Volbeat & HIM at Bayou Music Center, 9/19/2013

The Rock Allegiance Tour feat. Volbeat, HIM Bayou Music Center September 19, 2013

"If I'm walking around onstage and it looks like I shit my pants, it's because I got new boots," Michael Poulsen told the crowd, lifting his right foot high into the air for fans to see. Behind him, an American-flag bandana and a cowboy hat shrouded the face of Volbeat's iconic winged skull, which set backdrop for Thursday night's show at Bayou Music Center.

"Hello Houston," he said. "It's been a while."

Volbeat last visited Houston a year and a half ago, opening for Megadeth. The last time they headlined a gig here was in 2008. So while Thursday wasn't their first rodeo, this time around they had enough time to perform a nearly 20-song set, which included hits like "Fallen," "Lola Montez" and "Dead but Rising."

Donning all black, his hair slicked back, Poulsen and his eccentric band members kept the crowd in a frenzy all night, shifting between blazing heavy metal, punkish rockabilly and somewhere in between where my head just about exploded from confusion and pure music pleasure.

They even treated the crowd to a short cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," inviting fans to open the crowd into a circle pit in honor of the man in black before performing "Sad Man's Tongue," which tells the story of a man who leaves his parents' house, with only a pocket full of stories and a broken guitar to keep him company.

Before "16 Dollars," the band asked the crowd to lift all the ladies in attendance up onto their shoulders. Hopefully most of the ladies were just too shy, because seeing only five or six women in the crowd was a little discouraging.

Nonetheless, Volbeat brought their A-game. Despite a relatively conservative turnout, the Danish four-piece kept everyone smiling, shouting and singing along, their devil horns held high in the air.

Review continues on the next page.

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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business. Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.
Contact: Matthew Keever