Airbourne at The Academy – Review & Photos

Airbourne - Academy Dublin

Airborne at The Academy Dublin

Airbourne at the Academy, Dublin, 22 October 2013

Breaking Mad

Airbourne returned to Dublin tonight with all the grace of a bulldozer crashing through your front window. Hailing from Australia, it’s no surprise that they have taken their cue from their antipodean forefathers like AC/DC, Rose Tattoo and the Angels. This is essentially bar room rock, loud and sweaty, in your face and not for the faint hearted. Airbourne burst onto the hard rock scene a few years ago with their second album, ‘Running Wild’ and promised to carry the torch for no holds barred rock n roll…and that just what they’re doing.

Their latest album ‘Black Dog Barking’, although not breaking any new ground musically, is an extension of this ethos. Ultimately the songwriting hasn’t really progressed in the space of four albums and the lyrics are more Benny Hill than Bon Scott. You would feel that if Airbourne want to get to the next level, then they need to make some progress in this department. However, you also get the feeling when watching them that the O’Keefe brothers and their pals are more than happy doing what they are doing, and would probably be happy doing it for the rest of their lives, given the chance. As far as the show is concerned, it’s a rollercoaster ride of heavy metal, headbangin’ mayhem….which is exactly what the crowd were there for. They arrived on stage looking like they’d just walked offstage somewhere else, launching straight into ‘Ready to Rock’ from their latest album. From then til the end of the show it’s was heads down, balls out rock n roll. Airbourne only know one speed…top speed and although every song sounds the same its very exciting stuff. Joel O’ Keefe belts around like a demented schoolboy (sound familiar?) and we’re even treated to, not one, but TWO walkabouts during the set. Another party trick from O’Keefe was cracking open cans of beer using his head, literally, using his head, and the crowd literally lapped it up. The set was short, about 1 hour 15 minutes, but I’m not sure the human cranium could handle much more than this, it’s so intense. The crowd loved them and the sound was fantastic. The finale was an extended version of the crowd favourite, ‘Running Wild’ which included a short AC/DC medley and a snippet of ‘Paranoid’, to loud acclaim. Sure, Airbourne are a one trick pony but when the trick is this good it’s hard to find fault with it.

The Academy is tailor made for shows like this, where the audience can get close to the band and the band can soak the audience in beer! Cracking stuff!

A quick mention must go the support act ‘Black Spiders’. They’re very much in the same vein as Airbourne but suffered from a poor sound mix. The highlight of their set was the crowd chant of ‘F**k You Black Spiders’, instigated by the band themselves. Another highlight was the song ‘Kiss tried to Kill Me’. All in all a great way to spend a Tuesday evening.

Review by Tony Martin

Photos by Tudor Marian


  • Ready To Rock
  • Too Much
  • Girls In Black
  • Chewing The Fat
  • Back In The Game
  • Diamond In The Rough
  • Black Dog
  • Cheap Wine
  • Hardway
  • Stand Up
  • Live It Up
  • Raise The Flag
  • Runnin Wild


Lucy Ivan

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