Latest Airbourne Setlist
Airbourne at Exhibition Park
- Ready to Rock
- Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast
- Burnout the Nitro
All right people/Welcome to the show/Are you ready to rock?/Are you ready to go?/Now weve got what you want/And weve got what you need/So get your ass down here/And let your ears bleed.
Stand Up For RockNRoll
It is as clear a statement of intent as youre ever likely to hear. One verse that says everything you need to know about Melbourne, AU four piece Airbourne and their debut album, Runnin Wild: forget your worries, get down to the front of the stage and lose your mind to some ear-bleeding, sweat-soaked rocknroll. Or, as the song continues, Drink your beer/Drink your wine/Lets have a good time. Stand up for rock n roll indeed.
Airbourne vocalist Joel OKeeffe first realized rock n roll was worth defending at the tender age of nine. Born and raised in the rural Victorian town of Warrnambool population: 32,000 the local pastimes revolved around playing football and falling down drunk. For young Joel, however, his only interest was devouring the albums hed stolen from his uncle by Rose Tattoo, AC/DC, The Angels, Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs and Cold Chisel. Its hard to explain, but thats always what I wanted to hear, remarks Joel. Straight-ahead Aussie pub rock.
By the age of 11, Joel had picked up his first guitar and was trying to emulate the riffs of his Oz-rock idols. Paying close attention was younger brother Ryan, whod also fallen under the spell of his brothers adopted record collection. By the time hed turned 11, and with Joel now 15, Ryan had bought his first drum kit and the brothers were spending their weekends rehearsing, much to the delight of their neighbors, who constantly sent the police over to the OKeeffe household to plead for silence. It got to the point where the cops would just end up saying, Look, come on, guys, weve gotta stop coming around here cos weve got other people to arrest, laughs Joel.
Instantly convinced that their futures lay in rock n roll, it would take the OKeeffe brothers several years to find like-minded musicians in their hometown. After a few false starts that saw the band perform as a three-piece with a now long-gone bass player, Joel was introduced to guitarist David Roads when the two worked at the Hotel Warrnambool. Bringing their guitars to work and, after their shifts, jamming on song ideas, Dave was soon asked to join the OKeeffe brothers for a jam at their house. Bassist Justin Street completed the picture in 2003, when Ryan literally ran into him while stumbling home drunk from a party one night. Turns out his new mate played bass, and, yes, would be interested in jamming with a band that were looking to move to Melbourne. Finally, Airbourne were ready to fire.
Though it would be another nine months before the quartet relocated permanently, they began driving to the Victorian capital to play shows as regularly as they could, often returning to Warrnambool as the sun came up with just $25 to their name and a full day of school ahead of them. This exposure to the realities of being a working rock n roll band in Australia would prepare them for when they finally made the move to Melbourne. The band quickly found a four-bedroom house that they could call home and started gigging relentlessly. We absolutely attacked Melbourne, says 20-year-old Ryan. We painted the town with posters for every gig we were doing. If they were getting ripped down wed go back and put them up. We had to walk, though, cos we couldnt afford a car.
This work ethic helped create a substantial buzz. One-off shows in the Melbourne pubs became one-off gigs in enormodomes such as the Rod Laver Arena (concert stadium and home of various sporting events including the Australian Open) supporting the Rolling Stones and the recently destroyed legendary Aussie nightclub The Palace opening for Motley Crϋe, a remarkable feat given that by this stage the band had only released one EP, the appropriately-titled Ready To Rock. National tours with the likes of Dallas Crane, Jimmy Barnes, The Living End, You Am I and Magic Dirt helped further hone their rowdy live show it is, after all, not an Airbourne gig unless Joel has jumped on the bar mid-song at least once while a main stage slot on the 2006 Big Day Out festival confirmed Airbournes reputation as one of the countrys fastest rising bands.
It comes from growing up in Warrnambool and being pissed off with people telling us that all the bands we listened to were old and we should be playing Blink-182, explains Ryan of the bands explosive live show. So we always go onstage and try to prove a point about how good rock n roll is.
In 2006 Airbourne got their biggest break yet when, after a huge amount of interest from several international labels, they relocated to the States to begin work on Runnin Wild with legendary producer Bob Marlette. With Marlettes CV one of the most impressive in the business his credits include albums by Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper and Shinedown, for starters Airbourne embarked on a lengthy pre-production stint, whittling the 40-odd songs theyd written down to the 11 that comprise Runnin Wild. And just to ensure their immense live energy translated to CD, the band not only enlisted Andy Wallace (Guns N Roses, Nirvana, Linkin Park, Slipknot) to mix the album, but made sure that what was committed to tape was done so with the amps on 11. In 2007 Airbourne attracted interest from renowned A&R man Ron Burman of Roadrunner Records in New York, and by July, Airbourne had secured a worldwide record deal.
One of my ears actually blew out cos I had my headphones so loud, laughs Ryan. So I recorded the album with one ear!
From the albums fist-pumping title track to the anthemic Whats Eatin You and the self-explanatory rock explosions of Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast and Diamond In The Rough, Runnin Wild is an exercise in booze-and-sweat soaked rock n roll that isnt looking to change the world by abolishing Free Trade, but simply provide the ultimate soundtrack to the biggest all-night rock party there is.
You have to bleed and do anything you can to make sure the album gets out there, says Joel. Every day you wake up and say, how are we going to do this? We havent had time off in three years. Its every day, 24 hours.
The album RUNNIN WILD is set for release on Roadrunner Records in early 2008.
Trey Anastasio Band played sans Cyro Baptista at the House Of Blues in Houston after the percussionist was sidelined with the flu.
Tedeschi Trucks Band delivered an acoustic section to open up the second set of their Chicago Theatre residency closer and also stopped by Buddy Guy’s Legends to perform with the legend himself.
Jerry Joeseph helped Widespread Panic dust off a cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together” during night two of WSP’s Panic En La Playa Nueve run in Mexico, which featured a Red Hot Mama Pajama theme.
Tedeschi Trucks Band returned to the Chicago Theatre on Friday night to continue their four-night residency in The Windy City.
Umphrey’s McGee debuted “Red Room” nearly 13 years since its release on 2007’s ‘The Bottom Half’ and busted out another Rush cover at Stage AE in Pittsburgh.