer “South of Heaven” teaser and J. Cash “Ring of Fire”)
8.A Warrior’s Call/I Only Want to Be with You
10.The Devil Rages On
11.Last Day Under the Sun
12.Becoming (song dedicated to L.G. Petrov)
13.Fallen (song dedicated to his late father)
14.Wait a Minute My Girl
15.For Evigt (song dedicated to his wife)
16.Still Counting (invited the kids in the crowd to join them on stage)
Music photography is my passion! Live in the moment, Capture the moment.