At The O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., November 17, 2019

AIRBOURNE (Live at The O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., November 17, 2019)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Opening for Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC amongst others has certainly taught Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown and thing or two about putting on a show. For a support band to grab the crowd by the throat from the first seconds of Drive Me Mad was quite a feat.

The energy the pervaded from the whole performance, whether from lead guitarist/singer Tyler Bryant himself or the hyperactive octopus like drummer Caleb Crosby, their enthusiasm and passion was hugely infectious.

Bassist Noah Denney kept it all steady while Graham Whitford on rhythm guitar, fired out some tasty, dirty grooves that’d make his Dad, Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, glow with pride.

It’s all well and good being energetic performers, but if the songs suck, it all counts for nothing. It is here where Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown score maximum points. Their current album, Truth Or Lies, isn’t nestling at the top of many album of the year lists for nothing.

The heavy, deep groove of On To The Next and the glorious Aerosmith soaked riff of Weak and Weepin’ oozed class while the frighteningly heavy, Aftershock, showed they could mix it with the big boys.

Some dirty slide work from Bryant on That’s All Right showed some shrewd Blues licks while Lipstick Wonder Woman had all four band members up front with Crosby and his bass drum hanging with the crowd at the crash barrier.

This was a headliners performance in all but name and after such a barnstorming performance it was clear they had won many, many new fans. Expect to see Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown headlining their own tour very soon.

How on earth do you follow that? Well Aussie bad boys, Airbourne, like nothing more than a challenge and they do, what they do best, no nonsense, heads down, foot to the floor, super charged Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Raise The Flag does just that with it’s clarion call to arms as lead singer/lead guitarist Joel O’Keeffe raced from one side of the stage to the other barely pausing for breath while the fist pumping, chant-a-long chorus saw a thousand fists thrust skyward.

There’s no mistaking where Airbourne’s heart lies, Ready To Rock, It’s All For Rock ‘n’ Roll and Stand Up For Rock ‘n Roll tell you all you need to know. For those in any doubt, O’Keeffe cracked a can of lager open on his head and set about wandering through the crowd on a roadie’s shoulders while playing a solo and drinking a toast to Girls In Black.

There’s no subtlety, no ballads, no mellow reflective moments, well except maybe for Boneshaker….just kidding, it’s all guns blazing, in your face Rock and that’s the way we like it. No one does it quite like Airbourne.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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