Live report AIRBOURNE & BLUES PILLS, Alsterdorfer Sporthalle, Hamburg – December 15th, 2022

These days are very much about Christmas markets, Glühwein and gingerbread. In addition, there is a football World Cup that is not really relevant and to escape all this, a fair dose of rock’n’roll power is just the right thing. For this reason a visit to the Alsterdorfer Sporthalle is worthwhile, since Australia’s hard rock icons Airbourne will be on stage.

Airbourne are supported by Sweden’s blues rock shooting stars Blues Pills and actually Crobot were also supposed to be on this tour, but unfortunately had to cancel. Nevertheless, there is enough rock power left to create a pleasant pre-Christmas evening.

As already mentioned, the four Swedes from Örebro start the evening. A bit later than announced Elin Larsson and her band mates kick off their set with ‘Proud Woman’ from the 2020 album ‘Holy Moly’ and immediately the vibe in the hall rises. Everyone, who is still a bit cold due to the frosty temperatures outside, is directly carried away by the warm sound of the Swedes.

The fact that Blues Pills have many fans in Germany is not only reflected in the fact that the band reached number four in the album charts with their third album, but also resonates through the well-crowded Sporthalle. The fast and energetic ‘Low Road’ follows and it’s singer Elin Larsson who is always in motion; from left to right and back. Blues Pills are obviously having fun tonight and put on a great show. What the four Swedes deliver tonight deserves all respect and shows that the band can not only produce excellent records, but also manages to convert the bundled energy in their live shows. Unfortunately things come to an end after 30 minutes and I guess most of the audience would have appreciated a few more songs from the Swedes. Passion rules when Blues Pills perform live and if the headliner wasn’t Airbourne, one would have to worry.

During the break, songs from Iron Maiden und Motörhead entertain the crowd and lead to more than just one sing-a-long. Then it is time for tonights headliner. That the O’Keeffe brothers, together with Jarred Morrice and Justin Street are true live show masters is widely known. Tonight doesn’t change this fact and as soon as the ‘Terminator 2 Theme’ fades away, the guys get started with ‘Ready to Rock’, setting the tone for the evening.

Since their debut album ‘Runnin’ Wild’ Airbourne have become a constant force in the rock’n’roll business and always manage to inspire their fans anew. Also tonight it is impossible to escape the concentrated energy. Powerful hard rock instead of Christmas carols and beer instead of Glühwein, that is the premise for an almost one and a half hour show, which brings the fascination of rock music to the point.

It is simply impossible to stand still during songs like the pumping ‘Girls in Black’. Every muscle wants to be moved and the dedicated fan community knows that Joel O’Keeffe is a true rock’n’roll volcano. This goes also for the little excursion of O’Keeffe into the crowd. On the shoulders of a crew member, the frontman sets off on a little tour through the fans, who are out of their minds. And the moment beer is sprayed as well, there is no longer any holding back. This is a pure rock’n’roll moment.

And it’s more than just beer that is served tonight. During ‘It’s All for Rock’n’Roll’ a mobile bar, ‘Lemmy’s Bar’, is pushed on stage after O’Keeffe honored Lemmy Kilmister and Motörhead with a few words, followed by a”Lemmy”-chant of the crowd. However, each band member gets a Jackie-Cola which are then also shared with some front row fans. Furthermore there is ‘Bottom of Well’. While these days it’s usually the torch of the mobile phone that is hold up high, things are different with Airbourne fans. These guys have the good old lighter that makes the Sporthalle shine.

Airbourne burn off a full musical firework and come with ‘Stand Up for Rock’n’Roll’ to the end of the regular set. ‘Encore’ shouts are the logical consequence of the still hungry crowd; and they get what they ask for.

After another backdrop change and the sound of a siren, the Australians return on stage with ‘Live it Up’ and it’s the Airbourne classic ‘Runnin’ Wild’ which ends a sweaty rock’n’roll show. If you are still not warmed up now, you should ask yourself why you came to the Alsterdorfer Sporthalle. Airbourne rocks and has been doing so for many years. The passion for hard rock can’t be presented more authentically and that’s what satisfied fans appreciate about the band. This show is not about gimmicks. Airbourne stand for honest and down-to-earth hard rock that shook the foundations of the sports hall tonight.

Setlist Airbourne

  1. Intro (Terminator 2 Theme)
  2. Ready to Rock
  3. Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast
  4. Girls in Black
  5. Back in the Game
  6. Burnout the Nitro
  7. Boneshaker
  8. Bottom of the Well
  9. (snippet of Ray Parker Jr. “Ghostbusters”)
  10. Breakin’ Outta Hell
  11. It’s All for Rock ‘n’ Roll
  12. Stand Up for Rock ‘n’ Roll
  13. Live It Up (Encore)
  14. Rock ’n’ Roll for Life (Encore)
  15. Runnin’ Wild (Encore)

Setlist Blues Pills

  1. Proud Woman
  2. Low Road
  3. Kiss My Past Goodbye
  4. High Class Woman
  5. Bye Bye Birdy
  6. Devil Man

Location: Sporthalle, Hamburg, Germany

Date: December 15th, 2022

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